Grand Rapids aims to double number of youth participating in summer jobs program

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Last year, Grand Rapids and companies in the area temporarily employed 350 young people as part of a new summer careers program.

The initiative is back this year and officials aim to double the number of youth employed.

The initiative, named GRow1000, was launched in 2020 in response to the pandemic and ongoing racial and economic disparities.

Grand Rapids residents between the ages of 15 and 24 as of June 14th can apply for the employment program by completing the application at this link. Applicants must also be eligible to work in the United States

The application deadline is April 19th.

City Administrator Mark Washington said the initiative is about investing in the future of the community.

“We appreciate the community’s support in making this program possible,” said Washington. “Meaningful work is important so that our youth remain productive in the summer and develop skills. There are more than 9,000 young people between the ages of 15 and 21 at Grand Rapids. Almost three quarters (73%) are under the age of 18 and people of color. “

Those in the program will work a total of 120 hours between June 14th and July 23rd, with 20 hours of work each week. Those aged 18 and over are paid $ 13 per hour and those under 18 are paid USD 10 per hour.

The city will process the applications and then match the applicants with the available positions.

Paid training for the program begins May 18th. The city provides bus passes if required.

Companies and organizations can support the initiative by getting paid job or internship experience or by making financial contributions. Individuals are also welcome to donate to the program.

The city is funding the program with approximately $ 120,000 in federal COVID-19 grants. The company contributions cover other program costs and wages.

You can find more information about donating or providing jobs on this website.

More than 40 companies and organizations, including Amway Corporation, Meijer, Davenport University, Progressive AE and others, are committed to supporting the initiative.

“Big cities have strong summer youth programs,” said Fred Keller, founder and chairman of Cascade Engineering and a business leader in the GRow1000 program. “This is an important moment for companies to work with our city and show our youth the future opportunities and experiences they could have here in our community.”

Last year, the first year of the program, officials wanted to provide jobs to 1,000 young people.

A total of 354 youths were employed in more than 60 different jobs, from regional businesses to community service and health care to higher education and government.

This time the age range has been expanded to include people between the ages of 22 and 24. The wages for people aged 18 and over were also increased by $ 3.

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