More than 500 TeenQuest youths are in the midst of their summer jobs with dozens of area non- and for-profit employers as part of the 2014 Summer Youth Initiative (SYI).

More than 500 TeenQuest graduates are in the midst of their summer jobs with dozens of area employers as part of the 2014 Summer Youth Initiative (SYI).

The teens secured the summer jobs with 31 local businesses through the SYI Job Fair in the spring, and with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) teen summer employment initiative. In all, 553 youths ages 14-18 are employed through SYI, the DNR, the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and some for-profit businesses this summer.

Organizations employing the teens include area school districts, churches, the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, Genesee County Parks, Crim Fitness Foundation and T.J. Maxx.

According to a forecast from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB), Michigan teens are facing an unemployment rate of 26.5 percent this summer. About 64,300 teens were expected to be without a job from June through August 2014.

“To be able to employ more than 500 Flint and Genesee County teens in this economy is quite a testament to the value of our TeenQuest and SYI programs,” said Rhetta Hunyady, Vice President of Education & Training for the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. “Combine the benefit to the businesses of employing these well-prepared teens with the boost that the summer income gives to our area families, and it really is a win-win.”

TeenQuest is a pre-employment and leadership program for youths ages 14-18 managed by the Flint & Genesee Chamber. Businesses that hire TeenQuest graduates are eligible to have costs subsidized through a grant from the TeenQuest program.

Non-profit employers receive 100 percent funding to cover the cost of employing the teens. Any organization interested in submitting a proposal can do so at the beginning of 2015.

For-profits, which receive 50% reimbursement for hiring TeenQuest/SYI teens, can apply anytime on the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce website. [LINK TO:]

For more information regarding hiring TeenQuest graduates, contact Paula Stainbrook at