Job Training

First Detroiters trained under Detroit at Work healthcare program graduate, start to receive job offers

First Detroiters trained under Detroit at Work healthcare program graduate, start to receive job offers

  • New initiative provides training for Detroiters for in-demand jobs
  • 44 Health Care program graduates have completed rigorous 8-week training
  • Job interviews with health systems now underway; 16 graduates already have offers

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan today honored the first 44 graduates of the Detroit at Work health care training initiative, many of which are already receiving job offers.  Detroit at Work provides training for Detroit residents in a number of select industries that are most in need of workers, including health care, IT, skilled trades and culinary arts.  The Mayor launched Detroit at Work in his State of the City Address and announced its first health care training program in April.

The program’s inaugural graduating class, which is the largest so far under any Detroit at Work training program, recently completed an 8-week health care training offered through the Oakland University School of Nursing and conducted at Focus: Hope.   The program was developed in partnership with three of the city’s biggest healthcare employers: St. John Providence, Detroit Medical Center and Henry Ford Health Systems, all of which have committed to hiring program graduates.

So far, all graduates are being interviewed by the health care systems and 16 already have received job offers.  In total, this one training program will provide training and job opportunities for approximately 240 Detroit residents.  Mayor Duggan said today’s graduation is a big step forward in his administration’s efforts to make sure Detroit residents are receiving the opportunities being created by Detroit’s comeback.

“This is how job training is going to be done in Detroit from now on,” said Mayor Duggan.  “We are going to continue to train our residents for jobs that we know are in-demand today and will be in demand tomorrow and help them to secure job offers at the end of the training.”

At today’s event, the Mayor joined with OU School of Nursing Continuing Education Executive Director Teresa Rodges and Focus: HOPE CEO Jason Lee in presenting certificates to all 44 health care graduates who have been trained in skills ranging from blood pressure and vital signs to diet and nutrition, and are now interviewing with the three employers for Patient Care Associate positions, an in-demand role at all three hospital networks.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to work on this exciting partnership, and also to prepare today’s graduates for rewarding, fulfilling careers with opportunities for advancement” said Judy Didion, Dean of Oakland University’s School of Nursing. “The training has been rigorous and there has been a lot to learn, so the students graduating today should all feel very proud of their achievement.”

The curriculum was developed collaboratively with all three hospital networks, and included a work-readiness element delivered by Focus: HOPE as well as the clinical training delivered by Oakland University School of Nursing.

“The role of Patient Care Associate is critically important to the all-round care and customer service we provide to both patients and their families” said Gayle Novack, Vice President of Nursing at St. John Hospital & Medical Center. “Congratulations on your graduation, and we are looking forward to welcoming the first graduates to the St. John Providence family in September.”

Training offers a job and a fresh start

One new St. John Providence employee is Romona Irvin, a native Detroiter who was laid off from her job in April but enrolled in the training program. She achieved a 3.9 GPA and was chosen as Valedictorian for the graduating class.  Irvin already has received a job offer from St. John Providence health system.

“The last few weeks have been a whirlwind” said Ms. Irvin. “I’m still trying to convince myself to believe that this has all happened so quickly. I’m so grateful to the staff here, and for all those that made this training possible.  I can’t wait to start work!”

Opportunities still available

Several more cohorts of training for the in-demand positions are scheduled to start running through the remainder of this year and into 2018.  The next health care cohort is already full and will start Monday August 28.  Detroiters interested in registering should visit, or visit Focus: HOPE to register in person, any week day between 9 am and 4 pm. You can also visit Focus: HOPE’s Open House on September 6, 2017 at 1400 Oakman Blvd., Detroit MI 48238 from 1 pm – 6pm to register ON SITE! Click here for more information.

Return to Hope Speaks