GRow1000 Employer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What do I need to consider when placing a person age 15-24 in my workplace?

You must abide by the Michigan work requirements. A person under 18 years of age cannot be employed in, about, or in connection with an occupation that is hazardous or injurious to the minor’s health. – Don’t let that stop you from accepting placement of youth under 18. Young people are resourceful and have a lot to offer. They can research, update social media platforms, file, answer phones, provide good customer service, inventory, attend meetings, document testing methods, compile information, generate new ideas for design development, sell, test prototypes, market, interview other staff throughout the organization and explore career opportunities. The benefit to your organization is the opportunity to engage youth and support the diversity of our workforce pipeline. The goal is to help youth expand their horizons, improve job readiness skills, develop relationships with professional contacts and explore new career opportunities. These positions can be in-person, virtual or a hybrid.

In light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, what should I consider before agreeing to place a youth worker?

The health and well-being of our youth are paramount. All precautions should be taken to ensure safety and slowing the spread of the virus within your workplace. Employment experiences can be in-person, virtual or a hybrid. If you are offering in-person employment experiences, PPE should be given to the student as often as they are working. You should abide by all national, state and local health official guidelines.

Who is responsible for paying for the wages?

The City of Grand Rapids will send an invoice to the participating employer for the cost associated with hiring youth at $1,600 per youth ages 15 to 17 and $2,000 per youth ages 18 to 24.

How many hours are we expected to provide? Can youth work more than 20 hours in one week?

Youth will work a total of 120 hours during 6-weeks of employment. Work schedules can be negotiated between you and your youth worker and can include evenings and weekends as in compliance with the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth Youth Employment standards for minors. Youth under the age of 18 must have a work permit and you must abide by all rules and regulations indicated. Typically, youth work 20 hours in one week. However, if fewer hours were worked in a particular week, you may schedule more hours the week after in order to make up for the lost hours.

Will I need to have my youth worker fill out a timesheet?

The City of Grand Rapids is the employer of record. A link to the timesheet template will be sent to you and to your youth worker. It is your responsibility to ensure the youth worker correctly completes the timesheet. Timesheets are due on completion of the last day of work each week, but no later than Saturday at 5 p.m. Late timesheets result in pay being delayed until the next pay period. Please refer to the pay schedule. Youth will only be paid for the amount of hours actually worked.

How often will youth be paid?

Youth will be paid every two weeks from the City of Grand Rapids via direct deposit unless they do not have a bank account. In such case, a paycard will be mailed to their address. Please see below for the pay schedule.

Work Weeks 1-2

Sunday, June 13 - Saturday, June 26, 2021

Pay Date: Tuesday, July 7th

Work Weeks 3-4

Sunday, June 27 - Saturday, July 10, 2021

Pay Date: Tuesday, July 20th

Work Weeks 5-6

Sunday, July 11 - Saturday, July 24, 2021

Pay Date: Tuesday August 3rd

What if youth have a question about the amount of pay they have received?

They should email or if they have questions about their paycheck.

Are bus passes provided to youth to get to work?

Yes. A bus pass can be obtained by contacting the City’s Human Resources Department at or by calling 616-456-3176 to schedule a time to pick it up.

What if youth are injured during working hours?

If your youth worker is injured, please comply with your business or organization’s emergency protocols. Also contact the City’s Risk Management Department at or 616-456-4670. If youth are under the age of 18, please contact their parent/guardian as well.

Is my organization responsible for providing insurance or benefits?

No, normally only full-time employees are eligible for benefits provided by the employer. Youth workers are short-term employees and are therefore ineligible.

When does the employment experience start and end?

Your commitment is to offer an employment experience for 6 weeks of work averaging 20 hours a week from June 14 - July 23, 2021.

Can I continue to employ my youth worker(s) after the 6 weeks of work?

You can offer further employment with youth once the summer program is complete. In this case, the employer will need to assume all payroll and employer of record responsibilities.

When should I start looking for a youth placement?

Youth applicants 15 to 24-years-old will complete an online application first. They will be contacted by the City’s Human Resources Department to complete all necessary pre-employment paperwork. Businesses will be contacted regarding their placements at least one month in advance of the first day of work which is June 14th.

What if my youth worker does not work out?

This experience is to promote career exposure and learning about your industry. For many, this may be their first work experience and some leeway will be needed for who have not had experience in a professional setting. Difficulties could arise. It is encouraged that you match youth with onsite workplace mentors to assist them in addressing issues and navigating the organization. Some youth will also be matched with external mentors. Additionally, you have access to Our Community’s Children (OCC) at or 616-456-3558 to help resolve any issues that may arise so the work experience is successful. It is important that OCC be contacted as soon as there is evidence of an unacceptable pattern of behavior.

Can I donate to the initiative as well as employ youth?

Absolutely! Notify us of your interest by going to Make a Donation.

If I have more questions, whom should I contact?

Shannon L. Harris
Interim Executive Director, Our Community’s Children | 616-456-3558

Connie Bohatch
Managing Director of Community Services | 616-456-3988