Summer Youth Employment Program

For young people today, the job market is more competitive and challenging now than in previous generations. Employers have high expectations and an increasing demand for more education and skills. As a result, young people — especially those lacking access to quality education and reliable job training — find it hard to gain access to jobs, let alone thrive in the workforce.

Large disparities in education and economic outcomes persist for youth from different parts of the nation, and the same is true for some of the University of Michigan’s surrounding areas in Washtenaw County. Summer jobs programs can help close these gaps by providing income for youth and their families and opportunities for on-the-job training and mentorship that serve as the critical “stepping stone” youth need to increase their ability to compete in today’s job market.

The University of Michigan is an active partner in Summer19, the Washtenaw County Summer Youth Employment Program, a 10-week summer employment and mentorship program that pairs employers with local youth to provide on-the-job training. Summer 19 connects youth to resources for building professional networks, exploring career opportunities, and developing essential job and leadership skills.

For all details regarding U-M employer participation, visit our Employer Information & Support page.

For more information on the Washtenaw County Summer 19 Summer Youth Employment Program visit

Poverty Solutions is now hiring Success Coaches to support Washtenaw County’s Summer Youth Employment Program, Summer20!
Success Coaches will assist with the implementation of the Washtenaw County Summer Youth Employment Program at the University of Michigan. Summer20 is a summer jobs program employing youth aged 16-24. In partnership with the Washtenaw County Office of Economic Development, Michigan Works! Southeast, and other community and campus partners, Poverty Solutions and the Ginsberg Center facilitate a summer job experience for youth on the U-M campus. You can view the posting here, and apply to Jordan Greene at by December 10, 2019.


About the Research

'Recent research is encouraging, but more and better evidence of what works is necessary to ensure quality.' - Brookings Institution report, 'Youth Summer Jobs Programs: Aligning Ends and Means.' July 2016.The Summer Youth Employment Program is both an opportunity to provide jobs, and also to test what works and what doesn’t work with youth employment programs like this. U-M’s program aims to push the boundaries on existing best practices and to build a very rigorous evaluation structure to research the effectiveness. This program is one of the first of its kind to be conducted by a major university, and is unique because it will measure the impact and use research to determine best practices.

Read more

About Summer19

In 2016, the Washtenaw County Summer Youth Employment Program launched as a partnership between MichiganWorks! Southeast and the Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development. In 2017, the University of Michigan joined the partnership, to provide employment opportunities across campus and pair local youth with faculty and staff to help them gain work experience, mentorship, and life skills training. Since U-M partnered with the program, over one hundred youth have been placed in a variety of jobs across the scope of the U-M enterprise. As the program continues to grow, we are excited to offer mentorship and employment opportunities again this summer, under Washtenaw County’s Summer19 program.

Learn more about Summer19

Related Stories

Youth employment program offers mentors, life skills

Alexandrie Lintz-Suarez sorting food in pantry Inside Maggie’s Marketplace, the food pantry for Michigan Medicine’s Ypsilanti Health Center, Alexandrie Lintz-Suarez hands a paper bag to a woman and her 13-year-old granddaughter.

Read more

U-M Launches Summer Jobs Program for Young Adults

Women shaking hands at a table ANN ARBOR—Forty-five young adults from across Washtenaw County will begin summer work today at the University of Michigan. They are part of U-M’s Poverty Solutions Summer Youth Employment Program, a partnership with Washtenaw County, Michigan Works! Southeast and U-M’s Ginsberg Center.

Read more