Diversification Leader nominees revealed for Macomb Business Awards

A lesson many successful Macomb County companies learned during the Great Recession is the necessity of diversifying products or services to reach new markets. The 5th Annual Macomb Business Awards Feb. 14 is honoring 16 area businesses that have done just that. Here are the nominees for 2017 Diversification Leader:

Advancing Macomb (Mount Clemens)

Advancing Macomb is a business and community leadership group representing 20 leading employers, three principal business organizations and the largest higher educational institution in Macomb County. The organization is committed to improving local communities by leveraging a unified civic leadership voice throughout the Detroit region. Their vision is to enhance the quality of life for Macomb County communities, add value to the lives of residents and create an enriching environment to live, learn, recreate, innovate and conduct business. By bringing together and collaborating with diverse organizations, Advancing Macomb is able to accomplish great efforts in the county.

advancingmacomb.com

 

Argentine Tango Detroit (Utica)

ATD is the heart and soul of the historical downtown Utica area. They bring together a diverse culture of like-minded people who love the sport of dancing. With U.S. champions for more than 15 years, ATD has been building an exceptional reputation in the state of Michigan. The studio has top specialists in many popular dance styles including salsa, ballroom, club-style Latin and swing dancing. They are considered the go-to place for training on all levels.

argentinetangodetroit.com

 

Baker Industries (Macomb Township)

Still privately owned by the Baker family, Baker Industries has been in business for 24 years as a tier one and tier two supplier for automotive and aerospace industries. They began as a duplicating company and have evolved over the years to become a premier tooling and machining shop. With the goal of encompassing all the capabilities that their customers could wish for in a supplier, today Baker has expanded to include machining, fabrication, injection molding, tooling, 3-D printing, project management and quality assurance. With the addition of a 3-D printer, they have entered new markets including medical, agriculture, appliances, energy and defense.

bakerindustriesinc.com

 

Bartec USA, LLC (Sterling Heights)

Headquartered in Sterling Heights since 2004, Bartec has been at the forefront of diagnostic repair tools for the tire service and repair industry. The company began as a small supplier of electronic equipment, but has expanded over the years to supply programming equipment for tire pressure monitoring systems to nearly all of the major automotive OEs. Bartec creates innovative diagnostic tool solutions for both OE dealerships and the aftermarket service industry alike. Today, Bartec tools feature advance programming capability, wireless data transfer and Wi-Fi updating. Through acquisition and organic growth, Bartec continues to increase their range of products.

bartecusa.com

 

Carlson-Dimond & Wright, Inc. (Chesterfield Township)

Carlson-Dimond & Wright is an industrial distributor and manufacturer of rotating equipment such as industrial motors, gearboxes, clutches, brakes, actuators, bearings and conveyors. Their customers are OEMs and consumers including power plants, aggregate companies and wastewater treatment plants. The company realized the potential to grow sales by entering the auto wash industry as an equipment and parts supplier. They created and produced a line specific to the needs of auto washes and built a website targeting this industry, autowashparts.com. They invested engineering hours to design and make improvements to commonly-purchased items and dedicated a sales engineer to lead this new successful sales initiative.

cdwdrives.com

 

CBJ Transportation (Clinton Township)

CBJ Transportation is a luxury transportation company headquartered in Clinton Township. Their growing fleet of large and small vehicles includes limo and shuttle buses as well as executive mini coaches. They are focused on providing clients with a safe, courteous, dependable and high-quality transportation experience. Before starting CBJ Transportation, owner Jarred Cloin had a valet business, CBJ Valet. Cloin instinctively sought to meet the growing needs of his valet business and existing clients by expanding into shuttle services. Since entering this new market, clients range from local businesses and politicians to Fortune 500 companies and the Secret Service.

cbjtransportation.com

 

College Park Industries (Warren)

College Park is the prosthetics manufacturer that developed the world’s first multi-axial foot with anatomical motion, the Trustep. They have developed products to address a variety of unique requirements, from a heel-height adjustable foot to a high-impact foot worn by Paralympic athletes. Sales have significantly increased recently due to the launch of eight new products and distribution into 20 new countries. A new state-of-the-art education facility will open at their research and development technical center in Mount Clemens. This will offer hands-on training and observation, providing continued education for practitioners and leading to additional staffing and growth at College Park.

