Cybersecurity in Macomb County: MADCAT

You know it’s time for the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual Mackinac Policy Conference when Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel’s bright smile shines down on you from a billboard.

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This annual conference is a time for Michigan lawmakers and businesses to commingle and discuss the region’s most pressing issues. This year, as the billboard located along I-75 near Mackinaw City displays, Hackel will promote the importance of cybersecurity and how Macomb County is blazing the trail in this industry with the help of MADCAT (Michigan Automotive & Defense Cyber Assurance Team).

Spearheaded by the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development, MADCAT is an organization comprised of representatives from government, business and academia who all have the same concern – how to guard against cyberthreats. Through this collaborative partnership, MADCAT aims to advance cybersecurity technology as well as to stimulate related economic development in southeast Michigan.

Another objective of MADCAT is to work with local colleges, universities and the Macomb Intermediate School District to cultivate talent in this growing industry. This means reaching out to students and educators to introduce them to careers in the field. According to Emsi, specialists in economic data research, in just four years, the number of well-paying software development jobs in Macomb County is projected to grow by 50 percent.

As the importance of connected technologies continues to grow in many industries, so does the need to protect confidential information from cyberattacks. If you are interested in partnering with MADCAT, visit their website at MADCAT.org.

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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Healthy food just became a lot more convenient

Clean Planet Foods was born from the same food entrepreneurs that created the very successful Garden Fresh Gourmet brand, which most of us know from their salsa, tortilla chips, hummus and dips. When I first tasted the products from Clean Planet Foods, based in Clinton Township, I was amazed how fresh it tasted and how simple it was to prepare. A light bulb immediately went off in my head: This is how I can eat healthy at work and at home with only a minute or two to prepare my meal. The selection keeps growing as well, from chicken to turkey patties, and now I just had some great meatballs.

Cp2One of my favorite parts about Clean Planet Foods is that they want a really healthy, fresh product with the highest food safety that can be delivered. They put each product into a High Pressure Pasteurization machine that seals in the freshness and helps keep your product safe. Another great part about this is you can order online at CleanPlanetFoods.com, and fresh products will show up at the door in a 10- or 30-count box, and you can reorder automatically. Continue reading for what owner Jack Aronson says about his newest product line.

Jack Johns is a senior economic development specialist with the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development. He specializes in assisting food and agriculture, automotive, energy and retail companies.

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Dear Fellow Food and Fitness Lover,

I founded Clean Planet on simple, down-to-earth principles. Make honest and healthy food, make it safe and out-of-this-world good, and make it easy to get and prepare. After all, what’s the point of being healthy if you can’t enjoy life? So, I got together with some of my favorite chefs, and along with nationally-syndicated health and fitness coach Peter Nielsen, we set about creating a line of outrageously tasty, fully-cooked whole proteins using some of my best recipes. As a team, we worked hard to make them delicious, nutritious and quick. When we finished, we knew that we had before us the cleanest, most convenient, most mouth-watering line of proteins the world had ever seen. It seemed only appropriate to name the line something special, so we called it Clean Planet.

Although our principles are modest, our goal is not. Simply put, we’re out to change the way the world eats for the better. It all starts with your visit to another planet, a planet without compromise.

No need to compromise on taste. From our juicy turkey patties to our tender, melt-in-your-mouth, Jamaican-style jerk chicken, these chef-inspired proteins are as good to eat as anything you’ll find in your favorite four-star restaurant.

No need to compromise on nutrition. Our gluten-free, center-of-plate meat products are loaded with delicious, whole protein, as many as 26 grams in a single serving, and contain no artificial additives.

No need to compromise on convenience. Each Clean Planet protein serving comes individually wrapped in a special food-safe pouch designed to steam in all the natural juices. And variety? Trust me, with our wide assortment of flavors, you will never get bored.

Don’t look for us in the grocery store. The only way to enjoy Clean Planet proteins is to order them direct online or purchase them through one of our affiliates.

Looking to build lean muscle? Interested in shedding a few pounds by eating right? Maybe you just want to feel better. Only you can know what’s in your heart. And only you can do what’s best for your heart. It all starts with you.  So make Clean Planet a regular stop as you travel through the galaxy of food choices in this land of abundance. We know your life will change – for the better.

Jack Aronson is the founder and chief protein officer of Clean Planet Foods.

 

Courting foreign direct investment in Germany

Over 4,000 miles away from Detroit, KUKA Germany’s CEO Dr. Till Reuter shook hands with Gov. Rick Snyder at Hannover Messe, the world’s largest industrial trade fair. In this same space, KUKA Germany, KUKA Systems North America, as well as KUKA subsidiaries from around the globe, converged for this one week, meeting with business clients – past, present and future.

