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that strategically assists individuals with employment opportunities based on their existing skills. Co-founder Zola Stewart began helping friends and family find em- ployment while she was working as a Medical Business Practitioner. She quick- ly realized that she had a natural talent and decided to take a leap into a business that could assist a whole community. With her sister Barbara Walker-Johnson helping, they formed a workforce management company that is now a four core business: Focus Solutions, Inc., Focus Staffing (temp to hire), Focus Custom Calling and IncuBusiness. The idea of a staffing agency was not


Focus Solutions, Inc. F


ocus Solutions, Inc. is a minority and woman owned and operated company


enough for the two sisters; they both agreed that in order to be sure employees were successful they needed to have not only the skills, but the goals and values to increase their long term-retention. “We started it as a staffing company because we wanted to bridge the gap and help or- ganizations realize some cost savings and efficiencies by developing their temporary workforce,” says Stewart about the initial idea to begin the staffing agency. Individ- uals in the community needed employ-


1st Row (seated l. to. r) – Tracey Thurmond, Zola Stewart (owner), Carmen Thomas 2nd Row (standing l. to r.) – Dhana Donaldson, Barbara Walker Johnson (owner), George Johnson, David Walker, Yvonne Brown and Glenna Johnson


ment but lacked developmental skills; then there were corporations that only saw temporary employees as turnovers be- cause those employees did not ‘fit the part’. Stewart suggest that their business model was built around providing the de- velopment that other temporary agencies did not do, “We were the revolving door


and we managed individuals more like in- ternal employees than temporary labor.” The company has developed partner- ships and strategic relationships with non- profit organizations that specialize in as- sisting individuals to be professionals. This in turn assists in obtaining job op- portunities and provides feedback to help that individual improve. Zola Stewart sug- gests “when an individual loses their tem- porary job it isn’t necessarily a bad thing, we call it ‘tough love’ and a way to im- prove.” She adds, “ we sit down and say, ‘ok, how are you willing to work on this?’ ‘What can we do better next time?’” Fo- cus Solutions engages with a client so that their inclusivity in organizations and the diversification of their workforce and par- ticipation in the community is met. As a six sigma black belt company, Fo-


Zola President/CEO and Barbara Walker-Johnson, VP/COO 30 www.blackeoejournal.com


cus Solutions continuously works on im- proving and eliminating waste out of pro- cesses to improve the workforce and human capital. Focus Solutions provides innovative strategies and unique prospec- tives around the human capital which in- cludes a supply base, employees or tem- porary workforce. Rather than be seen as a supplier, Focus Solutions wants to be seen as an internal part of a company by providing development, leadership and training to collaborate and build partner-


The Black E.O.E. Journal


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