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HPOG Promising Practice: Volunteers of America Michigan, Employment Strategy

Published: April 25, 2019
Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG)
Technical Assistance

Southfield, MI

Healthcare workers are gearing up to change lives in the Motor City. 

In the spring of 2017, the city of Detroit Mayor’s Office launched “Detroit at Work,” with the goal of placing 240 Detroit City residents in entry-level healthcare positions. Three local hospitals committed to the Mayor’s employment initiative: Detroit Medical Center, St. Johns Providence, and Henry Ford Health Systems. Furthermore, a network of partnerships and support formed to help meet this goal.

Volunteers of America Michigan (VOAMI) HPOG is an integral piece of this team. VOAMI HPOG brings skills training, healthcare training, and job placement to Detroit at Work. City resources, including the City of Detroit Employment Offices and the Oakland University School of Nursing Continuing Education (OUSNCE), joined forces with VOAMI to raise program awareness, enroll students, and expand employment opportunities. The City of Detroit Employment Offices aided in recruitment, and OUSNCE stepped in to provide training.

OUSNCE enrolled 32 VOAMI HPOG participants in Nursing Assistant training, which can be completed in just five weeks. VOAMI HPOG was there to ease the worry about going on with everyday life while in training. They offered help tackling barriers like the cost of tuition, getting to class, and vaccines.

Twenty-nine of the 32 participants graduated Nursing Assistant training, and 13 of them received immediate job offers from one of the three partner hospitals in Detroit. Nine others

are continuing their education by enrolling in classes to obtain certifications as Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) and Registered Nurses (RN).

“Detroit at Work” planted the seed for budding relationships. VOAMI HPOG’s continued support allows students to grow and learn. The program’s partnership with local hospitals helps identify champions in the community. Henry Ford Hospital, in particular, has become an invested stakeholder in VOAMI HPOG. Henry Ford joined HPOG for their hiring event in the fall of 2017 and extended many job-offers to HPOG Nursing Assistants. The offers started at $13.60 an hour and included a variety of shift options, benefits, and tuition reimbursement for further training.

Volunteers of America Michigan looks forward to continuing the journey with “Detroit at Work.” The initiative will create sustainable opportunities for participants through strong community partnerships.

This Promising Practice was self-identified by the grantee and information contained in this document was provided by the grantee.

Last Reviewed: April 25, 2019