Summer19 Youth Employment Program Builds Life-Long Networks & Careers

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

News Release: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | Contact:

Shamar Herron, Michigan Works! Southeast | (734) 369-1707 |

Julia Weinert, Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan | (734) 615-5353 |

Teresa Gillotti, Washtenaw County Office of Community & Economic Development (OCED) | (734) 544-3042 |


Summer19 Youth Employment Program Builds Life-Long Networks & Careers

Youth employment & mentorship program pairs area youth & businesses for ten-week, on-the-job training June 17-Aug 23

The University of Michigan, Michigan Works! Southeast and Washtenaw County have partnered once again for Summer19 (

The ten-week summer employment and mentorship program, Summer19 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

Last year, almost 100 youth completed the program, from soft skills training, to match-day with employers, and working for 10 weeks with their designated employer. This equated to more than 20,000 work experience hours and more than $220,000 invested in our youths’ future success.
“Summer19 will be our fourth year running the program, and we’re looking to place 150 youth in jobs throughout the county,” said Shamar Herron, Deputy Director of Michigan Works! Southeast. “Every year we’ve been able to grow the program, and we’re proud to see the ongoing development of our young people each year.”

Summer19 serves as the critical “stepping stone” youth need to gain real-life experience and mentorship to know the ins and outs of applying for a job, interviewing and successfully completing a 10 week summer job. As part of Summer19, youth complete a “Soft Skills Academy” inclusive of training in communication, conflict resolution, professionalism and leadership development – all of which prepare Summer19 youth employees to make positive contributions to our local community of businesses.

“The University of Michigan is a proud partner in this program,” said Julia Weinert, Associate Director of Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan. “We have helped double the number of placements
available to youth and provide weekly career coaching enrichment sessions for U-M summer employees. “Along with Michigan Works! and Washtenaw County, we are committed to making sure this program is a positive first step to employment and a real career-building opportunity for our county’s youth.”

“The Summer19 program is an example of how partnerships in our community can be successful,” said Gregory Dill, Washtenaw County Administrator. “This important program provides a win/win: our youth learn the responsibilities associated with learning life and job skills; and our local businesses benefit from the energy and fresh perspective the participants provide…together, we are helping to provide our future leaders with the tools necessary to be successful in life.”

Businesses interested in participating in Summer19 must commit to:
– attend the Employer Orientation (April 3) and Match-Day Job Fair (May 22)
– ongoing mentoring of youth employees during the employment period (June 17-Aug. 23)
– paying a youth employee an hourly wage of either $10/hour or $12/hour based on completion of a high school degree or equivalent (total employer cost is approximately $2,000-$2,400/youth employee based on a 20-hour work week)
An employee coach will be available throughout Summer19 to provide HR, payment and youth training support. To become a Summer19 Employer, signup at

Youth interested in Summer19 must commit to:
– attend the Youth and Family Orientation (April 17) and Match Day Job Fair (May 22)
– attend a multi-session “Soft Skills Academy” prior to employment (April 23 to May 30)
– complete 10 weeks of employment (June 17-Aug 23) for a minimum of 20 hours per week at $10/hour or $12/hour based on completion of a high school degree or equivalent.

Youth and employer applications open Jan. 14, 2019. To learn more, visit:

For questions, interested businesses and youth can contact: