The Youth Connection Career Academies (TYCCA)


The Youth Connection Career Academies

Overview and Program Description

What is TYCCA?

The Youth Connection Career Academies (TYCCA) is a program designed to expose, engage, and train metropolitan Detroit youth ages 14-21 for careers in public safety, service, skilled trades and healthcare developing “home-grown” heroes.  Though the primary focus is public safety, service, skilled trades and healthcare careers, TYCCA provides opportunities to learn about a variety of careers through its partnerships.  This program is a terrific way for youth to understand the real world of careers and it encourages continuing education and positive behavior amongst youth while promoting civic commitment and giving back to the community.

The Youth Connection Career Academies provides youth an opportunity to understand the duties and tasks necessary for success in various careers through three components: 1) Detroit Public Schools Career and Technical Centers/School; 2) Career Pathways; and 3) Internships where youth learn from highly skilled supervisors and mentors in variety of fields.  Below is a full description of each program component.  This experience provides a distinct advantage because participants will be guided to successfully master new job skills through job shadowing and various opportunities to experience real world work conditions, such as attendance policies, project deadlines, business attire and workplace etiquette.  Additionally, youth will participate in a number of career development and life-skills workshops and seminars to receive training and information in areas such as:

  Conflict Resolution   Money Management  
  Entrepreneurship   Resume Writing  
  Substance & Alcohol Abuse Prevention   Self-Esteem & Personal Development  
  Health & Nutrition   Etiquette  
  Leadership   Team Building and more!  

Lasting Partnerships

TYCCA is a collaboration between The Youth Connection (TYC), Detroit Public Schools (DPS), city of Detroit Fire, EMS, Police and Water Departments, Homeland Security and Emergency Management and Wayne County Community College District (WC3D).  This successful partnership allows TYCCA to provide access to learning through school, business and local government for youth to understand the real world of careers by learning new skills and receiving hands-on training from subject matter experts and representatives from these partnering organizations.  Additionally, some partners offer hiring incentives and early notification of job openings to TYCCA program participants.  In addition to reaching DPS students, partnerships with the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Children’s Center (CC) will allow TYCCA direct access to youth in foster care who may not know these opportunities exist.

Referral Process

The Youth Connection will receive referrals from Detroit Public Schools, Children’s Center, the Department of Human Services and the general public to identify 125 youth ages 14 – 21 to participate year-round in all program components or those for which they are eligible.  Additionally, youth not affiliated with the above referring organizations may apply, if eligible.  Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis until all 125 slots are filled.  All others will be placed on a waiting list until slots become available.

Case Management

After completing the full application and registration process, youth will be assigned a case manager who will work with the youth to determine if all or specific program components best meets the needs of the youth and what supportive services are needed, if any. Participants are separated into two categories:  Older Youth (ages 19-21) and Younger Youth (ages 14-18).  Case managers will assist with finding resources and identifying solutions for challenges that may affect the youth’s ability to successfully perform and complete the program.  Youth will complete a basic skills and career assessment.  Case managers will utilize that information to work with the youth to set attainable goals and guide them toward programs that best meet the total needs of the youth.  An individualized plan will be developed for each youth.  Case managers will work closely with school counselors/placement specialists, CC and DHS representatives to assist youth with program enrollment and to identify supportive services and resources for youth.  They will monitor site locations and the performance of each assigned youth, in addition to regularly scheduled individual counseling sessions.  Case managers will also conduct various career development activities, life-skills trainings and workshops, host parent meetings and assist youth with bus tickets, job searches, referrals and more.

Program Component Descriptions

Below is a full description of all three program components.  Please note, there are general eligibility requirements for all participants as well as those specific to each individual program.

Career Pathways Program

*The Career Pathways component is a requirement for all youth enrolled in The Youth Connection Career Academies.*

The Youth Connection Career Pathways component offers hands-on learning, job shadowing and volunteer opportunities for youth.  Additionally, this component offers a variety of career development workshops, community service projects and life-skills training for youth.  Youth are provided an opportunity to gain exposure to careers and participate in program activities during after-school or non-school hours.  Career Pathways not only offers an exciting learning opportunity, but also helps to fulfill the required community service and volunteer hours high school students need for graduation.  Participants complete a total of 80 volunteer hours between September and May yearly and will participate in numerous activities such as focus trips, group share meetings, workshops/trainings, college tours, orientation and a closing ceremony.  Workshops and focus trips will vary and will include, but is not limited to the following: 1) College Prep & Scholarship Information; 2) Leadership Development; 3) Substance Abuse Prevention; and 4) Job Readiness Skills. 

In-School Career and Technical Training

*This component is optional for high school age youth enrolled in The Youth Connection Career Academies.*

Youth in grades 9 -12 (DPS & Non-DPS students) may elect to attend a DPS Career and Technical Center (CTC) or High School to receive skills and training in a variety of areas, including but not limited to aviation, public safety, service, skilled trades, technology and healthcare.  There are five DPS career and technical centers/high school youth may choose from:  1) Breithaupt; 2) Crockett; 3) Davis Aerospace (High School); 4) Golightly; and 5) Randolph.

Each offers a variety of career and technical programs.  Typically, all programs are two-years in length and students attend a career and technical center for half the day while attending their home high school for the other half of the day.  Students who elect to attend a career and technical high school will receive their academic and technical training at one location for the entire school day.  Students who complete the two-year public safety/protective services or law enforcement programs at Golighty or Randolph CTCs are eligible to receive 12 credits toward a

college degree at Wayne County Community College District through an articulation agreement.  Transportation to and from the CTCs may be available.  The assigned case managers will assist youth with identifying and enrolling in the appropriate center and program to best meet their needs.

Summer Internship Program

*All youth enrolled in The Youth Connection Career Academies will participate in an internship if all program requirements are met.*

TYCCA provides six-week internship opportunities for youth ages 14 – 21 interested in a variety of careers including, but not limited to public safety, service, skilled trades and healthcare.  During the internship program, youth have the opportunity to explore in greater depth the expectations and skills necessary to succeed by participating in hands on training and exercises directly related to their career path for 20 hours per week.

All interns will receive first aid and CPR certification through the American Heart Association.  The training will be conducted by Detroit Fire Department Emergency Medical Services Instructors.  Additionally, Interns will participate in Teen Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training provided by the Detroit Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.  This training will teach the interns how to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies and terrorist events, in order to save lives, protect public health, safety and property within the city of Detroit.  They will learn skills to protect themselves and to assist their families, communities, and emergency responders during catastrophic events by participating in emergency or disaster exercise scenarios and simulation exercises.  Upon completion, interns will be able to identify and anticipate hazards, extinguish small fires, conduct light search and rescue efforts, provide damage assessment information, set-up medical treatment areas (triage), apply basic first aid and medical techniques, and help in reducing survivor stress.  Also, Teen CERT teams can assist their families and school administration with emergency preparedness education, drills and exercises.  Full schedules will be completed and provided detailing parent/intern orientation, workshop and closing ceremony dates.  Additionally, a detailed list of assigned youth work sites and contact information will be provided.




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