70 Pontiac Youth Employed for the Summer

70 Pontiac youth will be employed this summer

Summer employment has been a long-term staple of growing up.  Many found basic life skills working at entry-level jobs during the summer.  Summer employment for today’s teens has been hard to come by.  Over qualified college graduates have taken over many of the basic jobs along with those just struggling to survive.

Baldwin aims to change the equation by employing 70 youth to tend gardens, prepare food, sell produce at farmer’s markets and clean up local and State parks.

Last summer the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation teamed up to provide grants to nonprofits in Pontiac, Detroit, Flint and Saginaw to teach teens 16-19 years old the basics of summer employment.  Baldwin hired 50 young people last year and has now hired 70 youth for this summer.

The Baldwin Center Youth Employment Program aims to provide a natural resource-based employment opportunity for youth while exposing them to critical life- and employment-based skills and various outdoor recreational opportunities. According to Lisa Machesky, Baldwin’s executive director “Baldwin’s program is unique because it combines managing and harvesting outdoor, natural gardens, with the opportunity to sell the collected produce at area farmers’ markets. Built into the program are also work expectations to clean and rejuvenate Pontiac parks, help facilitate Baldwin’s efforts to feed summer meals to area children, participate in 21st Century Workforce skills seminars, and participate in recreational activities. In this way, the summer employment program exposes youth to healthy, outdoor activity, while promoting nutrition and local neighborhood sustainability, all in an economically-viable and entrepreneurial framework.”

For more information about the program contact Michael Nappere at mnappere@baldwincenter.org or 248.332.6101.

Photo courtesy of ImagesbyRonCard

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