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Mayor, Detroit health systems announce training partnership

Mayor, Detroit health systems announce new partnership to train and employ Detroit residents

Mayor Mike Duggan and the heads of the city’s three largest health care employers have united in a new unique approach to provide a career path for hundreds of Detroit residents by training them to fill in-demand entry level heath care jobs.  The new partnership with the Detroit Medical Center, Henry Ford Health System and St. John Providence will provide job training and placement opportunities for 240 city residents over the next 12 months.

The unique collaboration is part of the Mayor’s Detroit at Work initiative announced during the State of the City Address.  All of the trainees will be identified through the Detroit at Work website or DESC One-Stop Service Centers and receive their instruction through a single program.  Once the workers are trained, all three of participating health care systems will recruit from the same pool of talent.

“This is an example of how we are going to make it easier for Detroiters to find the jobs that are available and get the training they need to be hired,” said Mayor Duggan.  “What makes this announcement truly special is that it is the first time these competing health systems have collaborated in this way.  My hope is that this approach will become the template for other employers in our city.”

The training, provided by Focus: HOPE and the Oakland University School of Nursing Continuing Education, will prepare graduates for immediately available positions as Patient Care Associates or Patient Sitters.  The training will be provided on Focus: HOPE’s campus in Detroit.  Patient sitter training will last three to four weeks and the patient care associate training will last seven to eight weeks. The jobs will offer competitive wages and provide excellent opportunities for advancement.

“The need to fill healthcare jobs continues to increase, especially the need for patient care associates,” said Focus: HOPE CEO Jason Lee. “Focus: HOPE’s renowned workforce training expertise and Oakland University’s curriculum combine to fill this talent gap.  This partnership, along with the healthcare systems and the City of Detroit, is the perfect opportunity to train residents and ensure gainful employment for them; a concept Focus: HOPE has been committed to for decades.”

Since the Mayor launched Detroit at Work in late February, over 400 Detroit residents have indicated an interest in positions in the health care field through the Detroit at Work website.

Competitors unite for a common purpose
The idea of a unified approach to training and hiring came from the Mayor’s Workforce Development Board’s Healthcare subcommittee.  This subcommittee is composed of the CEOs of the Detroit Medical Center, Henry Ford Health System and St. John Providence.

The task of the subcommittee was to work with the city to eliminate barriers and develop training programs to prepare city residents for in-demand positions with the potential for advancement.

The group identified two entry level positions and focused on developing a program to train and support Detroit residents for successful entry into healthcare careers as Patient Care Associates or Patient Sitters.

The subcommittee then developed common curricula to prepare residents to enter these two occupations across the three health systems.

Once the curriculum was approved, an RFQ was develop to solicit bids from training organizations. The successful bidder was Focus: HOPE in partnership with Oakland University School of Nursing Continuing Education (located at Focus: HOPE on Oakman Boulevard in Detroit).

How it works:
Enrollment for the program is open now through the first week of May. Jobseekers register through and then visit one of three career centers located at 5555 Conner, 9301 Michigan Avenue and 18100 Meyers. Applicants will undergo screening, including TABE test and medical history, to ensure work readiness. For applicants who are successful, training will start in May, with further cohorts being run every 3 months.  Once the workers are trained, the health systems will begin recruiting them as jobs become available.

About Detroit at Work:
The City of Detroit launched Detroit at Work to build Detroit’s talent pool, create opportunity for Detroiters, and give employers access to a demand-driven talent pipeline. Through trainings, job search assistance and career services, Detroiters at all levels of education, experience and skillsets can access opportunity through Detroit at Work.

The Detroit at Work website is a centralized online portal that will share information with Detroiters to help them find employment or advance their career path through training. Employers can use the website to find qualified residents for open positions.

Features of the website include:

  • Mobile friendly registration form
  • Employer interest form
  • One-Stop Job Readiness workshop calendar
  • Information on high-growth careers