Flint, MI—The Summer Youth Initiative (SYI), a teen employment program through the Flint & Genesee Group’s Education & Talent division, is now accepting proposals from local businesses looking for employees this summer.

“Traditionally, we have partnered with mostly nonprofits and schools to employ our SYI teens and we are looking forward to continuing those partnerships,” says James Avery, director of Talent Development at Flint & Genesee Education & Talent. “At the same time, we are also hoping to expand the jobs that are offered by partnering with more for-profit employers in a variety of fields.”

Last year, new businesses and organizations joined the SYI employer base including Elle Jae Essentials, a local skin and hair care business that recently opened a storefront in Flint; and Flint Fresh, a local nonprofit that focuses on creating a robust food system in Flint.

“We only hired three kids, but with everyone we interviewed, I was so impressed with the caliber of students,” says Brian Schorr, executive director of Flint Fresh. “The program is a huge support for any business in greater Flint looking for talent.”

Through SYI, participating employers can use funds to support wages for teen employees up to $12 per hour.

For those interested in submitting a proposal but unsure where to start, a technical assistance meeting on the process will be held Tuesday, Feb. 7 from 1-2 p.m. via Microsoft Teams.

Students will be hired to work during the SYI Job Fair in May 2023 held at Genesee Career Institute. Partnering businesses and organizations will be required to attend the event to hold in-person interviews with qualifying teens.

Teens that are eligible to apply for SYI are graduates of the TeenQuest pre-employment and leadership training program run by Flint & Genesee Education & Talent. The program, which helps teens learn soft skills that are useful in any type of job, helps prepare students for the workforce.

For more information on the program and to learn how your business can apply, visit EducateFlintandGenesee.org/Summer-Youth-Initiative/Employer-Involvement.

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