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Grow Detroit’s Young Talent

Grow Detroit’s Young Talent (GDYT) is the citywide summer jobs program for youth between the ages of 14 and 24. Workforce participation at an early age has developmental and academic benefits, and improves labor market outcomes later in life. However, these opportunities vary greatly and are not equally accessible. Programs like GDYT offer youth the advantages of employment without sacrificing time from school, or impinging on other responsibilities.

The Center for Equitable Family and Community Well-Being provides evaluation services to GDYT partners, and Director Shanks chairs the Data Research & Evaluation Subcommittee of the Detroit Youth Employment Consortium. In collaboration with Connect Detroit, the Center has collected more than 12,000 annual GDYT youth exit surveys since 2009. These surveys form the bases for annual GDYT reports.

GDYT project page »


The Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship, and Downpayment (SEED) project was a national initiative to introduce and test the effectiveness of child savings accounts (CSA). By focusing on childhood, SEED hoped to demonstrate that given the opportunity, mechanism and encouragement to save, low-income families could provide a valuable nest egg to youth when they finish high school.

MI-SEED was launched in 2004 through the Oakland Livingston Health Services Agency (OLHSA) at 14 Head Start centers across both counties. Roughly 500 families received CSAs along with an initial $800 deposit. Eligible families also received a $200 match deposit. All subsequent deposits were matched 1-1 up to $1,200. As of September 2019, participants had saved more than $934,000, with an average balance of more than $2,000.

The Center for Equitable Family and Community Well-Being receives data from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to monitor the progress of MI-SEED participants, with particular attention to college and post-secondary enrollment. 

MI-SEED project page »

The Detroit Housing Counseling and Homeownership Project

The Detroit Housing Counseling and Homeownership project is a collaboration between the Center for Equitable Family and Community Well-Being, Southwest Economic Solutions, and David Palmer LLC. To better understand the landscape available to first-time homebuyers in Detroit, the partnership is using data on property sales from the Detroit city assessor’s office. These data track the nature of the property (commercial or residential), the terms of the sale, the sale instrument, as well as the sale price. Our team is aggregating these transactions across Detroit neighborhoods to identify where in the city the housing market is functioning well, and where it can be improved.

The Detroit Housing Counseling and Homeownership project page »

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