Career Alliance, Ruth Mott Foundation and the A.G. Bishop Trust Give Generously

(FLINT, MICH. – August 8, 2011) The Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce today announced the receipt of $160,000 earmarked for youth-focused activities from Career Alliance, Ruth Mott Foundation and A.G. Bishop Trust.  The funding will benefit young people in the region by providing leadership and pre-employment training designed to teach students the basics of teamwork, business etiquette, work ethics, communication, goal setting and conflict resolution, as well as provide opportunities for summer employment.

“Thanks to the support from Career Alliance, Ruth Mott Foundation and A.G. Bishop Trust, we can continue to provide life-changing programs for Flint-area youth,” said Tim Herman, Regional Chamber CEO.  “Since 2006, approximately 2,800 teens have graduated from TeenQuest and most have secured summer jobs through our Summer Youth Initiative program.  There’s no doubt these two programs are helping young people be better prepared for work or college and to handle life issues.  We could not provide these services – especially free of charge – without the support of our generous funders.”

Career Alliance awarded $100,000 to the Genesee Area Focus Fund (GAFF) to support the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Youth Program.  The WIA Youth Program will provide leadership and workforce training for Genesee County youth in conjunction with the TeenQuest and SYI programs.  Through outreach activities designed to identify eligible students, participants will receive specialized support.  They will also participate in TeenQuest leadership and pre-employment training and gain employment opportunities through SYI with nonprofit and for profit employers.

Ruth Mott Foundation awarded a $50,000 grant and A.G. Bishop Trust awarded a $10,000 grant to the Genesee Chamber Foundation (GCF) in support of the Summer Youth Initiative (SYI).  Through the support of the two foundations, as well as other funders, SYI will continue to provide summer employment opportunities for TeenQuest graduates.  TeenQuest is designed to give teens the training required for success in the workplace.  SYI develops workplace opportunities for youth following completion of TeenQuest.

GAFF and GCF are non-profit fundraising arms of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce.

According to Rhetta Hunyady, Group Vice President of Operations and Employer Education and Training Connection for the Regional Chamber the support provided through these grants will enable both TeenQuest and SYI to continue providing invaluable support to youth in Flint-Genesee County.

“Through TeenQuest and SYI young people in this region are positioned to excel,” said Hunyady.  “Our goal is to equip youth with the skills necessary to handle life’s experiences and for success in the future.  We are very grateful to Career Alliance, Ruth Mott Foundation and A.G. Bishop Trust.  These organizations understand that continued funding is imperative to ensure the viability of both programs and the enrichment of Flint-Genesee County youth.”

TeenQuest is a free after-school pre-employment and leadership program for teens ages 14 -18 designed to teach students the basics of teamwork, business etiquette, work ethics, communication, goal setting and conflict resolution. The five-week program is offered year-round and is a pre-requisite for SYI participation.  SYI works with both local nonprofit and for profit businesses to develop workplace opportunities for teens.

About the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce

The Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce (www.flintandgenesee.org) is the voice of business and community advocacy in Genesee County. The Regional Chamber is over 100 years old, was established before the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and is a founding member of the United States Chamber of Commerce.

Two words describe the Regional Chamber as it enters its second century of service: collaboration and partnership. It is our goal to work with government, business, education and nonprofit organizations to support the growth and development of the community economically, culturally and socially.

About the Summer Youth Initiative and TeenQuest

The Summer Youth Initiative is a program that helps Flint-area teens find paid summer jobs. It’s open to students who’ve completed the TeenQuest afterschool program, which provides pre-employment and leadership training to students ages 14 to 19 to help them succeed in college and the 21st century workplace. Both programs are administered by the Genesee Area Focus Fund, a supporting organization of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, with support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. To apply or learn more, visit www.flintandgenesee.org/teenquest.