Industry preview days a golden opportunity for local companies

Each year, the North American International Auto Show opens its doors to crowds of roughly 850,000 members of the public, eager to see the latest and greatest in what the world has to offer. While the public prepares to take in what is sure to be a spectacular 2018 show, companies in the industry have a chance to come for a preview.

2017 NAIAS - Show HighlightsLast year, nearly 40,000 automotive professionals and analysts representing over 2,200 companies from around the world spent days connecting and sharing insights at the industry preview days. This valuable and unique networking and professional development opportunity brings together the key decision makers, designers and leaders responsible for the cutting-edge products, technologies and services on display at NAIAS.

In addition to the displays at the NAIAS, also included is AutoMobili-D, which features 150,000 square feet of dynamic display communities in the Cobo Center atrium overlooking the international waterway and the adjoining Planet M hall. In 2017, AutoMobili-D featured more than 180 brands, ranging from automakers, to suppliers, to tech startups as well as universities and government organizations.

According to the organizers of the NAIAS, there is no other event in North America that provides an international platform for this vast array of companies, organizations and thought leaders under one roof. The 5,000 journalists expected to attend the 2018 NAIAS preview days from more than 60 countries across the globe will have plenty to write about.

2017 NAIAS - Show HighlightsAlso a major part of the industry preview days are the more than 40 hours of mobility-focused announcements and discussions. These educational presentations are both a great way to learn about the latest in mobility and to connect directly with the companies at the forefront of developing these next-generation tools and technologies.

During the 2017 show, 17 vehicles made their worldwide debut. This is ground zero for companies looking to become suppliers and build relationships for new product lines that will be the future staples of the auto industry.

Are you a company interested in attending the industry preview days at the NAIAS? Tickets are available! Click here for more information and secure your attendance for 2018!

Posavetz, Nick IMG_0221Nick Posavetz is an economic development specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development and is focused on growing, retaining and attracting businesses to Macomb County. To learn what resources are available for your business, reach out to him at posavetz@macombgov.org.

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New Ram truck to debut

ramIf you live or work in Macomb County, you may have already spotted a heavily camouflaged vehicle on our roads. It is rumored to be the 2019 Ram 1500, and anticipation has been growing for the redesign to be revealed. The vehicle is expected to be unveiled at the North American International Auto Show, and it will be manufactured here in Macomb County at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant.

SHAP is a great example of a success story in Macomb County. It was slated for closure during the recession, but has made a remarkable comeback. Massive improvements have been made at the facility in recent years to retool it to build the next-generation Ram pickup.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has invested $1.48 billion and created 700 new jobs to support the manufacturing of the new truck and future growth of the Ram brand. This commitment is part of FCA’s effort to increase production capacity of trucks and SUVs in the U.S. to match demand.

Don’t miss the unveiling of the new Ram at 9:05 a.m. Monday, Jan. 15 at the NAIAS, and see what our Macomb County workforce is able to do!

Caitlin Gerds-Habermas is an associate planner in business outreach and communications for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.

Assistance for job seekers and employers available through Michigan Works!

Michigan Works! offers services and programs to those who need help finding a job or training, and we also help employers who need to find qualified workers. We see our “customers” as both job seekers and businesses.

While unique, each Michigan Works! office is locally responsive, demand-driven and governed by a workforce development board. In the Macomb and St. Clair County area, the Macomb-St. Clair Workforce Development Board, Inc. oversees the operation of five Michigan Works! Service Centers. Most of our services and programs are free!

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For job seekers:

For job seekers, we provide many services and programs at no cost that are funded by state and federal programs like the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. If you lack the necessary skills or are thinking of a career change, Michigan Works! can provide assessments and career counseling. If training is needed and you are eligible, we can provide financial aid and support services.

We partner with local community colleges and other proprietary schools that offer training for in-demand careers like accounting, machining/machine tool, engineering, IT, construction, electrical, transportation and health care. At our Michigan Works! Service Centers, we provide free workshops on job search, resume writing, interviewing and the use of social media including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Contact us today and set up an appointment with a career planner, or visit a Michigan Works! Service Center to post your resume on the Pure Michigan Talent Connect, access our free job search workshops and see our list of local companies who have immediate openings!

If you are 16 to 24 and just starting out in your career, our Young Professionals program offers help for those without a high school diploma or GED and are currently not attending school and who may have other barriers to finding employment.

We also have specialized services for veterans including our veteran’s boot camp, career planning, job training and veteran’s staff on location to assist you!

For businesses:

Our business customers will find an equal number of programs and services to help them find talent and save money! In Macomb and St. Clair counties, our certified business solutions professionals have assisted more than 2,000 employers with their employment and business needs, collectively saving them more than $1 million. We offer a wide range of services that include pre-hire, talent recruitment, job development, training and more.

Our customized approach allows us to align our services with the needs of the business. Some of our specific services/programs are listed below:

On-the-job training (OJT) – OJT is an essential tool that can help employers offset the cost of training new talent. OJT provides reimbursement to the employer up to 50 percent of the new employee’s wages for a designated period. This reimbursement assists in covering some of the extraordinary costs of providing the training.

