SummerWorks Accepting Applications From Young Adults, Employers, and Mentors

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SummerWorks is a professional development, mentorship, and paid work experience for young adults, 16 to 24 years old, in Washtenaw County. The program, now in its sixth year, was designed to provide young adults with tools, work experience, and exposure to different career paths. Young adults and employers can sign up for the program online at SummerWorks.info. Applications for young adults are open through March 19th.

"I loved the opportunity to work in a professional environment and gain work experience," said one SummerWorks participant. "I feel more prepared for my next job and future career."

SummerWorks is a partnership between Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development, Michigan Works! Southeast, and the University of Michigan Poverty Solutions. Last year, the partners were able to pivot to continue the program during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, SummerWorks underwent significant changes in 2020, which resulted in exciting new programming that will be continued this year, including mentoring from local business and nonprofit leaders and career talks from a variety of industries.

"I liked all the career talks," said another SummerWorks participant. "They gave us the opportunity to learn about new things and ask experts questions. By meeting those people and hearing their stories, I learned so many things you need to know before going into the working world."

This year, program partners are hoping to reach more young adults than ever. All young adults accepted into the program will receive virtual professional development, be connected to a mentor, and have the opportunity to learn from guest speakers about different career paths. SummerWorks will also pair at least 50 of these young adults with local businesses and organizations for safe, in-person, or virtual paid job experiences.

Local businesses and nonprofits can participate in the program by hosting a summer intern, participating in the mentorship program, serving as a guest speaker, and more. This provides an excellent opportunity to connect with the next generation and bring fresh eyes and new perspectives to their work.

"The young adults challenge us to think differently in how we do our work," said one SummerWorks employer. "They come to the office with a unique approach and new perspectives that have helped us grow."

"This program is not just a summer job, but a more holistic approach to talent development for Washtenaw County's young adults," said Shamar Herron, Executive Director of Michigan Works! Southeast who helped launched the program six years ago. "By helping to develop their professional skills, exposing them to a number of new career paths, and connecting them with mentors in the community, SummerWorks' young adults are ready to positively impact Washtenaw County's economy now and in the future."

For more information, including key dates and how to apply, young adults and employers can visit SummerWork.info

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