Teen employment

Helping Detroit teens get summer jobs could change their lives forever, and benefit whole communities.

That was Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s pitch for his new “TeenWork Initiative” at the Mackinac Island Policy Conference.

Duggan said too many Detroit teens feel like they’ve been “discarded” by society and the economy.

But he thinks that could change if they heard a different message.

“How powerful would it be if hundreds of companies came together and said, ‘We believe in you; we believe in your potential?” Duggan said.

The outlook is better for Michigan teenagers looking for Summer jobs.

But not that much better.

State officials are predicting 242,000 teens will look for summer jobs in Michigan. Most will be successful. But still about 26% are expected to end their Summer vacation without picking up a paycheck.

Jeff Aula is an economic analyst with the state of Michigan. He says it’s important for teen job seekers not to get discouraged.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Hundreds of Genesee County teenagers just completed a program that may help them land a summer job.

Teen Quest gives 14 to 19 year olds a chance to learn a variety of skills, from how to apply for a job to how to behave in the workplace.

Rhetta Hunyady is the Vice President of Education and Training for the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce.   She says it’s very important for young people to learn workplace skills.

“Teens who generally don’t have any work experience, while they’re a teen, really don’t fare well later in life,” says Hunyady.

Morguefile

Most teen workers spend instead of save.

That's according to a new University of Michigan study of 49,000 high school seniors from 1981 through 2011.  It's based on the Monitoring the Future study conducted annually by the University's Institute for Social Research.

The study found that the majority of high school workers spend at least half their pay on personal items like clothes, music, and eating out. And that hasn't changed in 30 years.