GRow1000 Youth Employment Program

GRow1000 Logo

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 800 youth in meaningful jobs at unique job sites at area businesses, nonprofit organizations, higher education institutions and government.


This summer young people ages 15 to 24 will have the opportunity to explore a career and obtain valuable work experience while earning money. Pay ranges from $13.00 to $15.00 per hour, depending on placement.

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.

Accepting Applications Now until May 8th!

Are you 15-24 years old? Apply to participate in the GRow1000 program! Applications will be accepted until now until 5/8/23.
Complete GRow1000 Application

Program Updates

New for Summer 2023, the GRow1000 Program will institute a series of weekly training seminars each Friday throughout the length of the program called GRow Further Fridays. Each session is designed to teach youth participants professional development topics such as Dressing for Success, Public Speaking and Financial Literacy. 

In addition to the GRow Further Friday professional development sessions, other new implementations will include:

  • Easy, two-step weekly timesheet submissions for both employees and employers.
  • On-site visits by Our Community’s Children staff and GRow1000 Mentors.
  • Electronic GRow1000 Employer feedback forms.
  • Collaborative GRow1000 End of Program Celebration.
  • And much more..

The GRow1000 Academy will also take place this spring with professional development training beginning in April 2023 for youth ages 18-24. This academy promotes long-term employment thanks in part to a grant from Bank of America.

City of Grand Rapids Human Resources is also hosting in-person Onboarding Paperwork Help on the following dates: 

  • Wednesday, April 12th at Grand Rapids Public Library, Ryerson Auditorium (3rd Floor) 4 P.M. – 5:30 P.M.
  • Monday, May 1st at Grand Rapids Public Library, Ryerson Auditorium (3rd Floor) 4 P.M. – 5:30 P.M.

Pre-Employment Training Sessions

All GRow1000 Participants must attend 1 of the following Pre-Employment Training Session dates:

  • Mon., May 22nd, 4 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. (City Hall Commission Chambers – 9th Floor)
  • Tue., May 23rd, 4 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. (GRPL Ryerson Auditorium – 3rd Floor)
  • Wed., May 31st, 4 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. (City Hall Commission Chambers – 9th Floor)
  • Thur., June 1st, 4 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. (City Hall Commission Chambers – 9th Floor)
  • Wed., June 7th, 12:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. (Virtual)

Participants will receive an email inviting them to attend their assigned orientation date. Call Our Community's Children at (616) 456-3102 if you have not received an email about orientation.