GRow1000 Youth Employment Program

PNG image of GRow 1000 logo, purple Calder with orange and white text displaying initiative name

GRow1000 was launched the summer of 2020 in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing racial and economic disparities. City Manager Mark Washington called on business and community leaders to help mitigate these effects by employing 1,000 young people during the summer. Over the last two summers, the GRow1000 program has placed over 600 youth in meaningful jobs at unique job sites at area businesses, nonprofit organizations, higher education institutions and government.

This year we are pleased to announce that we have forged a new partnership with West Michigan Works! to leverage their decades-long expertise in connecting Michiganders with job opportunities and skill building resources. This partnership will support youth workers not only during their 6-week summer experience, but they will also have opportunities to learn and work throughout the year by accessing their employment resources and programs if eligible.

This summer young people ages 15 to 24 will have the opportunity to explore a career and obtain valuable work experience while earning money. Program participants will be matched with employers for a 6-week, 120-hour, paid work experience. Through this experience, area businesses and organizations will introduce youth to real-world work environments, provide mentorship and create pathways to future careers. 

Also new starting this summer is the GRow1000 Academy curated by Our Community’s Children for the 18 to 24-year-old population. This academy promotes long-term employment thanks in part to a grant from Bank of America.