Pilot Program Connects Washtenaw Youth With Summer Jobs, Training

 03/21/2017 - 00:40

A nine-week summer employment and mentorship program, Summer17 pairs local businesses with Washtenaw County youth (ages 16-24) to provide on-the-job training that sets the stage for life-long careers, opens doors to new industries, and provides mentorship critical to building professional networks.

In a pilot program conducted last year, 26 businesses employed and mentored 50 youth who gained meaningful work experience and income. Following last year’s pilot, five Summer17 youth participants were permanently hired.

"Last year, we connected young people to businesses that helped them take the next step in their career path,” said Shamar Herron, Deputy Director, Michigan Works! Southeast. “This year, with greater infrastructure and more partners, our goal is to recruit twice as many Washtenaw County businesses committed to providing our young people meaningful summer employment.”

Summer17 serves as the critical “stepping stone” youth need to increase their marketability in today’s competitive job market. As part of Summer17, youth complete a “Soft Skills Academy” inclusive of training in communication, conflict resolution, professionalism and networking – all of which prepare Summer17 youth employees to make positive contributions to businesses.                                   

"We are excited to partner with Michigan Works! and Washtenaw County to expand employment and mentorship opportunities for area youth,” said Mary Jo Callan, Director, University of Michigan Edward Ginsberg Center. “Summer17 is a great opportunity for the University of Michigan to contribute to our community's future workforce and economic strength.”

“Experiences like Summer17 are invaluable both for improving the employment outlook for youth and for the success of our overall local economy,” said Andrea Plevek, Director, Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development. “Through Summer17, young adults gain critical skills and experiences that contribute to the quality of Washtenaw County’s workforce – supporting local businesses and emerging industries.”


Businesses interested in participating in Summer17 must commit to:

  •  interviewing, training and orientation sessions;
  • ongoing mentoring of youth employees during the employment period (June 26-Aug. 25); and
  • an hourly wage of $9 for youth employees (total employer cost is approximately $1,760 for the summer based on a 20-hour work week)

An employee coach will be available throughout Summer17 to provide HR, payment and youth training support.

The Employers of Record for Summer17 are the University of Michigan and Washtenaw County.

To become a Summer17 Employer, signup at www.DoMoreSummer17.com.


Youth interested in Summer17 must commit to:

  • a multi-session “Soft Skills Academy” prior to employment start; and
  • nine weeks of employment beginning June 26, 2017 for a minimum of 20 hours/week at $9/hour

Youth applications open April 1, 2017 and a valid ID is needed to apply for Summer17.

To apply for Summer17, visit www.DoMoreSummer17.com.


For questions or more information, interested businesses and youth can contact: summertwenty17@gmail.com

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