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Discover and Ignite Your Future This Summer with MyCITY and CareerNOW

Area youth invited to apply for summer youth employment and credentialing training programs

We've all been there: Chatting with a relative and meeting the inevitable, "What do you want toMyCITY logo be when you grow up?" question with a silent stare. It's a daunting question to answer, especially when coupled with uncertainty. YOU’s summer programs, MyCITY and CareerNOW, are designed to help young people find their answer to that tough question. 

For seven weeks of the summer, MyCITY youth employment program participants will be paid to discover and ignite their future by exploring as many career paths as possible, growing leadership skills, improving employability skills (i.e., interviewing and accountability), and connecting with community employers while working alongside peers and with the support of a dedicated career coach. 

"MyCITY is not your average summer job," said Molly Fitz Henry, manager of special initiatives for YOU. "This summer's youth employment program is all about being intentional with our participant's time. Our curriculum has been revitalized, we’re introducing a state-of-the-art career exploration tool, and we’re energized by the prospect to reintroduce in-person opportunities to our participants.”  

Individuals who are further along in their journey may find a stronger connection to CareerNOW, a paid credentialing program. This summer’s anticipated training programs include Welding, Early Childhood Education, Culinary Arts, Certified Nurse Aide (CNA), Phlebotomy and Construction Trades. 

“CareerNOW is a career pathway program that not only helps individuals get certified and employed but also to develop a plan to continue climbing their career ladder in industries with in-demand and well-paying occupations,” Lisa Smith, talent and community development manager said. 

A key component of this summer’s programs is connecting participants with a new virtual career exploration software: VirtualJobShadow. Boasting 500 videos, the platform is centered around both non- and traditional pathways featuring non-college-bound preparation, representation of disabled individuals at work, life skills training and digital planning tools that streamline designing one’s future.  

MyCITY is open to 14- to 21-year-old city residents of Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, or Albion who are ready to take the next or first step on their career pathway. CareerNOW is open to 18- to 24-year-olds in Kalamazoo, Calhoun, Branch and St. Joseph Counties. Spots are limited, so learn more, get answers to FAQs and apply for MyCITY and CareerNOW at or

COVID-19 Precautions 

Last year, MyCITY was conducted 100% virtually, but, in 2021, a hybrid model will be utilized pairing virtual experiences with in-person skills application immersions when it is deemed safe to do so. CareerNOW will offer in-person or virtual short-term trainings based on safety and availability.