Young Professionals – Partnering with Michigan Works! Young Professionals provides additional tools to assist your business in recruiting and retaining new talent. The employer provides work experience for a young adult and Michigan Works! provides wage/worker compensation for up to 480 hours.

Apprenticeships – An apprenticeship is a systematic approach to training that ensures your current and/or new employees are trained and certified to produce at the highest skill levels. This proven training model allows employers to set the benchmark and the structure that can determine the return on investment in training dollars.

Work Opportunity Tax Credit – A federal tax credit available to employers for hiring individuals from certain target groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment.

Fidelity bonding – Insurance when hiring high-risk but qualified job seekers who have bona fide offers of employment.

Skilled Trades Training Fund – Employer grants designed to assist in training, developing and retaining new and current employees.

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Call us!

Job seekers and businesses may connect with us locally in Macomb or St. Clair counties by calling (586) 469-5220. If you are from any other county in Michigan and want to find your local Michigan Works! Office, please call 1-800-285-WORKS (9675) to be automatically routed to the nearest Michigan Works! Service Center.

Colin Miller is a manufacturing talent specialist for the Macomb-St. Clair Workforce Development Board, Inc.

Macomb Community College customized programs match workforce talent to business need

Skilled employees are in high demand in southeast Michigan, but employers often struggle to find potential workers with the right combination of skills and advanced training to fill those positions. Macomb Community College is a valuable resource for area employers, working closely with them to identify needs, to provide relevant training and to connect employers with qualified candidates. In addition to developing customized programs for employers, the college also works to leverage grant funding, where possible, to heighten opportunities for individuals and to sustain and enhance growth of local businesses and industry.

Macomb’s PRISM Project, funded by a grant from the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation, is providing advanced manufacturing training to adult learners interested in upskilling.  In addition to offering training in controls technician, robot programmer, mechanical maintenance specialist and robotics technician, the program offers students comprehensive support services beginning with recruitment and choosing a career pathway through career coaching and job placement. Information sessions about this program will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Jan. 10 and Tuesday, Feb. 6 at the M-TEC facility.

Funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, Macomb’s Michigan Apprenticeship Program Plus (MAP+) works with area high schools and others to build awareness of and develop apprenticeship opportunities in the skilled trades. This program provides pre-apprenticeship training, employer matching, student outreach and assistance with associate degree attainment and four-year transferability options with a focus on manufacturing (CNC machining, tooling, die, mold, welding, industrial maintenance and others). Employers benefit by hiring highly trained employees who better understand their role and produce superior products with reduced employee turnover.

Automated systems and robotics, a high-demand field in the automotive, defense and aerospace industries, is the focus of Macomb in the Catalyst program, also made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Working closely with employers to both identify labor needs and placement opportunities, Macomb provides training in advanced manufacturing to those unemployed or underemployed as well as incumbent employees in need of additional training.

A booming economy is reliant on the combination of growing businesses and the skilled workforce to help those businesses succeed. Macomb is uniquely placed to work with area employers, develop customized programs designed to meet their specific needs and foster a skilled workforce with the interdependent goals of student success and community prosperity. For more information on Macomb Community College’s PRISM or Catalyst programs, contact workforcedev@macomb.edu. For the MAP+ initiative, email apprenticeship@macomb.edu.

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Holger Ekanger is the director of workforce and continuing education, engineering and advanced technology for Macomb Community College.

MCC to host information sessions about free advanced manufacturing training for eligible participants

MCC 1Macomb Community College will host information sessions about advanced manufacturing training programs available in several high-demand career pathways: controls technician, robot programmer, mechanical maintenance specialist and robotics technician. This is part of the PRISM (Prosperity Reaches into Southern Macomb) Project, funded by a grant from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, which focuses on workforce development, introducing students to information technology careers and engaging employers in sustainable workforce training programs.

Through this grant, the PRISM Project will provide advanced manufacturing training to a minimum of 100 adults. MCC will employ a comprehensive support services model that intensively engages with students throughout the entire process, beginning with recruitment and program selection, continuing through their course of training and extending through career coaching and job placement.

MCC President James O. Sawyer IV said that the PRISM Project is about “positioning residents for long-term success, helping them develop both foundational and technical skills to pursue sustainable career pathways versus short-term jobs. And, more broadly, it’s about enhancing community vitality, building a strong pipeline to address the skills gap, growing local business and industry, and fostering a stronger regional economy.”

In addition to workforce development efforts, the project will introduce 100 high school students to IT careers through PRISM IT academies this summer and will also work to identify opportunities for employers to be involved in sustaining workforce training programs.

“This new project is about providing a clear and more affordable pathway to industry certifications or associate degrees that are relevant to our region’s economy,” said David Egner, president and CEO of the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation. “The more local employers we can engage in helping to drive, shape and grow this project, the greater the impact it will have in connecting jobseekers with the opportunities available in these growing industries.”

MCCMCC’s advanced manufacturing training programs will be conducted January through July 2018 and will range from 13 to 19 weeks long. They will be available with either a Monday through Friday daytime schedule or an evening schedule that also includes a full-day commitment on Saturdays. The programs include both foundational skills and manufacturing training components.