college-park.com

 

Duggan Manufacturing (Shelby Township)

Duggan is a producer of prototype metal stampings and welded assemblies for the automotive industry.  They have been expanding services to include improved five-axis laser cutting and fiber optic-powered laser welding. They are also tapping into new markets through offering services to new industries, such as military, agriculture and aerospace, as well as reaching new geographical markets. They are working with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Pure Michigan and Automation Alley to expand exports to Mexico. They have also teamed up with their local Procurement Technical Assistance Center to learn how to access new opportunities through government programs for small business.

dugganmfg.com

 

Consul General of Macedonia (Southfield)

The Consulate General of the Republic of Macedonia in Detroit is the diplomatic office of the government of the Republic of Macedonia and is responsible for 14 federal states in the United States of America. Sparking creativity, creating training programs and joint planning are among several steps they have taken in the past three years to promote and maintain their diversified workspace. They work with the large Macedonian diaspora and businesses located in Macomb County. By promoting and working with highly-diversified organizations, they are able to have successful projects both with Macedonian diaspora and businesses and international organizations.

mfa.gov.mk/detroit

 

I.F. Metalworks (Roseville)

Established in 2002, I.F. Metalworks is a woman-owned machining and welding company that offers a diverse range of products including industrial tools and tooling for a variety of applications, commercial merchandising displays and top-quality architectural/ornamental metalwork. With 15 employees, they are always willing to take on students to teach them the art of welding. They have outgrown their facility once and are on the verge of doing it again. Their rapid growth is due to their reputation, delivery and service. I.F. Metalworks caters to automotive, defense, architectural, industrial and motion picture industries. In addition to training future welders, they also support the veteran community.

ifmetalworks.com

 

Michigan Business Consultants Training and Development LLC (Armada)

MBC provides talent management in areas of leadership development and training, executive and team coaching, strategic facilitation, and human resources consulting to manufacturing, education, government, retail and health care industries. Growing to offer multiple leadership development series for executive leaders, mid-level leaders and front line supervisors has met the changing demands of clients. MBC worked with more than 6,500 leaders in 2016, expanded their outreach to new markets and increased revenue. MBC has added leadership assessments, blended coaching and team leadership development to provide unique customized approaches for individuals and teams to meet their specific goals and strategic initiatives.

mbctraining.com

 

National Bronze Mfg. Co. (Roseville)

National began 105 years ago in a modified horse stable as a bronze casting foundry mainly pouring molten metal castings for the automobile industry. Today, the company is one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of bronze-based products. Looking beyond the automotive industry, National was able to reach a much larger and more diversified customer base by utilizing the growing trend of digital marketing. Further embracing technology trends, they have recently expanded into the world of B2B e-commerce with the launch of two cutting-edge e-commerce websites. National is able to offer millennial customers purchasing platforms they are familiar using in their personal lives.

nationalbronze.com

 

Paragon Technologies (Warren)

Paragon Technologies is a hydraulic, electronic, pneumatic, robotic, mechanical and servo motor repair job shop. They have diversified their repair and service lines to encompass the energy sector. In the past year, a newly-formed nuclear power plant actuator team has been established to drive expansion into this market. This has led to organic growth for the company and adds new industrial services to Macomb County. Customers include Siemens and Mitsubishi. Estimated growth for this new service line is 50 percent in 2017.

paragontech.com

 

SME (Shelby Township)

Whether developing a new site, redeveloping an existing brownfield site, constructing or rehabilitating infrastructure or acquiring, rehabilitating or managing existing facilities, SME can help. SME has historically provided top-notch environmental, materials testing and geotechnical engineering services. They have generated significant growth through expanding their range of services and serving new markets. For example, SME played an integral role in developing Jimmy John’s Field in Utica. They contributed during the earliest conceptual phases of the park all the way through to opening day, going beyond their traditional services to provide civil design, pavement and economic incentive services that were critical to the project’s success.

http://www.sme-usa.com

 

