Focus_ hope puts eyes on basics in it program – crain’s detroit business

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Detroit Focus: HOPE Education Nonprofits Training Workforce Information technology

Focus: Hope, which has struggled to find its workforce development niche in recent years, is among the agencies playing a central role in a program quietly launched by the city last fall to train Detroiters at all skill levels for information technology jobs.

It’s a shift for Focus: Hope, which is perhaps best known for manufacturing job training.

The Tech Hire program is creating a pipeline of IT employees to work for Detroit companies, with additional training services provided by Southwest Solutions and Grand Circus, under the Detroit Employment Solutions Corp.’s management.

It’s a model, the city said, for how the program is approaching creation of a talent pipeline for the Mayor’s Workforce Board’s other industry focus areas: health care, manufacturing, construction/skilled trades and retail/hospitality/entertainment. List of health insurance companies in india And it’s likely to get a mention in Mayor Mike Duggan’s State of the City address Tuesday, given that Focus: Hope is hosting the event on its northwest Detroit campus.

Though Focus: Hope’s network technician apprenticeship is part of the offerings included in the TechHire program, a large part of the role it’s playing is in making sure people have the basics.

“We are really good, as an organization, (in) working with people who have barriers in their lives, to get them to a point where they can be workforce-ready,” CEO Jason Lee said last week.

The programs that Focus: Hope is noted for, such as its Earn and Learn program, which helps open job opportunities for people ages 18-24 and formerly incarcerated and chronically unemployed adults, and now the TechHire program, all center around giving people the skills they need to be workforce-ready, Lee said. B c women’s health centre They include ensuring that people have adequate math and reading skills, soft skills like an understanding of the need to show up to work on time, and problem-solving and conflict-resolution skills.

“Those are things we know we teach very well,” Lee said. I care health “The issue for the organization is we never really marketed those pieces as a commodity.”

Focus: Hope’s board approved a larger focus on basic skills training at the end of January, Lee said. What is health care As it figures out what its workforce development programmatic lineup should be, it’s talking with local employers that have funded specific training it’s provided to see what other manufacturing and IT training is still in demand. Healthcare website But it’s clear that all companies have seen issues on the work-readiness front of some of their employees, he said.

When the news broke in January that it would have to lay off 120 of the 252 employees contracted to automotive supplier Android Industries in March in response to production cutbacks, Focus: Hope got calls from companies offering to take some of the affected employees.

“We talked to several companies … and asked what (they) need from a workforce,” Lee said. Health insurance for dogs “Everybody said the same thing: We want people who want to come to work, who can think on their own and can be trainable.”

“That’s a space we work very well in. Affordable health insurance ct Whether we do the training or whether the company does the (hands-on) training, we can figure that out. Health insurance germany But we can get you that workforce that is willing and ready to learn.”

Focus: Hope launched the initial cohort of basic skills for 26 people in the TechHire program in October. Cheap health insurance ohio The 10-week program included remedial reading and math education as needed to bring people up to 10th- or 11th-grade math and reading levels, soft-skills training and training in additional areas including customer service, problem-solving and advanced Excel work to prepare them for an entry-level IT career working in a call center or on a help desk, making $11-$13 per hour, or go onto other immediate job opportunities. Health insurance companies Participants of the “Accelerator” or basic-skills tier of the TechHire program also receive an introduction to IT careers available to them in Detroit.

“The hope is the entry-level jobs are a steppingstone into a middle-skill job, a middle-class life,” said Jeff Donofrio, director of workforce development for the city of Detroit.

TechHire trainees who choose to can go on to a second tier of IT training, either the network technician apprenticeship Focus: Hope provides or a preapprenticeship at Grand Circus to prepare them for an apprenticeship at area employers, at companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, DTE Energy Co., GalaxE.Solutions Inc., Marketing Associates and Quicken Loans.

Twenty-three people graduated from the inaugural basic skills cohort provided by Focus: Hope in December, and 10 of them went on to second-tier IT training at Grand Circus.

“Grand Circus is saying the folks who came through the Focus: Hope training are the best-qualified apprenticeship candidates they’ve seen so far,” Donofrio said.

Nicole Sherard-Freeman, president and CEO, Detroit Employment Solutions Corp.

The other 13 people who came through the first-tier training are all somewhere along the job placement spectrum with employers, from employed to interviewing or preparing for interviews, said DESC President and CEO Nicole Sherard-Freeman.

The network technician and software developer jobs, which can command $15 per hour during apprenticeships and about $25 per hour in a full-time position, according to Donofrio, could be a ticket into the middle class.

“One of our biggest challenges is finding jobs inside the city for Detroiters,” Donofrio said.

TechHire is “helping Detroiters get into family sustaining, middle-class jobs and employers find local talent that is desperately needed for the jobs that are being created in the city,” he said.

Southwest Solutions launched the second cohort of basic skills training as part of the TechHire program with 12 trainees in January, and Focus: Hope is set to start a third basic skills cohort in July.

DESC did not disclose the dollar amount of grants made to the TechHire training providers but said it is combining federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act dollars that come to the city for adult training, with a $2 million grant from the Ralph C. What is primary health Wilson Jr. Womens health care Foundation to fund the program over the next four years.

The program is expected to create 100-200 training spots per year for each of the next four years, Donofrio said.

“We’d like to add more trainings, more pathways into employment, as we quantify employer demand,” he said.

“We don’t want the ‘train and pray’ initiatives where you train someone and hope they get a job at the end.”

The TechHire program gives Detroiters who would not otherwise have had a chance to consider an IT job or career that option, Sherard-Freeman said. Cheap health care insurance “It’s that basic set of skills that opens a door for them.”

People who were fortunate enough to have jobs in high school gained those skills. Ehealthinsurance But for many years, there were too few opportunities for young Detroiters to gain work experience, she said.

With employee input, DESC and the other organizations working on TechHire have found there’s a large demand for those soft skills, Sherard-Freeman said.

“What we’re finding from employers is that the demand for that training is broader and deeper than any of us knew,” she said.

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