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. 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 will work 17 hours on-site and participate in three hours of paid professional development at city hall weekly. 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. Employers will also be required to fill out a timesheet based on the total number of hours worked per youth. Timesheets will then be compared for accuracy and verified before they are processed. 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 by the City of Grand Rapids via direct deposit unless they do not have a bank account. In such case, they can pick up their check from the Human Resources Dept. at Grand Rapids City Hall, 8th floor or have it mailed to their address. The following pay schedule is that of all City employees who are paid every two weeks. Please note that the GRow1000 program starts and ends in the middle of a pay period.

Work Weeks 1 & 2

  • Sunday, June 11 - Saturday, June 24, 2023
  • Pay Date: Monday, July 3rd 

Work Weeks 3 & 4

  • Sunday, June 25 - Saturday, July 8, 2023
  • Pay Date: Tuesday, July 18th

Work Weeks 5 & 6

  • Sunday, July 9 - Saturday, July 22, 2023
  • Pay Date: Tuesday August 1st 

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

They should email 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 12 - July 21, 2023.

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 with the City of Grand Rapids. 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 by Our Community’s Children in advance of the first day of employment on or before May 19, 2023.

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.

Please reach out to OCC Program Coordinator Zach Laraway at with questions.

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? 


Bus Passes


Weekly Professional Development Workshops