The Detroit Employment Solutions Corp. has tapped a Ford Motor Co. manager to lead Detroit’s largest youth employment program.
Marie Hocker started as executive director of Grow Detroit’s Young Talent on Aug. 5, according to a Tuesday news release. She replaces Jason Lee, who left the role in July to become president and CEO of Junior Achievement of Southeast Michigan, a nonprofit based in Detroit.
Lee served at the helm of Grow Detroit’s Young Talent for a year and a half after a similar-length stint as CEO for Detroit-based nonprofit Focus: Hope.
Hocker, a native of Detroit, comes to the program after 10 years at Ford. Most recently, she was based in Washington, D.C., as manager of U.S. government relations for the automaker. Her responsibilities included workforce development planning and working on multimillion-dollar training grants. She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Wayne State University.
“As someone whose career started as a paid intern with Ford, I’m very aware of the impact that GDYT can have on the lives of Detroit’s next generation of talent” Hocker said in the release. “The city’s youth are now relying on this program to be there for them every summer and give them the opportunities they need to prepare for life.”
Hocker will report to Terri Weems, interim president and CEO of Detroit Employment Solutions Corp, and is tasked with leading annual efforts to raise the $12 million necessary to run the youth summer employment program.
Grow Detroit’s Young Talent is wrapping up its fifth year. It provides around 8,000 students temporary jobs at sites across the city and suburbs. Since its inception, the program has raised about $50 million from nonprofits and corporations, including the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation, Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation and DTE Energy.
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