Metro Detroit Businesses Needed for Summer Internships for High School Students with Learning Disabilities

Metro Detroit Businesses Needed for Summer Internships for High School Students with Learning Disabilities

The Program has helped more than 1,000 teens gain valuable work experience during past seven years, but Covid-19 has impacted this year’s plans

JVS Human Services, one of the largest human service agencies in Metro Detroit, runs a summer internship program for high school students with learning disabilities, autism, or who are struggling with depression or anxiety.

Students come from Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties, and like all young people, they are eager to learn the skills necessary to help them in their future working lives.

While in previous years there has been an excess of employers willing to participate in the program, which runs early July to mid to late August, this year is more challenging as some businesses still remain closed due to the pandemic or are in the process of re-opening.

Well over 1000 Metro Detroit students have participated in the summer internships over the past seven years and approximately 200 are signed up for this year.

Students are paid by JVS Human Services with funding from Michigan Rehabilitation Services, so there is no cost to the employer. Also, JVS provides a job coach per 3-5 interns at each worksite (so businesses need to be able to offer three or more summer internships).

Currently, businesses taking part include Meijer in Madison Heights; Kroger in Royal Oak and Birmingham; Oakland Community College food service; and a number of hospital systems, golf courses and state parks (Milliken and Belle Isle).

JVS Human Services is looking to add more businesses onto its business roster, such as additional grocery stores, golf courses, restaurants, and any business where students could get hands-on experience.

“The experience is invaluable – students get to interact with co-workers, learn new skills and gain insight into working life and what they might like to do after school. After participating in the program, JVS provides feedback to each student’s school which can help address any challenges or further enhance employable skills,” explained James Willis, Vice President, Workforce Development & Rehabilitation at JVS Human Services.

Businesses who might be able to offer internships are asked to contact Todd McMillan, High School Transition Specialist for JVS Human Services,  on 248.854.6733 or email


About JVS Human Services:

Since 1941, JVS Human Services has been a leader in the community helping individuals and businesses achieve their employment goals. The agency helps job seekers jumpstart their careers, provides enriching programs for people with disabilities, and helps seniors remain active and engaged in the community.

In 2018, JVS Human Services provided services to over 10,000 metro-Detroit residents and assisted more than 1,000 employers seeking job candidates for a variety of occupations and skill levels.







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Lindsey Jenn

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