DTE Energy Foundation and City Connect Detroit Partner to Provide 333 Summer Jobs to Youth in Detroit and Its Surrounding Suburbs

Mar 22, 2011, 08:00 ET from DTE Energy Foundation

DETROIT, March 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The DTE Energy Foundation announced today plans to fund and support 333 summer jobs for youth in Metropolitan Detroit at the second annual Youth Employment Summit, hosted by City Connect Detroit.

With the creation of job opportunities for young people serving as the primary focus of the summit, the DTE Energy Foundation grant of $500,000 is the largest private donation toward a fundraising goal of $1.2-million to $1.5-million. The gift will go to support the "Grow Detroit's Young Talent" program, run by City Connect Detroit.

Entitled "Homegrown Talent: Envisioning Detroit's Future Workforce – Are you Ready?", the summit will highlight the collaborative efforts of the DTE Energy Foundation and City Connect Detroit to identify hundreds of summer jobs for young people ages of 14-24.

"Summer employment is one of the best ways to help young people prepare for their future and to start them on the road to success," said Fred Shell, president of the DTE Energy Foundation and vice president of DTE Energy. "It introduces them to the demands, expectations and rewards of the workplace – being responsible, being a good team member and being proud of a job well done."

Last year, City Connect Detroit launched the community campaign, "Grow Detroit's Young Talent Program," with support from The Skillman Foundation.  The campaign raised more than $1 million to provide work experiences for 600 teens and young adults.

"DTE Energy Foundation's generous gift will allow us to make a tremendous step forward in transforming our community by increasing job opportunities for young people," said Dr. Geneva J. Williams, City Connect Detroit's founding president and strategic executive consultant.  "The creation of sustainable, high-quality jobs not only has a huge impact on our youth, but also provides a great value to employers. The summit will address strategies and tactics to accelerate youth employment."

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D – Mich.) will deliver the keynote address, "Growing Young Talent for the World of Work."

Other dignitaries include Kieth Cockrell, Michigan president and regional executive for Bank of America; and representatives of Mayor Dave Bing's office. Steve Kurmas, President of Detroit Edison and Larry Steward, Vice President of Human Resources will represent DTE Energy at the summit.  

This year's summer jobs are designed to help hundreds of young people learn what it takes to be a good employee and to develop critical work skills that will be invaluable as they look forward to being a part of the Michigan workforce one day.

"Support for summer employment programs like this is a critical element in a young person's future success," Shell said. "It speaks to the need to develop Michigan's future workforce now, as well as, promote the importance of cultivating home-grown talent at an early age."

The summer jobs program begins in July and goes for six weeks. For more information on how to participate or to provide additional job opportunities call 313.879.1476 or go to www.growdetroitsyoungtalent.org.  

The DTE Energy Foundation is the philanthropic arm of DTE Energy, continuing the legacy of community support and involvement of its principal operating subsidiaries, Detroit Edison and MichCon.  http://www.dteenergy.com/foundation.

Celebrating 10 years as an "Architect of Change" in metropolitan Detroit communities, City Connect Detroit (www.cityconnectdetroit.org) is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization that facilitates public and private sector solutions to community problems and raises funding to support these solutions.  Since its inception, City Connect Detroit has secured more than $114 million for Detroit-area initiatives supporting a wide array of community development projects.

SOURCE DTE Energy Foundation