Job Training

12 Focus: HOPE Graduates hired as Apprentices with Great Lakes Water Authority

Last month, 12 Focus: HOPE Apprenticeship graduates joined Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) as part of their inaugural Apprenticeship Program. Focus: HOPE collaborated with Great Lakes Water Authority and Henry Ford College to develop this three-year program to hire and train Electrical Instrumentation Controls Technicians (EICT). After the successful completion of initial testing, screening and intake processing, the apprentices began work at GLWA on Monday, June 12, 2017.

“GLWA identified a gap in the availability of highly trained talent to adequately fill skilled roles that are imperative to our operations,” said Terri Tabor Conerway, Chief Organizational Development Officer, GLWA. “Through this inaugural program, not only will we further demonstrate our commitment to providing customers with water of unquestionable quality, but we will also reinvest in the communities that GLWA serves.”

The three-year program provides on-the-job training and education at no cost for the students.

“Focus: HOPE is proud to partner with Great Lakes Water Authority to open pathways to good paying jobs for the audience we serve,” said Jason D. Lee, Focus: HOPE CEO. “It has been an honor to see our students succeeding and filling positions of in-demand jobs with Great Lakes Water Authority”

In addition to working full-time, the EICT apprentices will begin classes at Henry Ford College in August. As part of the apprenticeship, each apprentice’s tuition will be paid for by GLWA. The coursework was specifically designed to meet the needs of GLWA.

“So far, we’ve been involved in a few lengthy projects and it’s been neat to see the process of diagnostics and trouble-shooting, but the coolest part is when we finally succeed in finding a solution,” said Etaune Johnson, GLWA Apprentice.

Click Here for GLWA News Story 

About Focus: HOPE

Focus: HOPE is a nationally recognized civil and human rights organization founded in 1968, after the Detroit riots, by Father William T. Cunningham and Eleanor M. Josaitis. Together, they adopted the following mission: “Recognizing the dignity and beauty of every person, we pledge intelligent and practical action to overcome racism, poverty, and injustice. And to build a metropolitan community where all people may live in freedom, harmony, trust and affection.” –  adopted on March 8, 1968. Since 1968, Focus: HOPE has dramatically transformed thousands of lives through its three key areas of focus: food, careers and community.  For more information, visit

About the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA)

The Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) is the provider of choice for water and wastewater services to 127 municipalities in seven Southeastern Michigan counties. With the Great Lakes as source water, the GLWA is uniquely positioned to provide its customers water of unquestionable quality. GLWA has capacity to extend its service to other Southeastern Michigan communities. The authority offers a Water Residential Assistance Program (WRAP) to assist low-income residential customers throughout the system. The GLWA board includes one representative each from Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties as well as two representatives from the City of Detroit, and one appointed by the governor of Michigan to represent customer communities outside the tri-county area.

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