New program to train Detroiters for health care jobs

 In News Article

The city of Detroit and three major Detroit health systems will team with Focus: Hope and Oakland University to provide training to city residents for entry-level health care jobs in high demand.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and the CEOs of the Detroit Medical Center, Henry Ford Health System and St. John Providence Health System announced the program Thursday.

Detroit nonprofit Focus: Hope and the Oakland University School of Nursing Continuing Education will train 240 Detroit residents over 12 months, according to a news release. Training will take place on Focus: Hope’s Detroit campus, lasting three to four weeks for positions to work as a patient sitter and seven to eight weeks for patient care associate.

A patient sitter will be trained in medical terminology, signs and symptoms, infection control, basic life support and more.

A patient care associate program adds to the patient sitter curriculum with training in taking blood pressure, vital signs and blood glucose as well as patient hygiene, diet and nutrition.

The program will utilize federal workforce development funds, as well as other training funds the city has available. The cost is about $2,000 per student; the program is free for the jobseekers.

The training falls under the Detroit at Work initiative Duggan introduced during his State of the City address in February. The website,, is designed as a central location for jobseekers and employers to connect.

Enrollment for the health care workers training program is open until the first week of May. Those interested can register through, then they must visit a career center for a screening, a TABE (Tests of Adult Basic Education) assessment and a medical history check.

Training starts every three months for those selected, with the first round in May.

The three health systems will then recruit from the pool of trained residents. The jobs will offer “competitive wages,” the city said.

“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,” Duggan said in the release. “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.”

Detroit Employment Solutions Corp., the city’s workforce development arm, operates the Detroit at Work website. Since it launched in February, the site has seen more than 400 Detroiters show interest in jobs in the health care sector, according to the release.


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