Attention Local Businesses! We want to help you reach shoppers this holiday season.

mapIn an effort to support independently owned and operated retailers this holiday season, the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development is partnering with the Sterling Heights Regional and Macomb County chambers to launch the #ShopLocalMacomb campaign.

As part of the promotion an interactive Shop Local Macomb map was created which features more than 1,600 locally owned stores. The map is searchable by type of merchandise sold or location. If we have missed you, please let us know planning@macombgov.org .

Visit makemacombyourhome.com/shoplocal to submit your store information, photo and holiday specials and we will share it in our #ShopLocalMacomb gallery.

Shoppers will have a chance to enter a contest to win one of five $500 gift cards, donated by First State Bank. Shoppers can snap a photo of them shopping local and post it online between November 24 and December 3. Winners will be randomly selected during a live Facebook drawing at noon on Monday, December 4.

Help promote Shop Local Macomb by downloading a flyer to hang in your window or door and sharing it on social media using #ShopLocalMacomb

More details about the campaign can be found at www.MakeMacombYourHome.com

Lauri Cowhy is a senior communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

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Macomb County meets Montreal at ITS

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It was only four years ago when I travelled to my first Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) World Congress, hosted in Tokyo, Japan. Back then, futurists talked about a world where cars would be driverless and the movement of people and freight will be transformed.

Fast forward to last week, at the ITS World Congress in Montreal, and the concepts of yesterday are disrupting the way we as cities, counties, states and countries use connected technology and big data to change the transportation industry. We are in a unique place in time, at the crosshair where the physical systems (roads, infrastructure, signals and automobiles) are meeting the digital world – and it’s evolving at a rapid pace.

Each year, the ITS World Congress rotates between the European, Asian and North American markets and is a massive gathering for the exchange of ideas and innovation that moves the world. The dominance of mobility technology was prevalent on the showroom floor and on the stage. The message was clear: Michigan is a global leader. Our governor, Rick Snyder, joined the delegation representing Michigan and the leadership at the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) under a partnership that is branded “Planet M, where big ideas in mobility are born.”

As an economic developer, I see how these concepts in connected technologies are changing the face of Macomb County. Our workforce is evolving, trying to keep pace with the rapid demand of a talent pipeline not yet matured. A traffic engineer will now need skills in software, hardware and cyber physical systems to grow in this industry.

During the conference, I had the opportunity to meet more than 30 students from the US and Canada and talk about next-generation mobility careers in cybersecurity. Organized by Mobile Comply, an ITS training company based in Sterling Heights, the conference allowed these students to travel to Montreal to immerse themselves in cybersecurity scenarios that deploy connected technology. They learned about our initiative, the Michigan Automotive and Defense Cyber Assurance Team (MADCAT) and how to engage our industry partners in these new careers. The pathway for these students has been set into motion.

This year, John Abraham from our ITS team within the Macomb County Department of Roads joined me in Montreal. His vision to make Macomb County a “Connected County” is happening. Today, we have more than 150 miles of connected roadways ready for the early adopters and innovators to bring their technologies to our major thoroughfares and into our vehicles. Centered by our traffic operations center, COMTEC, we have a unique infrastructure in place with more than 220 roadside units ready to test in a live environment. As we met with industry game changers like Hitachi, Siemens and Microsoft, it was clear there are greater opportunities to partner with these technology giants.

In June 2018, ITS America will host its annual conference in Detroit, showcasing our best. Macomb County is ready.

 

One Guy Making a Pizza Pie – With a Little Help

The one thing I have no interest in doing is cooking. There is nothing around the house I’m afraid to tackle, but I just really dislike cooking. When I want to eat, I just want to eat and not be in the kitchen for an hour. Some people enjoy it and even invite friends over to show them how they mastered their barbecue. Whatever! I find it beyond painful and prefer to specialize in eating. That is why this next part is so surprising.

