Summer Youth Initiative (SYI) - Flint & Genesee Chamber of CommerceDecember 16, 2015

The Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce is seeking proposals from Genesee County employers interested in hiring graduates of the TeenQuest pre-employment training program this summer.

As part of the Summer Youth Initiative (SYI), local employers who participate in the SYI Job Fair on April 23 will be paired with teens, ages 14-19, for 10 weeks starting in June.

“Each year, we train anywhere from 600 to 800 high school students about how to navigate expectations of the workplace,” said Rhetta Hunyady, Vice President of Education & Training at the Chamber. “For employers looking to fill part-time and entry-level positions during the summer, these teens are a great option.”

Why is SYI so advantageous for local businesses, organizations and schools? According to Hunyady, there are multiple reasons, including:

  1. It’s affordable. For-profit business are eligible to receive a 50-50 salary match for employees hired through SYI. Nonprofits and schools are eligible to have up to 100 percent of costs subsidized.
  2. The teens learn soft skills. TeenQuest graduates understand the importance of communicating effectively, being on time and working as part of a team – the kinds of things that define a quality employee.
  3. It offers the perfect evaluation period. The program runs from June 27 to Sept. 2. If employers are impressed with the work completed, they always have the option to continue the employment after the program ends.

Past SYI employers have included schools, summer day camps, urban gardening and community beautification projects, general office settings, retail and food service.

Interested in learning more? The Chamber will host an informational meeting about the program and employer application process from 9-10:30 a.m. Jan. 28 at the Chamber office, at 519 S. Saginaw St, Flint.

If you are interested in applying for funding support but are unable to attend the meeting, contact Paula Stainbrook at 810-600-1413 or

SYI proposals are due by March 28, 2016. For more information, or to download the RFP application, click here.