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SummerWorks for U-M Employers

With the help of over 100 departments across the University network, the SummerWorks program has provided roughly 150 young people with meaningful work experiences over the last three summers.



The 2017 Youth Summer Jobs Program Job Fair.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, SummerWorks launched a mentorship matching component of our programming. Thanks to the overwhelming support from our U-M community, we successfully recruited 83 professionals to mentor young adults in our program. Due to the success and positive feedback, we plan to continue offering mentorship as part of our regular programming moving forward. For many employees, SummerWorks connects them with their first job experience. For others, it served as a stepping stone to prepare them for successful, life-long careers. These experiences wouldn’t be possible without the jobs and mentorship our employers provide. 

What to expect as a U-M employer

As a University of Michigan employer, you will help provide mentorship experiences and support  young people as they build their professional networks and leadership skills. SummerWorks program staff will provide additional wrap-around supports to ensure a successful experience. Becoming a SummerWorks employer helps your department while also helping Washtenaw County’s talented youth gain employment this summer.

In addition to providing internships, there are other opportunities for you to get involved with SummerWorks as a U-M faculty or staff member. We encourage you to serve as a mentor to a SummerWorks participant, provide job shadowing opportunities, or present at one of our Career Sneak Peek week events to share about your professional background, career journey, and current position. For more information about these additional opportunities, please email us at

Program Overview

University of Michigan departments provide at least 20 hours of paid work per week throughout the months of June, July, and August. Please note, four of your employee’s weekly hours will be spent off-site in professional development sessions facilitated by program staff. Youth employees are paid an hourly rate of $10 or $12, dependent upon high school completion or equivalent.

Benefits to Your Department:

  • Fill summer vacation and coverage gaps while students are away from campus
  • Finish outstanding projects
  • Provide training and mentorship to invest in the future workforce
  • Opportunities to incorporate a fresh perspective in departmental processes and systems
  • Give back to your community by supporting the development of a young professional

Support from the SummerWorks Team:

  • Program staff and University HR facilitate all HR and hiring processes for youth employees including:
    • I-9 form
    • Work permits (for employees under the age of 18)
    • U-M employment application
    • Basic MCard, uniqname, level 1 kerberos password, email access
    • Background checks (if required)
  • Access to Success Coaches, recent U-M graduates or graduate students who provide 1:1 support to youth and employers throughout the summer.
  • Orientation activities and opportunities to learn from others about how to create a youth-friendly job that fulfills your needs.
  • Program staff facilitate pre-employment training for all youth employees to ensure they have had introductory training for the workforce.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is expected from hiring departments?

Employers provide ten weeks of employment for 16 hours of work and 4 hours of enrichment at a rate of $10.00 or $12.00/hour. Departments are responsible for compensation. Youth are paid on a bi-weekly schedule and units will follow standard payroll procedures. U-M Human Resources will facilitate all hiring and payment processes, including coordination of work permits for youth under the age of 18.

Can my unit submit more than one position?

Yes, your unit can request to hire more than one young person. Please be clear in the application if you will have multiple supervisors for the youth employees.

What can I expect from my experience as an employer?

Throughout the duration of SummerWorks, U-M employers will be offered continuous support from the program’s Success Coaches. Success Coaches serve as program liaisons for employers to help you navigate the program and create a positive experience for you as an employer. U-M Human Resources will also be available to help troubleshoot issues that may arise.

Employing a young person through SummerWorks is a rewarding experience! Program staff will be available to answer any questions you may have that arise during the summer. Please note that SummerWorks is part of a county-wide partnership and U-M employers may be required to travel off-campus for a small number of programmatic events (if social distancing guidelines allow).

How are youth employees selected for the summer jobs program?

All youth, ages 16-24, from Washtenaw County are eligible to apply. After youth are accepted and attend pre-employment soft skills training, they will attend an interview day with employers. This is an opportunity for both employers and employees to find the best match for positions.

What kind of skills can I expect from my youth employee?

Youth employees come with a variety of skill sets and experiences. For some, this may be their first job, while others may have years of experience. We encourage employers to be adaptable in terms of their employee(s)’ work, offering both support and more challenging work as needed. If there are specific skills or age restrictions that are required for your position , please be sure to include them in the job description.

What are professional development sessions?

Professional development sessions are weekly workshops youth employees are required to attend, facilitated by program staff, campus, and community leaders. The sessions focus on topics designed to help youth build concrete job skills and grow their knowledge of the professional world. Program staff will share the curriculum with employers and provide weekly tips for integrating workshop topics with their employee’s summer work.


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