I met a couple of firefighters during a business meeting who were talking about their plans to take over the world with a great new seasoning packet that you add to tomato paste for pizza and add to tomatoes for pasta sauce. Again, I don’t cook so I looked at them and said, “Really? Just add this to the tomatoes, and I will look like someone who knows what he is doing in the kitchen?”

On a side note, my father was a volunteer firefighter for 15 years for Macomb Township so I thought these two guys were probably trustworthy.

I went to the store and got an already-made pizza crust, some already-cut cheese and some tomato paste and mixed in their Just Add Tomatoes special seasoning packet. I put it all together like I have seen it done a million times at many of my favorite pizza locations. I put it in the oven for the amount of time it said on the back of the crust directions, and BAM! It was ready for consumption.

My wife walked in and almost passed out for I was making the best-looking pizza in the land. Let me tell you, I was pretty proud of this masterpiece, and yes, it was really easy to do. It tasted really good, and I may even make some spaghetti sauce in the future because of how easy Just Add Tomatoes seasoning packet was to use. The best part was my wife was very happy to see that I tried my hand at cooking and did not burn down the kitchen.

If you would like to learn more about Just Add Tomatoes, please go to their website at www.justaddtomatoespizzasauce.com.

 

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Jack Johns is a Project Coordinator within the economic development services group. He specializes in serving the food and agricultural industry as well as automation, robotics, connected vehicles, energy and retail businesses.

Lincoln High School unveils enhanced CAD/CAM program

Our department was privileged to join with county officials, district personal, former students and business leaders at the Lincoln High School Center for Career and Technology in Warren. The gathering was to celebrate new machinery which will enable students to prepare for high-demand careers in manufacturing.

Press Event 087A DMG MORI 5-axis CNC machine, valued at $250,000, was given to Van Dyke Public Schools on a two-year, no cost lease from DMG MORI. Based in Japan with locations across the globe, DMG MORI is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of CNC machines.  The gift will enable students to hone their computer aided drafting (CAD) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM) skills through the school’s career technical education program.

Dr. Masahiko Mori, president of DMG MORI, flew in from Japan to be part of the celebration.  It was obvious from his remarks that he and his company are happy to support educational programs that produced trained and ready individuals to run their machines.

Rick Hecker, President and CEO of Eifel Mold & Engineering of Fraser, chairs the school’s business advisory committee for CAD/CAM. He is credited with securing the donation. When he shared the good news with committee members, others stepped forward to make sure that the equipment would be installed and serviced at no cost to the district:

  • Metro Air Compressor of Roseville offered the necessary air compressor and installed it.
  • Powertran Transformers of Ferndale offered a transformer
  • Autodesk, a software developer from California, will provide 75 Powermill licenses for use by students and instructors
  • Spectron Electric of Fraser finalized installation with materials provided by Grant Industries, also of Fraser

Press Event 073During the event, the American Mold Builders Association (AMBA) presented a check for $10,000 from the American Mold Manufacturing Advancement Fund (AMMA Fund) to cover additional expenses.

The best part of the evening was near the end of formal presentation when Lincoln graduates of the program were invited to make remarks. Many of them are currently employed in the industry and were proud to share their success story with the crowd of more than 50 people.

Each of them credited their instructors, Mr. Fred Cook and Mr. Mike Zainea for inspiring them to be the best they can be.

Miller’s Big Red now offers Union Joints for weekend visitors

mbr_logo3Here is another reason to Fall in Love with Macomb and our orchards.

Every weekend this fall, Big Red will feature a “pop-up” restaurant called “Union Joints.” Union Joints features favorite menu items from Clarkston Union, Union Woodshop, Vinsetta Garage, Fenton Firehall and Union General.  And yes, the mouth-watering and award-winning Union mac-n-cheese and other favorites are available on Saturdays and Sundays between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., or until they sell out. Reservations are not required. Order your selections at the counter and then enjoy it at the picnic tables or picnic-style on the grass.

