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YOU’s MyCITY Selected as Youth Program of the Year

MyCITY, YOU’s summer youth employment program, was chosen as the 2019 Youth Program of the Year by the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP). YOU Director Eric Stewart and Youth Services Coordinator Paige Farrell were in Chicago this past week to accept the award at the annual NAWDP Youth Symposium.

MyCITY is a career exploration program offering paid work experience for individuals age 14-21-years old during the summer months. It began serving Kalamazoo youth in 2017 and expanded to Battle Creek in its summer 2019 run. MyCITY offers work experience placements in community businesses, parks and neighborhood centers and instruction in employability skills and career training.

Stewart and Farrell, along with their talented team of workforce development staff, work tirelessly year-round to make this program what it is today.

This past summer, MyCITY served over 300 individuals and partnered with over 70 community organizations throughout the Kalamazoo and Battle Creek areas.

A portion of the program nomination, which was submitted by Kathleen Olsen on behalf of Michigan Works! Southwest, is as follows and highlights the dedication of the YOU team.

“Stewart’s focus on staff development and his ability to help staff uncover their talents and identify their strengths has resulted in a team of workforce development professionals who are committed to excellence and dedicated to the youth served. He has also been able to implement the use of more technology and customized software to streamline the registration process and track data that supports MyCITY and the many other programs and services provided by YOU; ultimately helping to maintain and enhance the critical role YOU plays in the communities it serves.”

YOU Director Eric Stewart notoriously signs off with a quote from Simon Sinek: “Together is Better." And today, that couldn’t ring truer.

YOU is a career pathway organization serving individuals in the four-county area of Kalamazoo, Calhoun, St. Joseph and Branch. To learn more about YOU, visit