Career Readiness Academy

CRA is 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 personal brand, career economics, networking, interview preparation, LinkedIn 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 by the Numbers:

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

Curriculum Includes:

  1. Intro to CRA & Personal Brand - Field Trip
  2. LinkedIn + Resumes
  3. Career Assessment
  4. Career Exploration
  5. Advanced Manufacturing + Skilled Trades - Field Trip
  6. Interview Skills + Mock Interviews
  7. Networking + YL Place of Employment - Field Trip
  8. DEC Graduation Meeting - Field Trip

Participating Schools:

  • A.G.B.U. Alex & Marie Manoogian School
  • Central Academy
  • Dakota High School
  • Frontier International Academy
  • Golightly Career & Technical Center
  • Hazel Park High School
  • Henry Ford II High School
  • International Academy East
  • International Academy of Macomb
  • Jalen Rose Leadership Academy
  • Melvindale High School
  • Michael Berry Career Center
  • Rochester Community Schools - ACE High School
  • Southeastern High School
  • Utica Academy for International Studies

2022 - 2023 CRA Sponsors

2022 - 2023 CRA Partners

Interested in sponsoring the 2022 - 2023 Career Readiness Academy? Email Matt Valant at

Session 1: Personal Brand

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: 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 Resources:

Session 3: 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 Resources:

Session 4: 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 Resources:

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.

*Photo was taken in Feb. 2020

Session 6: Interview Skills

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

Session Resources:

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!