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YouthWorks is a youth-driven work-readiness program for teens who are under-resourced in Washtenaw County. 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

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 and put those new skills to use by volunteering at one of CAN's food distributions. 


Youth Futures

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 will explore post-secondary options, discover assets in their community, and meet with guest speakers.


Career Clusters

Over the course of two weeks, participants learn about different career fields by doing research and listening to guest lectures. 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 2021, participants will also have the opportunity to learn how to find work in a post-COVID society and develop tech-literacy skills. All of YouthWorks will be virtual this year.

2021 Program Details​​


  • Dates: July 12-August 12, 2021Monday-Thursday

  • Times: 10am-2pm

  • Eligible neighborhoods:

    • Arrowwood Hills

    • Bryant

    • Creekside Court

    • Hikone

    • Green Baxter Court

    • Forest Hills

    • Arbor Oaks

    • Stoneybrook

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