SRC Refrigeration (Sterling Heights)

SRC has more than 36 years of experience manufacturing and selling top-quality, energy-efficient walk-in coolers, walk-in freezers, combo units and cold rooms. They also design and build the highest quality coolers/freezers, beverage coolers, beer caves and refrigeration systems for restaurants, convenience stores, bars, funeral homes, schools, breweries and floral shops. With their highly-advanced manufacturing equipment and innovative processes, SRC can quote, design, build and ship special orders of custom-designed refrigerators, display cases and freezers faster than anyone in the industry. They have used their expertise in refrigeration units to build a new product called Motor City Growler, a portable craft beer pouring station.

srcrefrigeration.com

 

TransNav Technologies (New Baltimore)

Headquartered in New Baltimore and with production facilities and strategic partnerships around the world, TransNav is a family-owned plastic injection molding firm. This multi-nationally focused engineering, development and manufacturing organization has worked across many industries on nearly every continent. Constant innovation, a technology-based approach and a can-do attitude have cemented TransNav’s reputation as a reliable business partner. This firm has been molding plastics since 1981 and has since transitioned from a pure play automotive firm to commercial products used by the public, such as the plastic shopping carts seen at Target.

transnav.com

 

Read our past blogs to learn more about Corporate Citizen and Champion of Workforce Development nominees. Tickets for Macomb Business Awards are available online until Feb. 8.

 

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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New cybersecurity hub latest in Macomb County workforce enhancements

20170124_085350Seeking to be at the forefront of workforce development, Macomb County celebrated the opening of the new Michigan Cyber Range Hub at Wayne State’s Advance Technology Education Center in Warren this week. This new hub will provide hands-on experience for students in areas of cybersecurity, hosting activities such as digital capture-the-flag events where participants use skills to work on digital penetration and forensics to gather clues and collect evidence in a timed and scored environment.

Operated by Ann Arbor-based nonprofit Merit Network Inc., the hub provides its services through the Wayne State College of Engineering and Division of Educational Outreach. The hub is the latest in a network of cyber ranges already in place in Macomb County. Velocity, Selfridge Air National Guard Base and General Dynamics Land Systems all feature fully operational cybersecurity hubs.

The opening ceremony brought together a regional network of workforce development partners including Wayne State University Provost Keith Whitfield; Sean Carlson, executive director of the Michigan Defense Center; Jim Jacobs, president of Macomb Community College; Joseph Sawasky, president and CEO of Merit Network; and Tricia Walding, senior project manager with the Workforce Intelligence Network.

20170124_091930Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel was on hand for the ceremony and remarked how the opening reflects a continued trend of Macomb County’s readiness to compete in a globally competitive market and of the county’s emergence as a front runner in the information technology industry.

“I was born and raised within a stone’s throw of this place,” Hackel said. “The transformation of Macomb County has been absolutely incredible. This will bring together educators and industry for the betterment of all southeastern Michigan. We look forward to sharing the hub with the community.”

Resources to create the hub were provided in support from the Southeast Michigan Defense Industry Adjustment Grant through the Office of Economic Adjustment in the Department of Defense.

Posavetz, Nick IMG_0221Nick Posavetz is a senior planner for Macomb County, providing content for the Macomb Business and 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.

Corporate Citizens compete to take home Macomb Business award

 

The Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development’s 5th Annual Macomb Business Awards is quickly approaching! The awards breakfast will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 14 at Palazzo Grande in Shelby Township.

Nominations in six award categories have been collected and reviewed by a panel of judges. Last week, we let out a sneak peek at the amazing companies vying for Champion of Workforce Development.

Competing for the Corporate Citizen award are 14 Macomb County companies who excel at engaging the local community through service and financial support. Be sure to purchase your ticket to see who will take home the award.

