2 U.S. Secretaries at Focus: HOPE


U.S. Secretary Thomas Perez, MTI student Kristen Johnson, ITC graduate Anthony Micou, U.S. Secretary Anthony Foxx, FH CEO William Jones, CAT student Travis Marshall, and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan at the FH roundtable.

The importance of training for skilled jobs was discussed at a special roundtable January 13 featuring two members of President Obama’s Cabinet and several leaders of businesses, community organizations, and government. Focus: HOPE hosted the event featuring U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, both of whom came to Focus: HOPE while in town for the Detroit Auto Show media days.

The event drew Detroit Mayor Michael Duggan, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade and leaders from ACCESS, SEMCOG, University of Michigan-Dearborn, and others. Student Kristen Johnson who is enrolled in the FH Machinist Training Institute and ITC graduate Anthony Micou participated in the discussion. Sidney McMillan, a senior at Detroit Henry Ford High School, also participated. He is enrolled in a new Continuing Training and Education program at Focus: HOPE that allows him to prepare for a career in the IT industry while in high school.

Jim Tobin, chief marketing officer and president of Magna who grew up in Detroit, spoke about the challenge of finding qualified employees and the importance of business and government working together. “We need to create awareness of the great opportunities in the automotive industry. Good trained people are what we are looking for,” he said.

Attendees included Jose Abraham, deputy director of City of Detroit Department of Public Works; Rosemary Brewer, vice president of human resources for Detroit Manufacturing Solutions; Amy Cell, senior vice president of Michigan Economic Development Corporation; Bob Chapman, executive director of EcoWorks; Sheilah Clay, president and CEO of Neighborhood Service Organization; Felicia Fields, vice president of human resources for Ford Motor Company; Don Graves, The White House; Tracy Hall, University of Michigan Dearborn; Lisa Howze, chief of staff for Detroit Mayor Duggan; Naheed Huq, Southeast Michigan Council of Governments;

Hassan Jaber, executive director of ACCESS, Ron Joseph, Rush Trucking Group; Tony Kratofil, metro region engineer for Michigan Department of Transportation; Thomas Lewand, group executive for jobs and economic growth for City of Detroit; Tricia Llewellyn, director of workforce development at Henry Ford Community College; Pamela Moor, president and CEO of Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation; Megan Owens, executive director of Transportation Riders United; Rip Rapson, president and CEO of The Kresge Foundation; Hayley Roberts, director of communications at Michigan Suburbs Alliance; Karen Tyler-Ruiz of Detroit Regional Workforce Fund; and John VanCamp, president and CEO of Southwest Solutions.



Did You Know...

The average age of a person working in the skilled trades is 59?  With those employees reaching retirement age, there will be an abundance of jobs for well trained individuals.  Secretary Foxx also pointed out that one-third of air traffic controlers are eligible for retirement. 


U.S. Secretary Thomas Perez visited the floor of the Machinist Training Institute where student Jordan Permell showed him how he is developing manual machining skills before going to work on the CNC machines.