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Hope Is Rising for Under-Employed 18-24 Year Olds

by Lisa Diggs

Beverly Thomas’ face lights up like only a mother’s can when she talks about the vocational education at Focus: HOPE. “That training is for real,” she says. 

According to Thomas, “When our youngest son graduated from our homeschool in 2000, we knew he probably was not going to enroll in college. Very creative and artistic, he was not sure he could feed himself or a family. Someone shared with us the Focus: HOPE program and he enrolled.” He now has an engineering degree and works at the tank arsenal in Warren, and his mother gratefully acknowledges the role of the nonprofit in making that happen.

Since its inception, Focus: HOPE has trained nearly 12,000 talented men and women, and helped them establish careers with sustainable wages. The career training programs are just one component of organization’s commitment to the local community.

Founded in 1968 by Father William Cunningham and Eleanor Josaitis, Focus: HOPE is an organization dedicated to intelligent and practical solutions to the problems of hunger, economic disparity, inadequate education, and racial divisiveness. Most recently they have set their sights on helping to put an incredibly under-employed sector of the population to work. That group is young adults ages 18-24.

With the dramatic economic challenges the nation is facing, it has become increasingly difficult for those at the brink of their career to find work. The nonprofit endeavors to help close that gap by providing training in careers with a bright future.

Three career training options are currently available:

  • 12-week machine operator training
  • 15-week IT customer support program
  • 4-week Earn and Learn which offers  job readiness training leading to employment

All training programs are FREE and open to Michigan residents who are 18-24 years of age. Financial aid/scholarships may also be available for eligible students 25 and older.

The nonprofit is also seeking employers who would like help in closing the skill-gap in their manufacturing companies by hiring CNC and Machine Operator graduates and/or trained customer service and tech support representatives.

For more information visit or call 313.494.4300. 

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