The administrators of Grow Detroit’s Young Talent, a youth summer employment program, always knew that the program made a difference in participants’ lives. Now, that intuition is backed up by data.
Researchers at the University of Michigan, including Brian Jacob, examined program data over the past three summers to determine the impacts of the program. The research was completed in partnership with Connect Detroit and the Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation, two agencies that manage the employment program.
The researchers found that after participation in Grow Detroit’s Young Talent, youth are:
- More likely to remain enrolled in school (in the two academic years following employment for the 2015 cohort, 95 percent of participants remained enrolled in high school)
- Less likely to be chronically absent
- More likely to take the SAT (of youths in the 2015 cohort who were entering their 10th or 11th grade year, 73 percent took the SAT within the next two years)
- More likely to graduate high school (over 5 percentage points more likely to graduate high school within two years of participation).
"This study suggests that Grow Detroit's Young Talent is on the right track and that the payoff for participants lasts long after they receive their last paycheck," said Brian Jacob. "It is particularly exciting that we see the largest benefits among the students who enter high school with the weakest academic preparation."
The impressive results were picked up by several local media outlets, including:
Paulette Parker (Michigan Radio): “Detroit youth summer jobs program boosts graduation rates, lowers absences”
Chad Livengood (Crain’s Detroit Business): “UM study: Detroit youth jobs program shows educational benefits”
Associated Press: “Some youth in jobs program get more than paycheck”
View the Michigan News press release here.