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Youth Development & Mentoring Program (YDMP)

MDOT Youth Development and Mentoring crews wearing hard hats and high visibility vests work in Houghton, Michigan.
Department of Transportation

Youth Development & Mentoring Program (YDMP)

The mission of the Michigan Department of Transportation Youth Development and Mentoring Program (YDMP), in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), is to prepare a diverse workforce for the future by providing participants with opportunities to pursue higher education, personal growth, and exposure to transportation careers.

The program values responsibility, empowerment, respect, integrity, relationship building, and safety. MDOT offers mentoring activities and sessions to teach job and life skills, introduce college/university options, and present high school students and recent high school graduates with information about careers in civil engineering, road construction and maintenance, planning, and other areas of transportation.

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The training and mentoring element of the YDMP is designed to enhance communication skills, develop leadership qualities, and improve awareness of transportation career opportunities. Through site visits to MDOT facilities, tours of construction sites and educational institutions, and participation in college and career fairs, participants will receive practical, hands-on experiences that will provide opportunities and exposure to various aspects of transportation. The Michigan Civil Service Commission provides an option for on-site career planning and résumé writing to participants at each region office. Mentoring sessions will be conducted for the YDMP participants.

Participants will have the opportunity to attend the following types of training and mentoring activities:

  • MDOT safety training/orientation;
  • College readiness planning;
  • Equal Employment Opportunity;
  • Personal finance and accounting;
  • Résumé writing and interviewing;
  • MDOT Transportation Operations Center tours;
  • MDOT construction and maintenance project tours;
  • College and career fairs;
  • University and college tours;
  • Visits to state and local libraries, museums, or historical sites; and
  • Participate in activities at private engineering firms specifically tailored to introduce surveying, concrete testing and analysis, and civil engineering.

YDMP provides participants with an opportunity to become Team Members, Team Leaders or Facilitators. Participants also will learn about pursuing higher education, personal growth, and transportation careers. YDMP participants are responsible for various maintenance activities during their participation in this program but the focus of the program is attending and participating in mentoring sessions. The work provides the participants with a meaningful work experience, practical knowledge, and also serves as an invaluable tool for instilling a good work ethic.

The participants perform maintenance activities such as:

  • Weeding/removing vegetation around guardrails and road signs; 
  • Removing litter; 
  • Cleaning rest areas/welcome centers;
  • Performing and maintaining landscaping;
  • Repairing/maintaining rest area picnic tables, posts, etc.;
  • Mowing and maintaining roadside parks and scenic turnouts;
  • Assisting with erosion control and cleaning edge drain/culvert outlets;
  • Cleaning vehicles and equipment; and
  • Painting park-n-ride posts.

Team Members

Team Leaders


Eligibility Requirements

  • Currently enrolled high school student or recent graduate at least 16 years of age with a 2.0 or higher cumulative GPA (must provide most recent report card or transcript);
  • For team member positions, provide a letter of recommendation from a school teacher, counselor, or principal;
  • Possess valid school-issued work permit, if applicable;
  • Pass a pre-participant drug test;
  • Possess a valid driver's license (not required for all team members);
  • 40-hour work week availability;
  • Ability to work outside and lift up to 45 pounds;
  • Ability to walk and work on roadsides and uneven terrain;
  • Willingness and ability to follow oral and written instructions; and
  • Facilitators, team leaders, and all drivers must be at least 18 years of age.

Clothing Requirements

Due to the nature of the duties assigned, the following dress code is required:

  • Ankle-length pants;
  • Shirts or blouses with short or long sleeves;
  • No midriff shirts or low-cut pants; and
  • Approved safety equipment (MDOT-provided) and steel-toed safety boots (participant-provided).

Apply to YDMP

The assignment will be to an MDOT location/site. Assignments take into consideration county of residence provided with the application. 

For instructions on how to apply, visit Michigan Civil Service Commission (MCSC). The MCSC NEOGOV system handles applications for vacancies at MDOT, including those in the YDMP program.

YDMP Job Openings