City partners with local employers on summer youth jobs program

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The city of Grand Rapids announced the launch of the 2021 GRow1000 youth employment program.

Building on employing more than 350 youth last summer, the city and area businesses are poised to employ 650 more Grand Rapids residents ages 15-24 beginning June 14.

GRow1000 will offer young people 120-hour work experiences over six weeks from June 14 through July 23. Youth participants will work 20 hours each week earning $10 an hour for those under 18 and $13 an hour for those 18 and older.

To participate, individuals must meet the following basic requirements:

  • Be between 15 and 24 years old as of June 14
  • Live in the city of Grand Rapids
  • Be eligible to work in the U.S.
Mark Washington Courtesy city of Grand Rapids

“We appreciate the community’s support in making this program possible,” Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington said. “Providing meaningful work is important in helping our youth stay productive and build skills during the summer. There are more than 9,000 youth in Grand Rapids between the ages of 15 and 21. Nearly three-quarters (73%) are under the age of 18 and are persons of color. Investing in GRow1000 means investing in our community’s future.”

Youth may apply now through April 19 at the city of Grand Rapids’ website. Required paid training begins May 18. Bus passes will be available as needed. As the employer of record, the city will process youth applications and match them to available positions.

Businesses and organizations are encouraged to participate in one of two ways:

  • Provide paid job or internship experiences. Total amount per youth placement is $1,600 (under 18) and $2,000 (18 and older).
  • Provide financial contributions to support the placement of youth at local nonprofit organizations. Individuals are welcome to donate.

For more information, to register as an employer, or to donate, visit GRow1000.

“Great cities have strong summer youth programs,” said Fred Keller, founder/chair, Cascade Engineering and one of the business leaders of the GRow1000 program. “This is an important moment for business to partner with our city to show our youth the future opportunities and experiences they may have right here in our community.”

Businesses and organizations that have committed to GRow1000 to date are:

  • Amway Corporation
  • Autocam Medical
  • Behler-Young Company
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Cascade Engineering
  • City of Grand Rapids
  • Celebration Cinema
  • Crowe
  • Crystal Flash
  • Davenport University
  • DeVos Family Foundations
  • Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.
  • EuzenConnect
  • First National Bank of Michigan
  • Fox Motors
  • Flexco
  • Frey Foundation
  • Fusion Education Group
  • Grand Rapids Civic Theatre
  • Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce
  • Jireh Metal Products
  • Kent County
  • Kent County Department of Health and Human Services
  • Kent County Sheriff’s Office
  • Mary Free Bed
  • Meijer
  • Metro Health
  • MSU College of Human Medicine
  • NN Mobile Solutions
  • Nucraft Furniture
  • Progressive AE
  • Renaissance Church
  • Rockford Construction
  • RoMan Manufacturing Inc.
  • SeyferthPR
  • Spectrum Health
  • Terryberry
  • The Factory
  • The Right Place Inc.
  • Trillium Investments
  • Warner Norcross + Judd
  • Wege Foundation
  • West Michigan Works!
  • W.K. Kellogg Trustee Donor Advised Fund of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation
  • Xpressions Christian Dance Arts Academy

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