Anderson, Eckstein and Westrick, Inc. (Shelby Township)

AEW is a leading design firm that provides civil engineering, architecture, geographic information systems, consulting and surveying services to municipal, institutional and private clients. They are committed to the enduring strength of our communities through innovation, value and engineering excellence. In 2016, AEW supported more than 65 community events, charitable foundations, food pantries and service clubs. They are also dues-paying members of more than 30 professional organizations, chambers of commerce and service organizations. AEW’s team of employees and managers hold food pantry drives, support Selfridge Air National Guard Base families at Christmas and donate hundreds of hours annually to performing community service.

aewinc.com

 

Bay Rama Inc.  (New Baltimore)

The Bay Rama Committee was formed in 1964. They have approximately 75 board and committee members and more than 100 active volunteers. Their purpose is to better the Anchor Bay community and make an economic impact. Their main fundraiser is the annual Bay-Rama Fishfly Festival, and they also sponsor the New Baltimore Christmas Tree Lighting in December. Bay Rama supports many local groups including New Baltimore Recreation, MacDonald Library, New Baltimore Lions and more. They have awarded more than $80,000 in scholarships to Anchor Bay graduates and donated more than $2 million to Walter and Mary Burke Park and Festival Park.

bay-rama.com

 

Binson’s Medical Equipment and Supplies (Center Line)

Binson’s is a family owned and operated full-service home medical equipment, medical supply and orthopedic company. Their customer base includes individuals, hospitals, doctor offices, nursing homes, health plans and other providers. They are committed to helping defeat the diseases that impact the families they serve on a daily basis. Throughout the years, they have raised and donated funds to many charities including the Karmanos Cancer Institute and Muscular Dystrophy Association. They also played a big role in supporting the MDA Summer Camp and Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure by donating the medical supplies and wheelchairs needed for attendees to participate at these events.

binsons.com

 

Brose Jefferson (Warren)

Brose Jefferson is a manufacturing location of the Brose Group, the fifth largest family-owned automotive supplier. It manufactures door modules and latch mini-modules for several major OEMs such as Ford and Chrysler. Brose partners with Macomb Community College to identify displaced workers with an interest in mechatronics and has donated funds to assist students working toward a mechatronic certificate. They have also donated to the Macomb Community College Foundation to provide meals and bus tickets to students with financial needs. Brose meets with students to educate them about careers in manufacturing through events at the Michigan Technical Education Center and Macomb County’s Manufacturing Day.

brose.com

 

CJ Barrymore’s Entertainment (Clinton Township)

There is a variety of family entertainment to be found at CJ Barrymore’s including bumper cars, laser tag, dining options, arcade, racecar tracks, rock wall, bumper boats and the new rollercoaster. Wanting everyone to have fun, CJ Barrymore’s proudly hosts free parties for the terminally ill and sponsors the annual Children’s Hospital Cancer Survivor Day. They are a proud member of the Chippewa Valley Coalition for Youth and Families and have provided a Leadership Scholarship to Chippewa Valley High School for the past 30 years. They also purchase products and utilize vendors from local companies, ensuring that the money they spend benefits the community.

cjbarrymores.com

 

Godlan, Inc. (Clinton Township)

Godlan is a leading professional manufacturing services company that implements integrated technology solutions, helping manufacturers streamline operations, communicate better, innovate faster, sell more and ensure the health of their business. Godlan has been in business since 1984 and has two locations with more than 50 employees. They are dedicated to charitable giving and to fostering a culture of giving throughout the organization. For the past five years, Godlan provided each employee with a donation to the charity of their choice. Through this program, approximately $500,000 has been contributed to charities, including the Macomb Charitable Foundation.

godlan.com

 

Jefferson Yacht Club (St. Clair Shores)

Founded in 1957, the Jefferson Yacht Club is a private club that provides dining for their members and their guests as well as an in-ground pool, tiki bar and outdoor pavilion. Located in the center of the Nautical Mile, the Jefferson Yacht Club supports community events such as AquaFreeze, Restaurant Week and the Memorial Parade. Through events like their annual Turkey Bowling Night, they contribute monetary donations and frozen turkeys to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, collect food for the Macomb Food Bank and contribute toward the St. Clair Shores Cops for Kids program. They support many charities and provide their facility for fundraising efforts.

jeffersonyachtclub.com

 

Kevin Koresky Attorney at Law (St. Clair Shores)