Information sessions about these training programs will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, Jan. 10 and Tuesday, Feb. 6 at the college’s M-TEC facility, 7900 Tank Ave., Warren, 48092. For those living south of 16 Mile Road in Macomb County who meet other eligibility factors, all or a significant portion of tuition may be covered by the college’s PRISM Project. Additional tuition assistance may be available to financially support other individuals interested in training who do not meet PRISM requirements. To register or for more information, call (586) 498-4100 or email workforcedev@macomb.edu.

Caitlin Gerds-Habermas is an associate planner in business outreach and communications for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.

Perks of participating in Macomb Business Awards

DSC_0003The Macomb Business Awards is the perfect opportunity to network, exhibit your company’s expertise, and if you’re lucky, you may even get some national publicity. This was the case for Bakes and Kropp after winning an award in 2016.

Bakes and Kropp is a custom cabinetry company that designs and manufactures luxury kitchens, vanities, libraries and closets. Their high-end cabinetry is built in a 30,000-square-foot production facility in Mount Clemens and sold at three showrooms in the New York area as well as through a dealer in Plymouth, Michigan.

According to cofounder Paul Kropp, one of the benefits of being located in Macomb County is the area’s talented workforce and solid work ethic. Traditionally an area dominated by automotive manufacturing, Kropp says he sees the excitement employees have to work on something different. Also because of the auto industry, Macomb County also has no shortage of experienced metalworkers for Bakes and Kropp to reach out to when they have chrome plating or metal fabrication needs, enabling them to create truly unique wooden and metallic products.

At the end of 2015, Bakes and Kropp was nominated for the Macomb Business Awards in the category of Startup Business to Watch. As a growing business that had been operating for less than four years and had more than two full-time employees, they fit the qualifications for the category. The awards ceremony was held in February 2016.

Kropp said at the time, he wasn’t sure if his company would win because of the other great competing businesses, but when their name was called, he was thrilled.

“I enjoyed the whole process,” said Kropp. “The ceremony was well done, and it was a huge morale booster for the company.”

After receiving the award, the Bakes and Kropp was mentioned in several local newspaper articles and also listed on our website, MacombBusiness.com. Because of the nation’s interest in Macomb County during the presidential campaign, NBC was looking for a venue here to host a roundtable for NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt. They discovered Bakes and Kropp on our website and chose them to be the host site, and an employee even participated in the roundtable. Kropp said it was exciting to meet a celebrity and receive exposure on a national level.

While there is no guarantee your company will be mentioned in national news, you can count on a delicious breakfast, an inspirational guest speaker and the chance to take home an award. Time is running out to be a part of this year’s Macomb Business Awards. Today is the deadline for nominations. Simply go to our website to nominate your company.

Caitlin Gerds-Habermas is an associate planner in business outreach and communications for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.

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Macomb County ready to incentivize your business growth

Summit Plastic Molding breaks ground in Bruce Township

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It was a sunny November day, the best you could hope for, when Summit Plastic Molding held an outdoor groundbreaking ceremony in front of the crowd in attendance and the local media. The buzz was for a brand-new facility that would employ 80 people in Bruce Township. It was a day of celebration. For the company. For Bruce Township. And for the employees that will be able to provide for their families. It was a celebration that is the culmination of an effective partnership between the business and the team at the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.

One of the most important business decisions a company will make is choosing where to locate. Our team of professionals here at the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development have the resources to guide a company through all steps of the process including incentivizing a company’s growth.

These services helped Summit Plastic Molding secure a 12-year tax abatement on their new facility, a 22.41-acre parcel on 33 Mile Road, east of Van Dyke. The overall investment, including new equipment, is expected to be close to $10 million with two additional industrial buildings planned for the future. To secure the abatement, our team assisted with the following:

  • Identified which local and state-level resources were appropriate for the development and fit the criteria of the project and industry.
  • Established an Industrial Development District with the local community for the development site which is a requirement to apply for an abatement.
  • Completed the necessary paperwork required to request an Industrial Facilities Tax Exemption (a tax abatement).
  • Presented with the company to the township board at their local meeting to secure required local approval for the abatement request.

As a result of these services, Summit Plastic Molding’s new 64,200-square-foot building will serve as the company’s new headquarters and manufacturing facility. The building will be a state-of-the-art facility that provides efficiencies in energy, logistics and automation.

The services our economic development team provided Summit Plastic Molding to aid their growth can be utilized to help your business grow as well. Summit Plastic Molding joins a growing list of companies that we have successfully been able to help incentivize growth for in Macomb this year. Others include Amazon, Cabela’s and Grupo Antolin Michigan Inc. You can see who and where we’ve helped on  our interactive GIS map!

If you’re a company thinking about growing or locating in Macomb, reach out to us. We can connect you to resources and programs that can support all aspects of your expansion. We look forward to celebrating your groundbreaking as well!

Posavetz, Nick IMG_0221Nick Posavetz is an economic development specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development and is focused on growing, retaining and attracting businesses to Macomb County. To learn about what resources are available for your business, reach out to him at posavetz@macombgov.org.