500 Young People Begin Summer Jobs Funded by the DTE Energy Foundation

- Part of a $1 Million Youth Employment Initiative

DETROIT, July 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- For the fourth consecutive year, about 500 teens and young adults from Detroit and other communities reported to work today, as part of a $1-million youth employment initiative funded by the DTE Energy Foundation. 

The Foundation once again partnered with City Connect Detroit and other agencies to fund summer jobs in Detroit as well as in Highland Park, Inkster, Pontiac, Muskegon and Ypsilanti.  All of the available positions have been filled. 

"This summer jobs initiative is all about providing meaningful work experiences for young people from urban communities in our state," said Faye Nelson, vice president of Public Affairs for DTE Energy and president of the DTE Energy Foundation. "We want to make sure that when these young people are ready to enter the workforce that they have the type of experience necessary to get – and keep – a job."  

The Foundation has funded about 1,500 summer jobs since 2010. This summer's program is the cornerstone of a broader, $1-million youth employment initiative.  The Foundation provided $750,000 to fund the summer jobs, the vast majority of which are part of the Grow Detroit's Young Talent program.  The United Way of the Lakeshore administers the Muskegon jobs.  

Nelson announced the program at SER Metro, a Detroit non-profit agency that provides skills training and job placement services.  SER Metro partnered with the Foundation to employ 25 young people this summer.  The Foundation worked with about 30 community partners to place teens and young adults in meaningful jobs at their agencies.  The summer jobs program runs for six weeks.

At today's announcement Nelson was joined by Eva Garza Dewaelsche, president of SER Metro; Dierk Hall, president and CEO of City Connect Detroit, which runs the Grow Detroit's Young Talent summer jobs program, and current and former summer jobs program participants. 

Launched in 2009 by the Detroit Youth Employment Consortium, the Grow Detroit's Young Talent program has supported the placement of nearly 7,000 youths in summer jobs, according to Hall. 

"When a significant community stakeholder like DTE Energy steps up in such a big way for young people, it really speaks to their commitment to the community," said City Connect Detroit's Hall.  "They get it – we must expose today's youth to a quality education and the world of work, for their sake and ours." 

The Foundation also committed $250,000 to the city of Detroit to provide year-round, part-time jobs at city recreation centers.  In addition, the Foundation provided a small grant to the Greening of Detroit to hire young people to plant trees in city neighborhoods.

For further information about Grow Detroit's Young Talent program, visit City Connect Detroit at

About the DTE Energy Foundation  

The DTE Energy Foundation is the philanthropic arm of DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE), continuing the legacy of community support and involvement of its electric and natural gas utilities.

SOURCE DTE Energy Foundation

For further information: Vanessa Waters, DTE Energy, (313) 235-5555