LIFT Partners With Detroit Organizations to Provide Job Training and Access to Manufacturing Careers


DETROIT, Mich. – Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow (LIFT), headquartered in Corktown, announced today it will provide start-up funding for Pathways To Jobs In Detroit: Connecting Disconnected Youth & Adults To Manufacturing Careers – a collaboration among LIFT,  Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit,  Focus: HOPE and TechShop Detroit. Expected to launch in summer 2016, the training initiative aims to inspire interest in regional manufacturing career opportunities by providing technical training, work readiness preparation and upskilling.

 “Too few individuals are prepared for careers in manufacturing due to lack of awareness and technical skills,” said Larry Brown, executive director, LIFT. “To help address these challenges, LIFT is partnering with three accomplished Detroit area organizations to enhance and develop training programs that will lead to long-term, rewarding job and career opportunities.”

Pathways To Jobs In Detroit aims to reconnect disconnected youth and adults through strategic outreach and a preparatory pathway, including:

  • Mobile outreach rallies designed to excite and bring manufacturing career opportunities to life
  • Enhancing and expanding Goodwill Detroit, FOCUS: Hope and TechShop job readiness programs to address industry needs
  • Heightened focus on work readiness, common employability skills and math and reading proficiency

“Job postings in Michigan for advanced manufacturing workers, including skilled trades workers and engineers, reached an all time high in 2015, with nearly 119,000 jobs posted,” said Emily DeRocco, Education & Workforce Director, LIFT.  “With support from LIFT, Detroit partner organizations have developed and enhanced training programs that will help prepare the workforce necessary to fill the existing skills gap for area manufacturers while also providing pathways to good jobs for regional youth and adults.”

“Metro Detroiters have the work ethic and the eagerness to fill these positions in a relatively short period of time,” said Kathy Laird, vice president of automotive operations, Goodwill Detroit. “However, the correct partnerships haven’t been in place to ensure they are properly trained and have access to the career pathways to do so until now!”

“Our collective programs will be enhanced to fit LIFT’s initiatives in cultivating a new manufacturing workforce for outstanding 21st century jobs and will include soft skills training, tech-oriented curriculum, job preparedness, work experience, placement assistance, financial and computer literacy and more,” said William Jones, CEO, FOCUS: Hope.

“TechShop’s goal for Detroit is to provide a makerspace that inspires, engages and empowers the community to build their dreams,” said Will Brick, TechShop Detroit general manager. “We want to get people excited about careers in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM), and recruit up to 1,000 locals to participate in this program focused on changing lives through careers in manufacturing.”

For more information on the Pathways To Jobs In Detroit: Connecting Disconnected Youth & Adults To Manufacturing Careers training program and other LIFT education and workforce development initiatives, please visit or contact LIFT Education & Workforce Director Emily DeRocco at




About  LIFT

Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow (LIFT) is a public-private partnership that will develop and deploy advanced lightweight materials manufacturing technologies and programs to prepare the workforce. The LIFT region includes 5 states: Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.

LIFT is operated by the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII) and was selected through a competitive process led by the U.S. Department of Defense under the Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation (LM3I) solicitation issued by the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research. LIFT is one of the founding institutes in the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, a federal initiative to create regional hubs to accelerate the development and adoption of cutting-edge manufacturing technologies.


About  Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit

The professionals of Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit are dedicated to assisting local residents to overcome employment challenges and secure meaningful, long-term employment. In the past year of the organization’s rich history, Goodwill Industries has placed nearly 2,000 Wayne, Oakland and Macomb county residents into new jobs and has provided job training, education and placement services to more than 12,000 individuals in the region. Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit has been helping Metro Detroiters become Trained, Trusted and Ready to Work for more than 95 years. For information, visit


About  Focus: HOPE

Since starting career preparation programs in 1981, Focus: HOPE has helped nearly 12,000 talented men and women establish successful careers. The curriculum for our programs has been developed in partnership with area employers to ensure our students develop marketable skills.

Focus: HOPE offers a nurturing environment in which it provides a range of support services to help students succeed in their education. Services range from assistance with bus passes to referrals for emergency food, clothing and shelter. Students also have access to an on-site child care center, job placement assistance, and workshops on topics such as financial literacy.


About  TechShop

Founded in October 2006, TechShop, Inc. is a membership-based, do-it-yourself (DIY) workshop and fabrication studio that provides access to a vibrant community of creative makers and more than $1 million worth of equipment, tools, and software. Based in San Jose, Calif., with locations nationwide, TechShop offers classes, workshops, instruction, and training for people of all ages and skill levels to build whatever they can dream.

For information and course listings, visit, email or call 855-TECHSHOP. You can follow TechShop on Twitter at “@TechShop.” TechShop is also on Facebook as “TechShop Incorporated.”