FLINT, MI–Seventy-five local teenagers will be going to work, outdoors, this summer.
The Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce recently received a $235,000 grant to introduce youth who live in Flint, Detroit, Pontiac and Saginaw to outdoor career opportunities and experiences. Locally, the state partners with the Chamber’s Summer Youth Initiative program, which connects graduates of the TeenQuest pre-employment program to area employers.
The grant came from Michigan's Department of Natural Resources.
“The Michigan DNR is an invaluable partner to the Chamber in our efforts to support youth and we are thankful for their generosity,” said Tim Herman, CEO of the Flint & Genesee Chamber. “With their support, the Chamber is better able to help local teens gain on-the-job experiences and explore new career paths. This is a great example of how partnerships between businesses, community organizations and state leaders can develop a competitive workforce in Flint and Genesee County.”
This year, the teens will engage in outdoor-related assignments at 11 local organizations, including Asbury Community Development Corp., IMA Brookwood Golf Club, City of Flint, Fighting Blight in My City, Genesee County Parks, Greater Holy Temple, Kearsley Lake Golf Course, Mass Transportation Authority, Second Chance Ministries, Swartz Creek Golf Course and Uptown Reinvestment Corp.
By the end of the summer, each worker will have 200 to 300 hours of on-the-job experience.
“One of the unique components of this program is that it allows teens to try activities they may not be exposed to living in the city—things like camping, fishing and archery,” said Ron Olson, chief of Parks & Recreation for the Michigan DNR. “In doing so, it provides them with the opportunity to diversify their life experiences, which is an important part of growing personally and professionally.”
In total, the Chamber expects to help 375 TeenQuest graduates secure employment this summer through the Summer Youth Initiative and Michigan DNR programs.