Summer jobs program pulls 1,300 applications in 2 days

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Detroit — A summer jobs program for Detroit’s youth has received almost 1,300 applications for 8,000 available spots in the first 48 hours the application process was opened, the city says.

The Grow Detroit’s Youth Talent program is open to youth ages 14 to 24. The application process opened Feb. 2 and will close March 4. By the end of April, youth will be contacted on that status of their applications, and in May the employer match and interview process begins. There will be job readiness training in June, with work starting in July.

The jobs last six weeks, which are preceded by 12 hours of work readiness training. During the six weeks, the youth receive 24 additional hours of training and bus passes to help them get to and from work.

Mayor Mike Duggan, while kicking off the 2016 season at a press conference Tuesday, credited the 2015 version of the program with bringing down crime in Detroit. Major categories of violent and/or property crime were down in Detroit in 2015 — homicides fell by 1 percent, while rapes were down 17 percent and robberies 18 percent — except larcenies, which went up by 4 percent.

“When you have to be somewhere at 8 a.m., it’s tough to be up to trouble at 2 a.m.,” Duggan said.

The 2015 program placed 5,594 youth in summer jobs. More than 11,000 applied. The initial goal had been to place 5,000 youth in jobs. When the 2015 program wrapped, city hall said the goal for 2016 was 10,000 job placements. That’s since been revised down to 8,000, which is still a 40 percent bump from 2015.

Applications are accepted online. Those who prefer to apply in person can do so Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at two different churches on the east side: Historic East Lake Baptist Church at 12400 E. Jefferson Ave. and Triumph Church at 2760 E. Grand Blvd.