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State invests $2 million to help improve youth unemployment

Published: Apr. 13, 2021 at 5:22 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Opportunity is going to be investing two million dollars to help reduce youth unemployment while introducing young adults to the world of work.

The grant is being issued to the 16 Michigan Works throughout the state, a career networking agency.

“We’re looking at out of school youth who face barriers in education, training and employment,” Chief Operating Officer at Capital Area Michigan Works, Takea Norwood, said.

The state’s goal with the two million dollar investment is to help develop a career path for people who might not be able to form one on their own because of disabilities, income or lack of experience.

“I think that’s really awesome I have a brother with down syndrome who is 14 (years old) and that’s something we have no clue what he is going to do when he’s done with school where he is going to go,” 17-year-old Mason resident Grace Edick said.

The money will be able to provide more widespread opportunity for those who need the resources.

“We’re able to use this money to have entry level work experience for our youth they will be entering into work experience for 6 weeks making at least eleven dollars an hour,” Norwood said.

It will also provide assistance with resume writing and interviewing workshops.

“Another individual may be further along in their career path and they may be able to participate in a pre-apprenticeship a welding opportunity,” State Administrative Manager of the Workforce Team, Chelsea Mates said.

“I feel like any support for young people is really beneficial because they are the people of the future they are the people who are supposed to change the world whether we do or not we are still getting ready to be a part of it and we don’t always have the best support in high school,” Edick said.

The Michigan youth unemployment rate for ages 16-24 dramatically increased from 8.9% in February of 2020 to 19.9% in February of 2021.

The grant program will run through February 2022.

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