Employer Application - Detroit Revitalization Fellows Program

The Wayne State University Detroit Revitalization Fellows Program (DRFP) is designed to attract, develop and retain promising professionals who will help lead the economic revitalization and development of Detroit.

The program is structured to provide full-time employment in a public or non-profit sector organization, along with an executive-style education program that includes academic content, workshops and additional programming designed to develop leadership skills. Additionally, Fellows will be exposed to a wide variety of economic redevelopment and urban revitalization initiatives in Detroit and other urban settings. The program has been funded by the Kresge Foundation, Ford Foundation, Hudson-Webber Foundation, Skillman Foundation, DTE Energy Foundation, and  Wayne State University. The DRFP is an excellent opportunity for individuals who are seeking to further their career in the fields of economic, community and business development, real estate development and finance, urban planning or workforce development. It is also an outstanding opportunity for Fellows and employers alike to be key contributors to the transformation of Detroit.

The DRFP is launching Cohort 2 and will be recruiting the DRFP class of 2015 starting February 6, 2013. Organizations interested in participating in the program and hosting a Fellow must complete the following application, and submit it no later than March 6, 11:59 PM. Employers selected to participate in the program will be notified in March, 2013 and will be expected to participate in an employer orientation on April 12, 2013.


The Wayne State University Detroit Revitalization Fellows Program seeks to accomplish the following goals:

  • Build capacity for key organizations focused on the revitalization of Detroit
  • Provide leadership development and training for the Fellows working in these organizations
  • Develop a professional network that fosters inter-agency connections and organizational collaboration for the revitalization of Detroit.

Fellows will be placed in organizations that contribute to the revitalization of the city, with a focus on:

  • Real estate finance and development
  • Community and economic development
  • Land use planning/Implementation of the Detroit Future City Strategic Framework
  • Workforce development


Detroit Revitalization Fellows participate in a program that combines two years of salaried full-time employment with executive development-style education facilitated by Wayne State University, featuring locally- and nationally-recognized subject matter experts. Each fellow will work in various project management and leadership roles as an employee of one of the organizations partnering with DRFP. Salaries and benefits are paid for through a combination of employer funds and, for Public and 501(c)3 organizations, subsidies provided by our Funders.

Fellows attend monthly one to two-day training sessions where the DRFP provides information essential to understanding Detroit’s revitalization. DRFP programming includes content related workshops intended to provide knowledge and training designed to enhance leadership skills. Fellows are exposed to a wide variety of economic redevelopment and urban revitalization initiatives and issues in Detroit and other urban settings. Employers should note these monthly training sessions are a requirement of the program and will take place during regular business hours.

In addition to monthly sessions, Fellows have the opportunity to participate in additional individual customized training and professional development activities. The DRFP also provide executive coaching and mentoring for each Fellow, as well as a training bank for individual professional development.

Employer Partners

Fellows will be employed for two years at a Detroit organization contributing to revitalization efforts in the region.

Employers will be required to:

  • Provide a two-year assignment (full-time with benefits) in a position that contributes directly to the organization’s mission and goals.
  • Commit to supporting the training needs of the fellows, including participation in the program’s monthly sessions and other required work (estimated at 2 hours per week).
  • Participate in the fellowship selection process.
  • Extend job offers by June 1st, 2013.

Key Milestones

A multi-staged selection process is being used to select both employers and Fellows for the second round of the program. Key dates in the process are:

  • February 6, 2013: Call for Employer and Fellow applications; Employer application deadline 3/6/13
  • March 2013: DRFP Employers confirmed; Fellow application deadline 3/6/13; Fellow semi-finalists named; Employer orientation meeting
  • April 2013: Fellows interview conference
  • May 2013: 2nd interviews and offer letters extended
  • June 2013: Fellowship award announcements; Deadline to accept Fellowship 6/14/13
  • June-July 2013: Fellows relocation to Detroit
  • August 2013: Launch of DRFP II

Submissions for this form have closed on March 8, 2013.