Big Red has new owners and has undergone several significant building projects.  The new owners have been careful to maintain all the best of 50 years of tradition while appealing to a modern generation yearning to experience a little piece of the country, savory tastes, and an afternoon knee-deep in a pumpkin patch.

A trip to Big Red is not complete without a stop in the farm’s Marketplace. Brimming with farm fresh produce, made-from-scratch baked goods, gourmet condiments and other exceptional local products. While you’re here, experience the aroma, sights and sounds of cider making and the taste of homemade donuts and caramel apples. Enjoy a picnic, visit the petting farm, take a hayride, get lost in a corn maze, climb a straw mountain and even pick your own apples.

Big Red also won best Cider in Michigan in 2016!

Miller’s Big Red is located at 4900 32 Mile Road in Washington, Michigan. Check them out on facebook or at millersbigred.com

Lauri Cowhy is a senior communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

Buy Nearby is this weekend!

MRA-infographicThe Buy Nearby campaign is an ongoing, year-round, feel-good campaign intended to create excitement about the great shopping in Michigan and the advantages of supporting retailers and communities in Michigan. You can think of it as a “shop local” campaign for the entire state. The campaign is designed to get everyone excited about the great places and great shops in Michigan and get shoppers committed to buying in Michigan.

The campaign runs throughout the year and is formally celebrated on the first weekend in October, called “I Buy Nearby Weekend.” The two-day special shopping weekend, which this year falls on Oct. 7-8, will include a drawing for a $500 gift card to one lucky shopper who posts a photo of buying nearby with the hashtag #ibuynearby.

In addition to promoting the fun and value of shopping at Michigan retail businesses, the Buy Nearby campaign is designed to be an economic driver for the state.

Did you know that there are about 1,600 independently owned and operated retail establishments in Macomb? Support Buy Nearby in Macomb County this weekend.  Check out our interactive map of independently owned and operated store throughout the county.

Shoppers and retailers are encouraged to use social media to post photos and comments during “I Buy Nearby Weekend,” as well as throughout the year, about their great experiences when they Buy Nearby.

The Buy Nearby campaign was created by the Michigan Retailers Association and launched in April 2013. The 2017 campaign is sponsored by DTE Energy (title sponsor) and Retailers Insurance Company (supporting sponsor). Contributions to the campaign can be made on the Buy Nearby website at www.BuyNearbyMI.com.

There is still time to participate in the 5th Annual  Business Super Prepared

SuperPrepared-Logo_Trans_ColorBusiness owners must expect the unexpected—AND prepare for it! That’s the message of the 5th Annual  Business Super Prepared”, a conference and expo planned for Wednesday, September 27, at the Lorenzo Cultural Center, Macomb Community College, in Clinton Township.

Top area hospitals and county emergency management teams have joined forces to present this event along with the Macomb County Chamber.

“We read headlines every day about terrible situations that businesses go through—from fires to workplace violence to computer security breaches,” said Grace Shore, CEO of the Macomb County Chamber.  “While we can’t predict what will happen, we can and should do our best to be prepared. Having a plan in place with the ability to respond quickly could mean the difference between business survival and failure.”

Local industry experts will present workshops and case studies on topics including:

  • Cyber Security – Single Employee Click
  • Managing Disruptive Behaviors
  • Being Prepared: A Community Responsibility
  • Human Trafficking
  • Case Study: Equifax Security Breach and what it means to you!

Event sponsors are: Beaumont Hospitals, United Shore Baseball League, General Motors, Accident Fund and McLaren Macomb.  This event is presented in partnership with Leadership Macomb and Macomb County Emergency Management.

“This is really valuable information that everyone needs to consider. We hope our business community and area municipalities will take advantage of the dynamic program and resources that we have assembled,” said Vicki Wolber, director of Macomb County Emergency Management and Communications.

The conference and expo take place from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Macomb Community College’s Lorenzo Cultural Center. The event costs $15 and includes continental breakfast and lunch and vendor show. Register online at Macomb County Chamber or phone (586) 493-7600 with questions.