After more than a year working together, the Detroit Regional Chamber hosted its partner Year Up for the first time in person to further discuss their expansion to Detroit and to facilitate meetings with local partners and stakeholders. From Oct. 18-20, eight members from Year Up’s team received a warm welcome to Detroit and partook in an array of activities, including touring Henry Ford College with Detroit Promise coaches and partners, meeting with local partners and stakeholders to advance in-person relationships, building connections during a social hour at the Elephant Room, and hosting an advisory board meeting at the Chamber with local community organizations, Henry Ford College, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Bank of America, and Chamber staff.
“We were incredibly excited to come to Detroit to work with our local partners at the Chamber, Detroit Promise, Henry Ford College, JP Morgan Chase, and Bank of America last week,” said Aadil Sulaiman, Year Up’s Director of Strategic Growth. “Over 3 days we dove into strategy, potential blockers to success, and built a greater understanding for the city we hope to serve. We look forward to hiring our local staff team members in the coming months and continuing the development of partnerships within Detroit and Michigan as a whole. We are also looking forward to a series of student engagement events in December, which will see members of our team return to Detroit to continue working closely with our community-based partners.”
After hearing about the organization’s success and work in other cities, the Chamber’s Education and Talent team determined that Year Up’s model and strategy would be the perfect match to aid Detroit Promise students in securing future opportunities, and the team worked collaboratively with Year Up, JP Morgan Chase & Co., and Bank of America to facilitate the program’s expansion to Detroit.
“The biggest challenge we have in our work is education and industry do not always speak the same language,” said Christi Taylor, senior director of Talent Initiatives at the Chamber. “Year Up does a tremendous job playing the role of translator and making those connections that result in opportunities for students. The organization brings together employers and community colleges to better train students on the skills employers need, supports students in attaining these skills, and then connects them to internships with their employer partners. Year Up really creates a stronger pipeline from community college into employment.”
Year Up’s mission is to close the “Opportunity Divide” by ensuring that young adults gain the skills, experiences, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through higher education and careers.
Year Up’s recent visit solidified its commitment to expanding its footprint into Detroit and allowed all key stakeholders involved to convene and discuss the upcoming consumer banking pilot program. The program will offer two to four weeks of paid training beginning Feb. 27, 2023. Participants who successfully complete the training will receive a three-month corporate internship, starting March 27, 2023, with JP Morgan Chase & Co. or Bank of America, with the potential to be hired into a full-time role. During the training and internship, participants will gain transferable industry skills, from executing transactions and client management processes, to navigating sales and support roles.
“We’re excited for this pilot program and envision the program growing into other industries,” said Taylor. “Employers are already at the table and are committed to the initiative. Detroit is unique, has so much to offer, and needs this program in the city.”