Boys & Girls Clubs program to promote careers in retail

DETROIT (AP) — The Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan will offer an immersive summer and after-school program for young people interested in retail or fashion merchandising.

The organization is expected to open its first Industry Club in September and share space at the Detroit is the New Black clothing store on Woodward Avenue.

Up to 200 youth will be employed each year and gain experience in careers representing every aspect of the retail business development cycle, including stocking merchandise, ordering wholesale and fulfilling online orders.

They will gain the economic, cultural and social capital needed to become college, career and start-up ready, Boys & Girls Clubs President Shawn H. Wilson said Thursday.

A second Industry Club is scheduled to be announced later this year.

“True equality can only be achieved through economic and social mobility and the Industry Club is designed to do just that,” Wilson said.

Detroit-based Bedrock will provide Industry Club with a $25,000 grant and free retail space.

Industry Club will be an important next step in the real estate company’s small business support strategy that targets women and entrepreneurs of color, Bedrock said.

“That strategy needs to expand to elevate minority-owned businesses and help strengthen pathways for their growth and contribution to Detroit’s ongoing momentum,” said Matt Cullen, Bedrock chief executive.