Growing Detroit’s Young Talent

| Meghan Urisko, Microsoft Civic Tech Fellow in Detroit

students in a class

Question: What do Microsoft, Wayne State University, and the Detroit Economic Solutions Corporation (DESC) have in common?

Answer:  A dedication to helping young Detroiters enter the workforce with appropriate skills to put them into well-paying careers.  

This summer, these three joined together to support DESC’s citywide summer jobs program Grow Detroit’s Young Talent (GDYT). The three way partnership launched a new industry-led Program, which offers Detroiters age 16-24 the opportunity to earn Microsoft Office certifications using the Microsoft Imagine Academy program, taught at Wayne State University by WSU instructors.

Microsoft Imagine Academy provides up-to-date curricula and resources to train and certify students and educators on Microsoft products and technologies. The GDYT Students will gain valuable skills for college and careers that will help them succeed in an increasingly digital global economy. DESC, Wayne State University, and Microsoft worked together to identify students, provide space, instructors, and funding to support this program.

We were fortunate to host our GDYT program at the Wayne State Mike Ilitch School of Business. What a campus!

Over the next six weeks, Detroit Youth will receive Microsoft-developed training on Microsoft Office Productivity Suite programs including Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. The goal of the program is for youth to earn Microsoft Certifications for these programs, gaining valuable digital literacy skills and become more employable. A Microsoft Certification is an industry standard that is recognized by employers worldwide and here in Metro-Detroit that makes job applicants more competitive, both locally and in the global job market.

Detroit faces challenges to rebuilding its skilled workforce. Microsoft is dedicated to supporting established community leaders, like Wayne State and Detroit Economic Solutions Corporation, in creating opportunities for youth. By creatively pooling resources, strategic partnerships like this will play an important role in an inclusive revitalization of Detroit.  

Stay tuned for future updates on the Microsoft industry-led training program.