YouthWorks is a work readiness program for Ann Arbor’s under-resourced teens coordinated by Ann Arbor’s Community Action Network. YouthWorks offers interactive experiences to help teens develop employability skills needed for the workplace such as professionalism, accountability, and customer service while exploring various career fields. YouthWorks strives to equip the Community Action Network teens with the knowledge and experience they’ll need to be successful in real-world work environments.


Work Skills Development Workshop: participants learn how to make their best first impressions, code switch, communicate verbally and non-verbally, develop elevator speeches, engage in mock interviews, write a resume, correctly fill out a job application, and more.

Customer Service Workshop: Participants who complete this three-day workshop will learn the ins and outs of providing quality customer service by becoming "secret shoppers," conducting customer service surveys, and volunteering at one of CAN's food distributions. Participants also visit and dine at Zingerman's Roadhouse, a local restaurant known for its high-quality customer service model.


Youth Futures Workshop: Participants learn the difference between a "job" and a "career," as well as how to match their strengths and interests with a career path. Participants also conduct informational interviews, complete college explorations/assessments, explore assets in their community, and meet with guest speakers.


Career Clusters: Over the course of three weeks, participants learn about different career fields by doing research, listening to guest lectures, visiting job sites to talk with professionals. Participants will learn about skills they can develop now to enter those career fields in the future.


Career tracks offered are based on interest and are announced after participants are interviewed and registered for YouthWorks. Past career fields include criminal justice, health care, child care and education, animal welfare, hospitality & event planning, and sports & recreation.

In 2020, participants will also have the opportunity to learn how to find work in a post-COVID society and develop tech-literacy skills.

Youthworks 2020 Informational Flyer

Program Details​​


  • Age requirement: 14-18 (must be 14 years old by July 6, 2020)


  • Dates: July 6 - August 6, 2020

  • Days & Times: Monday-Thursday, 10am-2pm (Virtually)

  • Locations: All sessions will be hosted virtually

Programs & Services

Program Registration

Additional Websites

CAN Washtenaw

Community Action Network website

CAN Academy

Online training & resource hub for CAN staff, interns, and volunteers

CAN Mission Statement

Community Action Network partners with children, youth, and families from under-resourced Washtenaw County neighborhoods to create better futures for themselves, and improve the communities in which they live.

Community Action Network | P.O. Box 130076, Ann Arbor, MI 48113

(734) 994-2985 |        (888) 343-4454 |

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Tax ID Number: 38-2792610