William Jones, Wayne, Michigan
Interview By Sasha Abramsky | Posted Sunday June 24, 2012Download MP3 Audio (Right Click this link & select Save)
William Jones came to the non-profit sector after a long career in finance working for Chrysler. Now CEO of Focus: HOPE, he spends his time running a large urban “campus.” Focus: HOPE, operating out a slew of converted industrial buildings, feeds 42,000 families a month; runs some of Detroit’s most innovative job training programs for young, unemployed, adults; leases out facilities to companies such as Android, that hire Focus:HOPE graduates to make sensitive components for cars; and works with local schools to boost the educational levels of local youngsters. His vision is to take a run-down 100 square bloc community and convert it, over the coming years, into a thriving hub of economic activity. Focus: HOPE has attracted large grants in recent years, including from the Open Society Foundation. Here, Jones discusses the organization’s strategy and its revitalization dream.