GRow1000 Employer Registration


GRow1000 was launched the summer of 2020 in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing racial and economic disparities. City Manager Dr. Mark Washington called on business and community leaders to help mitigate these effects by employing 1,000 young people -- hence the name GRow1000 -- during the summer. Our community has stepped up to the challenge for three consecutive summers!

Building upon the success of employing over 800 young people thus far, the City of Grand Rapids through Our Community’s Children and area businesses will offer meaningful summer employment for Grand Rapids residents ages 15 to 24 from June 12 to July 21, 2023. GRow1000 will offer young people a 120-hour work experience during this 6-week period.

NEW this year, youth participants will work 17 hours a week and will receive three hours of paid professional development facilitated by Our Community's Children each week, totaling a 20-hour work week. The hourly wage has also increased this year to ensure more pay equity. Young people will earn $13-15 an hour, depending on placement, and will also receive three hours of paid pre-employment training. This will appear in their last paycheck after completing the program.

With the help of interested businesses and organizations, the GRow1000 program will employ 150 young people this summer.  These opportunities are critical in helping youth:

  • Get real workplace experience
  • Enhance their job readiness skills
  • Explore future career interests
  • Receive mentorship
  • Connect with area professionals and education pathways

The City of Grand Rapids will continue to serve as the employer of record. This supports:

  • Processing all applications and obtaining necessary employment documents
  • Matching youth with employers (to be completed no later than May 19, 2023)
  • Providing a youth mentor unless provided by the employer
  • Facilitating an Employer Orientation on May 19, 2023 and additional professional development
  • Processing timesheets and payroll

Once matching has been confirmed and work has been completed, businesses/organizations will receive an invoice from the City of Grand Rapids to reimburse the wages earned by youth who were placed.  Amounts will range from $1,600 to $2,000 depending on job duties. Small non-profit organizations that consist of 10 full-time employees or less will receive a wage subsidy thanks to our sponsors.

To finalize your commitment, please complete the Employer Registration form.

For questions about GRow1000, visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Employers page here.

For additional questions, email Our Community’s Children at or call (616) 456-4353.


Businesses and donors that have pledged their participation in this year’s program to date, include:

Advantage Research Services

Autocam Medical

Bank of America

Brookelyn's Thrifty Threads

Brooklyn Bodega

Brown's Funeral Home, LTD

Cascade Engineering

City of Grand Rapids

311 Customer Services

61st District Court
Community Development
Development Center
Our Community’s Children
Parks & Recreation

Corewell Health

Craig's Cruisers 


Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc.

Family Futures

First Tee - West Michigan

Fox Motors

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Grand Rapids Public Library

Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities

Heartside Gleaning

Hope Gain Center of West Michigan

John Ball Zoo

Kent County Department of Health & Human Services

Kona Ice Of West Grand Rapids

Neighbors of Belknap Lookout

NIA Centre

Oakdale Early Learning Center

Oakdale Neighbors


Rockford Construction

Roosevelt Park Neighborhood Association

SECOM Resource Center

STEM Greenhouse

Trillium Investments

University of Michigan Health-West

Warner Norcross + Judd, LLP

Windquest Group