Germany.jpgTheir booth footprint was massive, impressive and interactive. However, their true presence was much more profound all over the showroom floors, as system integrators demonstrated how their products aligned with KUKA’s automation and robotic technologies.

KUKA Systems North America, headquartered in Macomb County, was one of the many companies that made the trip to Hannover, Germany. I joined as part of the Automation Alley trade mission, along with other Michigan-based companies, two from Macomb County: Omnico AGV and JAAN Technologies. This year was unique because the U.S. was the Partner Country for the Hannover Messe Fair, welcoming President Obama at the Opening Ceremony.

More than 465 U.S. companies exhibited at Hannover Messe, a much larger presence than in previous years. It was easy to get lost on the floors which housed 5,200 exhibitors spread out over 27 different halls. In total, the show brought in over 190,000 visitors from all over the world. Many languages were spoken, and the meetings I had were rich in investment and growth opportunities.

My mission was to meet with companies seeking a U.S. location for expanding their market and production capability. Michigan, especially Macomb County, is prime for these types of foreign direct investments, especially with our rich roots and strong workforce in advanced manufacturing for the automotive, aerospace and defense industries. In total, I walked 56,000 steps over the four days I attended the Hannover Messe Fair – each step bringing these opportunities closer to home.

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Vicky Rad is the deputy director of the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.

Macomb County Celebrates Nurses during National Nurses Week 2016!

For the 12,667 nurses working in Macomb County, May 6 marks the beginning of National Nurses Week. Nurses play a vital role in Macomb County, not just in the critical care that they provide their patients but also for their prominence within the county’s economic foundation.

Since 2000, the number of nursing jobs in Macomb County has risen 52 percent from 8,330 to 12,667. This key industry has shown healthy growth, even during the Great Recession.

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These are great paying jobs too. The average wage is well above the average overall for private sector wages in Macomb County.

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The job outlook continues to be bright. If you are considering a career in nursing, or know someone who is, employers are certainly looking for you! Data tracked by EMSI, an economic modeling and forecasting firm, tracks online job postings. Overall, both the number of posts and unique posts continue to show significant increases.

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Within Macomb County, there are a number of nursing programs available. Oakland University, Baker University, Davenport University and Macomb Community college all offer programs for students.

In addition to National Nurses Week, as of 1998, May 8 was designated as National Student Nurses Day, to be celebrated annually. And as of 2003, National School Nurse Day is celebrated on the Wednesday within National Nurses Week each year.

To all of Macomb County’s nurses, we say thank you!

Posavetz, Nick IMG_0221Nick Posavetz is a Senior Planner for Macomb County, often providing content for the Macomb Business & Make Macomb Your Home websites and associated social media accounts. If you have something you’d like to feature, reach out to him at posavetz@macombgov.org

Helping Macomb County small businesses succeed

 

This week is National Small Business Week, and it is the perfect time for entrepreneurs and small business owners to learn about the many services the Michigan Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has to offer.

The SBDC is funded by a host of partners, most notably the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. As the counseling arm of the SBA, the SBDC is able to provide entrepreneurs with a variety of tools to help grow a business including:

  • Providing the Guide to Starting and Operating a Business, a step-by-step 64-page resource.
  • Offering no-cost and low-cost training sessions that teach about running and growing your business.
  • Through personalized, one-on-one business counseling to help with planning and growth strategies.
  • Assisting with business plan development – your blueprint to business that helps you stay on track.
  • Aiding in financial management, including cash flow analysis and steps to raising capital.
  • Suggesting ways to grow your business with strategic planning, financial analysis and exporting strategies.
  • Delivering marketing assistance, including market research and search engine optimization for your website.
  • Helping tech companies bring new products to market with technology commercialization.

Some of the ways we have helped Macomb County companies:

  • Provided demographics and other market research to a new restaurant so they know who their potential customers will be.
  • Helped an owner prepare a compelling loan application to fund business expansion.
  • Brainstormed different marketing strategies for a construction company to enter into new markets.
  • Worked with a landscape firm to help understand their financial statements so they can make better management decisions.
  • Assisted a technology company to better describe their product and its benefits.
  • Connected a food company to local resources.
  • Supported an entrepreneur as they grew from a home-based business into a thriving retail brick and mortar.

These services are at no-cost (or low-cost for some of the business workshops). They are not free, but pre-funded through your tax dollars. You have paid for them, you might as well use them! Visit us today at www.SBDCMichigan.org/Macomb  or 586-254-3551.

P.S. For your friends and neighbors in other counties, we are here to help them too. There is a SBDC program in every state.

Wendy Richardson is a business consultant with the Macomb County branch of the Michigan Small Business Development Center.