Nearly 350 teens have jobs this summer thanks to the Flint & Genesee Chamber’s Summer Youth Initiative (SYI). Through SYI, local businesses hire area students during the summer for half or less of their normal hiring and employment costs.

“Teen unemployment in Michigan has dropped, but it remains around 17 percent,” said Rhetta Hunyady, Vice President of Education & Training at the Chamber. “Through our SYI program, we are able to partner with area employers to put teens to work. It’s a win-win for students and local businesses.”

By hiring SYI applicants, employers have the opportunity to employ teens who are ages 14-18 and in grades 9-12. For-profit employers are eligible for a 50 percent match of the students’ salary for the first 90 days of employment. Nonprofits compete for funding to pay 100 percent of employing the students.

Employers for the 2015 SYI program include:

  • Beecher Community Schools
  • Boys & Girls Club of Greater Flint
  • Catholic Charities Mr. Rogers Program
  • Catholic Charities NESK Summer Kids Camp
  • Christ Enrichment Center
  • Flint Coalition for Youth Baseball/Softball
  • Flint Community Schools
  • Flint Police Activities League (PAL)
  • Flint Public Library
  • Food Bank of Eastern Michigan
  • Genesee County Community Action Resource Department  (GCCARD)
  • Genesee County Parks & Recreation
  • LakeVille Community Schools
  • Linden Community Schools
  • Michigan Community Services Inc.
  • Mott Community College

In addition, the Chamber is partnering with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to provide SYI jobs at the following:

  • Applewood
  • Cathedral of Faith
  • Catholic Charities/Mr. Rogers
  • Family Housing
  • Fighting Blight in My City
  • Genesee County Parks
  • Greater Holy Temple
  • International Academy
  • Kearsley Lake Golf Course
  • Genesee County Land Bank
  • Mass Transit Authority
  • Second Chance Ministries
  • Swartz Creek Golf Course
  • Youth Karate-Ka Association

Nearly 1,200 graduates of the Chamber’s TeenQuest program competed for the summer jobs with employers during an invitation-only SYI Job Fair in the spring.

All SYI applicants are successful graduates of TeenQuest, a year-round pre-employment leadership training program designed to teach important job skills necessary to get and keep a job.

For more information about SYI or TeenQuest, contact Hunyady at