Youth Workforce Development Fellow

Feb 10, 2020

City of Detroit Youth Workforce Development Fellow, Youth Policy Lab at University of Michigan

Job Summary

As part of a Partnership on Economic Mobility with the City of Detroit Mayor's Office, Poverty Solutions and the Youth Policy Lab at the University of Michigan are seeking a Youth Workforce Development Fellow to support the City's efforts to reengage Detroit's estimated 25,000 opportunity youth - individuals between 16 and 24 who are neither in school nor working. The Fellow will be housed within the City's Office of Workforce Development with support from Poverty Solutions and the Youth Policy Lab at the University of Michigan. The Fellow will work on a variety of projects with City leadership, Detroit Employment Services Corporation, the Detroit Youth Employment Consortium, and the Detroit Opportunity Youth Collaborative, among others. The goal of the fellowship is to provide strategic research and policy support to City staff while gaining in-depth skills working in city government. Fellows will gain direct mentorship and support from U-M faculty and staff, as well as leadership within City government. They will have opportunities to participate in professional conferences, national training and networking events.

This is a two-year fellowship supported by Poverty Solutions and the Youth Policy Lab at the University of Michigan. The position will be based in Detroit and will report directly to the City's Director of Youth Employment for day-to-day activities. The Fellow will also functionally report to the Assistant Director for the Detroit Partnership on Economic Mobility (Poverty Solutions), and be supported by staff at the Youth Policy Lab and Poverty Solutions, to coordinate their work with a range of other Detroit-based projects. This position will be primarily based in Detroit, Michigan, and will require occasional travel to UM's campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Poverty Solutions at U-M is an interdisciplinary initiative that seeks to foster research to identify and test strategies for the prevention and alleviation of poverty. Our Partnership on Economic Mobility with the City of Detroit is an effort to boost economic mobility and break the cycle of poverty by leveraging institutional resources to enhance Detroit initiatives. For more information visit:

The Youth Policy Lab at U-M works to make academic research and 'big data' analysis accessible and relevant to Michigan decision makers. Surrounded by some of the nation's leading experts on nearly every social challenge, we are committed to applying our knowledge to the public good. For more information visit:


  • Identify and analyze relevant data needed to measure the City's opportunity youth re-engagement strategy and advise on the data-collection practices for tracking desired goals;
  • Work with city officials to create a dashboard of metrics focused on the re-engagement of opportunity youth;
  • Map the opportunity youth ecosystem, including the organizations and resources that serve opportunity youth, and identify gaps in the ecosystem;
  • Identify existing barriers/challenges in the youth employment/opportunity youth space, and gaps in services;
  • Identify best practices for engaging opportunity youth based on research from other cities, and help the City and its partners develop and implement a comprehensive opportunity youth strategy;
  • Contribute to efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of youth workforce training providers;
  • Contribute to efforts to connect data systems that track opportunity youth (courts, foster care, school system, etc.);
  • Identify and evaluate resources to serve opportunity youth facing specific challenges (i.e., child care, transportation, etc.);
  • Lead key initiatives identified by the Detroit Opportunity Youth Collaborative;
  • Work with Poverty Solutions and Youth Policy Lab staff to identify areas where we can enhance City initiatives with U-M resources;
  • Other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications

Graduate-level degree in public policy, education, political science, economics or a relevant social science discipline, or equivalent
Tags data management project management social justice workforce development youth employment youth policy
Knowledge of the opportunity youth, education, and youth development policy and programmatic landscape with demonstrated interest in economic mobility and poverty prevention and alleviation
Excellent computing skills, including experience using statistical software and/or Excel, with the ability to learn new software packages for both data management and analysis operations.
Personal commitment to high quality work with the proven ability to think critically and creatively, work in a fast-paced environment, handle multiple projects simultaneously, set priorities, and take initiative while keeping supervisors and project leads informed.
Excellent communication and interpersonal skills with the ability to effectively work with individuals from diverse backgrounds, including the ability to work with students, faculty, staff, and community and external partners.

Knowledge of all the following areas with at least two to five years on-the-job experience in at least two of them:
  • Quantitative reasoning: Demonstrated understanding of causal inference; basic statistical analysis skills; experience translating statistical analyses for non-technical audiences.
  • Research and evaluation: Knowledge of social science research methods and concepts; understanding of program evaluation concepts and practices.
  • Public policy skills: Basic understanding of local/state/federal policymaking processes, funding mechanisms, and social program delivery.
  • Project management: managing all phases of a research project (project design, scheduling, personnel and resource management, data collection and analysis, delivery and dissemination); managing client relationships and expectations; managing risk.
  • Writing and communication: Drafting non-technical briefs and reports for a public and/or public-sector audience; using statistical analyses in persuasive, non-academic writing; synthesizing academic research and quantitative analyses into coherent and policy-relevant messages.
Commitment to principles of social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. For more information on the University's commitment to these principles, please visit:

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