Focus: HOPE, a Detroit nonprofit, was founded after the 1967 riots with the hope of building a metropolitan community where all individuals, no matter their differences, could live in freedom, harmony, trust and affection. Today, the nonprofit organization offers all they intended and more, especially with their education and training programs.
All residents from southeast Michigan who are looking to begin careers in healthcare, IT, advanced manufacturing, the production industry/light assembly apprenticeships or truck driving/logistics are offered Focus: HOPE’s Career programs. These programs are scholarship based and free to those who qualify.
“Focus: HOPE works with area employers to understand industry trends and identify employment opportunities,” said Michelle Boehm, communications manager. “We align training curriculum with employer input to create programs that provide in demand skills for high growth industries in our region.”
In addition to the already mentioned programs, Focus: HOPE offers an all-female IT/manufacturing program for Detroit residents in collaboration with General Motors.
Available training programs:
Healthcare programs include training for patient sitter and patient care associate positions with Detroit Medical Center, St. John’s Providence and Henry Ford Health System.
The IT program includes courses in Microsoft Cloud & business applications, technical support and network technology. Focus: HOPE’s programs align with industry standards and are accredited. There’s also an authorized test center on-site where graduates are able to take industry certifications.
The Truck Driving and Logistics program begins with training at Focus: HOPE and continues with a transition to U.S. Truck Driver Training School.
The Production Industry and Light Assembly program is a two week training program that includes classroom instruction on work readiness and simulated hands-on manufacturing training. This prepares students for production worker and operator positions.
The Integrated Advanced Manufacturing program holds potential for many jobs as there are 7,000, and growing, job openings in Michigan. Twenty week and 10 week courses are offered where graduates can receive certification in safety, CNC programming and more.
Apprenticeship options coordinated by Focus: HOPE, with a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, include Advanced Manufacturing and Information Technology. These apprenticeships can open doors to career options like CNC Machinist, Network Technicians and Controls Technicians.
The organization aims to prepare students for careers and to do so, they offer three different programs-
Ready Set Go - two week work readiness course for entry level employment
Ready Set Go Plus - nine week course to increase math and reading levels for students looking to go into technical industry training
Earn & Learn - five week course (eligible for those without a high school diploma or GED) that is followed by transition support into an industry training program (production workers, healthcare, truck driving, manufacturing, IT, community college educational pursuits).
By offering these programs, Focus: HOPE provides a way for individuals who are underserved, underrepresented and underprepared to engage in sustainable employment opportunities.
The current interest in these education options and training programs is strong, Boehm said, and they still encourage those interested to apply. Focus: HOPE is now registering for fall courses and programs.
“Focus: HOPE’s founders stated that only when people have jobs can they provide for their families, and access to such jobs requires education,” Boehm said.
In addition to the educational opportunities at the organization, they provide low income seniors with monthly food packages. They also offer seniors access to different health screenings, utility assistance, income support and more.
Focus: HOPE also provides opportunities for youth, mothers, those looking to start a business and other members of the community.
Those interested in donating to Focus: HOPE and their initiatives can visit www.focushope.edu.
Every $25 donated provides one academic enrichment book for one student or grants two children access to a field trip. Every $50 donated helps keep Detroit neighborhoods safe by helping with the purchase of paint and board up materials. Larger donations help with the purchasing of tools for cleaning vacant lots, technical training material for students, health screenings and more.