Conference seeks to help young workers boost job skills, emotional wellness

Some of the hottest topics in human resources and among workplace experts are finding ways to build resilient employees who feel connected to their jobs but also find time to take care of themselves, physically and mentally.

In Detroit, a new partnership seeks to teach young workers these skills – something particularly timely given that millennials and Generation Z employees are said to seek jobs that help them find work-life balance even more so than previous generations.

On Friday, August 1, local nonprofit Connect Detroit and The Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority hosted the third annual Workforce Resiliency Conference at Cobo Center.

This daylong event hosted nearly 600 students, ages 14 to 24, enrolled in the Grow Detroit’s Young Talent (GDYT) program and focused on building resiliency in the workplace through sound behavioral health and employability skill-building.

“In today’s complex economy, it takes mental fortitude to navigate potential job pitfalls, the unexpected, as well as various dynamics such as working in a team, while also remaining a positive contributor,” said Dierk L. Hall, Connect Detroit President and CEO. “This conference, along with Grow Detroit’s Young Talent, serve as vehicles to provide the young people of Detroit with a foundation that will promote lasting success for the future of our youth and our community.”

Taking care of you
The daylong event featured motivational and educational speakers, breakout workshops, tours of downtown Detroit and a resource fair.

Workshops focus on topics such as building a resume, preparing for a changing job market, guarding your online brand, recognizing and responding to bullying, and dealing with conflict and environmental trauma.

In addition to having clinical specialists, workforce development coordinators and youth assistants from DWMHA leading workshops on mental health and wellness, Detroit nonprofit and business professionals will share their personal experiences and expertise.

“DWMHA is proud to partner with Connect Detroit to help prepare our young people emotionally and mentally for the workforce,” said Andrea L. Smith, MSW, Director of Clinical Practice Improvement, Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority. “Through our investment, we expect attendees will walk away with the necessary tools to successfully navigate the everyday stresses in the workplace, as well as better understand their overall mental health, empowering them to become meaningful contributors to the community as a whole.”

Grow Detroit’s Young Talent is a citywide summer jobs program that trains and employs young adults between the ages of 14 and 24 for six weeks in July and August. More than 8,000 youth are participating in the program this year.

Connect Detroit is a Detroit, Mich.-based, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that strives to address community problems by facilitating, and mobilizing funding in support of collaborative community solutions.