Quicken Loans Partners with Urban Alliance to Bring Flagship Youth Employment Program to Detroit

DETROIT, MI – Today, Urban Alliance (UA), a national youth development nonprofit organization, brought its flagship youth employment model to Detroit with support from the Quicken Loans Family of Companies, who will serve as the program’s anchor employer in the city. UA’s High School Internship Program (HSIP) will help expand opportunity for students from underserved communities through intensive professional development and meaningful work experience in students’ senior year of high school.

Beginning with a pilot group of 40 students from Breithaupt Career and Technical Center, Osborn High School and Randolph Career and Technical Center during the 2018-19 school year, UA will provide Detroit students with:

  • A 10-month paid, professional internship (part-time during the school year and full-time during the summer)
  • Intensive job and life skills training (seven weeks of pre-employment training followed by 10-months of weekly skill-building workshops)
  • One-on-one mentoring from an adult professional
  • Post-high school planning assistance; and
  • Lifelong college and career support.

Urban Alliance is expected to expand to additional schools, serving more than 250 students over the next four years. The program’s goal is to open the door to new possibilities for Detroit students, and ensure that every intern is on a pathway to self-sufficiency – whether that be college, living-wage employment or vocational training – after graduating high school.

The Quicken Loans Community Fund (QLCF) is supporting UA’s expansion to Detroit and the ability to help in the professional development of Detroit students. Along with QLCF’s financial support, the Quicken Loans Family of Companies will host 30 interns annually over the next two years across its Family of Companies, serving as UA’s anchor employer in the city. UA’s long-time partner Bank of America will also host an additional five interns per year, with another five interns per year placed at local nonprofits. A long-time supporter of youth employment efforts, The Skillman Foundation is backing UA’s work to connect in-school skill building with year-round workplace training, employment, and mentorship.

“At Urban Alliance, we believe that it truly takes a village to build brighter futures for our youth, so we are honored to be joining the Detroit community and helping to expand economic opportunities for young people in the city,” said Eshauna Smith, CEO of Urban Alliance. “Our primary goal is always to provide meaningful youth employment opportunities for as many young people who need them as possible, and the local support we’ve received – particularly from our anchor employer Quicken Loans Family of Companies – helps us reach that goal. We look forward to working with the entire community to open more doors for the talented young people of this city.”

Through its ‘for-more-than-profit model’, QLCF brings together for-profit and non-profit investments in order to maximize its impact on Detroit. The Quicken Loans Family of Companies is the largest employer in Detroit, and QLCF is dedicated to creating robust job training and education opportunities that will lead to real jobs in IT, construction and customer service. QLCF is also deeply invested alongside Detroit Public Schools Community District and numerous community partners in order to build meaningful mentorship experiences, career technical education opportunities, and on-the-job-training. QLCF has previously engaged two of the three schools that Urban Alliance is partnering with.

Earlier this year, QLCF committed $1 million to Detroit high school Breithaupt Career and Technical Center to improve infrastructure, expand programming and boost enrollment. In addition, last year QLCF joined the Mayor’s office to also revitalize Randolph Career and Technical Center.

“Investing in our future workforce – and Detroit students — is important from both a business and philanthropic standpoint at the Quicken Loans Family of Companies. Youth employment strategies strengthen our business and city,” said Bill Emerson, Vice Chairman of Quicken Loans Community Fund. “At Quicken Loans and our family of companies, we are committed to introducing young people to multiple opportunities and experiences which will ultimately shape their life goals, grow their options and help prepare them to become Detroit’s future leaders.”

With more than 20 years of experience providing workforce opportunities to thousands of economically-disadvantaged students in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Northern Virginia, UA has improved post-high school outcomes for underserved youth. A recent six-year study found that completing UA’s High School Internship Program had a measurable impact on young men attending college, mid-GPA students enrolling in four-year colleges, and students’ retention of professional soft skills.

100 percent of UA students graduate from high school; over 90 percent are accepted to college. A further 80 percent of enrolled alumni persist to a second year in college, and 80 percent of all alumni are connected to a college, career, or career training pathway one year post-program. Over 80 percent of Urban Alliance alumni enroll in college, compared to 61 percent of Detroit Public Schools Community District graduates.