Career Readiness Academy

The DEC’s Career Readiness Academy (CRA) is a six-month program designed to teach career readiness skills to high school students throughout S.E. Michigan.

During this journey, the same team of Young Leaders and students connect to explore topics like future hot jobs, career economics, networking & interview skills, and how to market yourself.

This experience not only provides the opportunity for more personalized attention throughout sessions but also forges important mentor-mentee relationships.

2022-2023 CRA Recap Video

2023-2024 CRA by the Numbers:

  • 16 Participating Schools
  • 63 Young Leader Volunteer Mentors
  • 240 Metro Detroit H.S. Students
2022 Governor's Service Award-Youth Services Impact Award Recipient

Curriculum Includes:

  1. CRA Intro, Hot Industries & Personal Brand - Field Trip
  2. Career Assessment
  3. Career Exploration
  4. Resume & LinkedIn
  5. Advanced Manufacturing & Skilled Trades - Field Trip
  6. Financial Literacy
  7. Interview Skills & Networking
  8. DEC Graduation Meeting - Field Trip

Participating Schools:

  • ACE High School (Rochester)
  • AGBU Alex & Marie Manoogian School (Southfield)
  • Aim High School (Farmington Hills)
  • Central Academy (Ann Arbor)
  • Dakota High School (Macomb)
  • Frontier International Academy (Detroit)
  • Golightly Career & Technical Center (Detroit)
  • Hazel Park High School (Hazel Park)
  • International Academy East (Troy)
  • International Academy of Macomb (Macomb)
  • Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (Detroit)
  • Melvindale High School (Melvindale)
  • Michael Berry Career Center (Dearborn)
  • Oak Park High School (Oak Park)
  • Southeastern High School (Detroit)
  • Southfield A&T High School (Southfield)

Thank you to our 2023 - 2024 Career Readiness Academy Sponsors & Partners!


23-24 CRA Sponsors


23-24 CRA Partners

For more information on sponsorship opportunities, please email Matt Valant at

Session 1: CRA Intro, Hot Industries & Personal Brand - Field Trip

Session Overview: Designed to provide an understanding of what a personal brand is, what impacts it and how to use it for your future.

Session 2: Career Assessment

Session Overview: Designed to support students in their career exploration via an interest assessment and analysis of results, as well as one-on-one career coaching.

Session 3: Career Exploration

Session Overview: Designed to further support students in their career exploration while examining career economics, career education/training, personal budgets and the impact of choices.

Session 4: LinkedIn & Resumes

Session Overview: Designed to assist students signing up for a LinkedIn account, building out of their profile page and understanding the value of both LinkedIn and resumes.

Session 5: Advanced Manufacturing, Skilled Trades & Emergency Services Training

Session Overview: Designed to expose students to the vast opportunities in advanced manufacturing, skilled trades and emergency services. This session is made possible by the generous staff at Oakland Community College (OCC) – Auburn Hills Campus.

Session 6: Financial Literacy

Session Overview: Designed to provide students an understanding of basic money principles, learn key spending, understand the types of debt and how they are related to life and, gain awareness of student loans and student aid.

Session 7: Interview Skills & Networking

Session Overview: Designed to support students with an understanding of the benefits of an elevator pitch and how to prepare for an interview.

CRA Alumni Network

The mission of the CRA Alumni Network is to be a resource for CRA student graduates and current CRA students. The goals are:

  • Provide continued engagement with the DEC as future Young Leaders
  • Provide a platform for their early professional network
  • To enhance their business acumen by expanding on the current/past CRA curriculum

  We’re working on some exciting things so stay tuned!