Teens and employers have an economic edge in Genesee County through the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce TeenQuest pre-employment and leadership training program and the Summer Youth Initiative (SYI). TeenQuest prepares teens for the workforce and provides employers with well-trained, ready-to-work employees.

TeenQuest is currently accepting applications for summer training sessions that will take place from July 8 - August 1.  The sessions will take place at the YouthQuest office and Baker College of Flint from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Rhetta Hunyady, vice president of Employer Education and Training for the Chamber, estimates that between 500-600 TeenQuest graduates are working this summer at area non-profits and for-profit businesses including the Flint Public Library, the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan and the Genesee County Parks through SYI. TeenQuest graduates are also employed this summer through a Michigan Department of Natural Resources (M-DNR)-funded program. The teens work in conjunction with local non-profit organizations, including:  Catholic Charities-Mr. Rogers, the Downtown Development Authority and the Flint Watershed Coalition.

By hiring an SYI employee, employers are eligible to receive 50 percent of the cost of hiring teens during the first 90 days of employment. Non-profit organizations have the opportunity to employ teens at little or no cost.

TeenQuest is a free pre-employment and leadership training program sponsored by the Chamber. Each year between 400-500 students are employed for eight to 10 weeks.  Since the inception of the program in 2006, SYI has put more than 3,000 teens into jobs throughout Genesee County.

For information about the TeenQuest summer session or employing SYI students contact Paula Stainbrook at (810) 600-1413 or pstainbrook@flintandgenesee.org.