A group of auto and tech companies are revving up the giving, pledging almost $4.5 million to Focus:HOPE’s workforce and development programs.

The pledges include:

  • $2 million in software and cash from Microsoft
  • $1 million and robotics equipment from Magna International for Focus: HOPE’s Machinist Training Institute
  • $500,000 from both Lear and the GM Foundation
  • Ford Motor Company donated $360,000.

Focus:HOPE was founded after the tumult of 1968, and thought it has various programs it has trained more than 12,000 people since 1981, according to the organization.

The organization, co-founded by Father William Cunningham and Eleanor Josaitis was born out of an idea that intelligent and practical action can overcome racism, poverty and injustice.

In October the organization received a $3 million American Apprenticeship grant from the Department of Labor to train clients in areas including machinists and information technology.

“We are extremely grateful for the support of these corporations. This represents a great first step towards our efforts to secure $30 million (in) private funding over the next five years,” Focus: HOPE Chief Executive Officer William Jones Jr. said in a press release. “This sustains our workforce development and education programs which are critical in ensuring the access to careers for hundreds of residents.”

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