Kevin Koresky has been a respected attorney at law for more than two decades. With a newly-launched website, it is easy for clients to see they have the right to be properly represented. Koresky takes each case personally; you will never be just a case number with him. This can be seen through the way he takes the time to answer small questions to reassure a client, the way he fights for an innocent client and how he treats a simple will with the utmost respect. He has a passion for helping people and makes sure his cases are handled properly, respectfully and timely.

koreskylaw.com

 

Key Safety Systems (Sterling Heights)

With corporate headquarters in Sterling Heights, KSS has been offering top automotive safety equipment for nearly 40 years. They make airbags, seat belts and other safety technologies. KSS was interested in becoming more involved in local community activities, so they became a repeat supporter of the Sterling Heights Initiative for Neighborhood Excellence (SHINE) program. SHINE relies heavily on volunteers to assist homeowners with fairly substantial tasks to clean up or renovate their property.

keysafetyinc.com

 

Michigan First Credit Union (Eastpointe)

Founded in 1926 as the Detroit Teachers Credit Union, the Michigan First Credit Union was renamed in 2001 to reflect the diversity of their growing membership. In 2015, they opened their state-of-the-art Gratiot Financial Store in Eastpointe, reviving a main intersection in the community. Each year, time, resources and thousands of dollars are donated to the local community through scholarship programs, student branches, free educational seminars and hosting blood drives and shred days. In the last year, Michigan First Credit Union has participated in, sponsored or donated to Gleaners Food Bank, the Recreation Authority of Roseville and Eastpointe, Hope Center Macomb, Cruisin’ Gratiot and more.

michiganfirst.com

 

Michigan Youth Appreciation Foundation (Warren)

Michigan Youth Appreciation Foundation was formed to inspire youth to do the most good, stay in school, graduate college and become future leaders, hopefully in Michigan. Since 1991, more than 1,500 college scholarships have been awarded to deserving students to continue their education. Michigan Youth Appreciation Foundation works with a dozen colleges and universities to talk to kids about opportunities available to them. They also host workshops on anti-bullying, fighting crime, healthy eating and entrepreneurship. Metro Detroit Youth Day is their major event which has grown to include more than 35,000 youths, 360 organizations, 240 corporate sponsors and 1,700 volunteers.

metrodetroityouthday.org

 

Motown Soup (Utica)

“Good for you, good for the community,” is Motown Soup’s slogan. Begun 12 years ago, the business is 100 percent volunteer led, and all profits are given back to the community. During an average week, up to 100 volunteers produce soup and baked goods mixes which they label, package and sell. Profits from 2015 were given to Macomb County nonprofits such as MCREST, Hope Center, Lighthouse Outreach, Habitat Macomb and Samaritan House. Motown Soup not only helps through their outreach, but they also touch the lives of their volunteers who are mostly retired – giving them new meaning in life as they help the soup project.

motownsoup.com

 

My Deal Graphics (St. Clair Shores)

Founded in St. Clair Shores 20 years ago, My Deal Graphics offers the highest quality products at the lowest costs. A locally-owned small business, My Deal Graphics works with many of the sports teams, school districts and businesses in Macomb County. Owner Steve Salerno has worked hard to build relationships with these organizations and to provide them with the needed apparel for their businesses or teams. Salerno’s employees are creative and innovative in their approach to helping businesses. As My Deal Graphics has grown, they have given back to the community through donations at local events and to the local sports teams.
mydealgraphics.com

 

Relevar Home Care (Mount Clemens)

Relevar is a private home care company with a corporate office in Mount Clemens and caregivers spanning several counties. Relevar improves and enhances the day-to-day lives of its clients on a daily basis by providing trustworthy, compassionate and professional care. Last year, they were recognized by the Mount Clemens Beautification Committee due to the pride they put into their building’s yard and landscape. Relevar constantly keeps a recruiter on staff, promoting local employment. They also partner with Lutz School for Work Experience where they provide real-life work experiences and training to students with special needs, promoting the transition from school to community life.

relevar.com

 

Caitlin Gerds-Habermas is an associate planner in Business Outreach and Communications for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.

Jacobs delivers final economic forecast, projects growth

After 34 years of delivering the Macomb Economic Forecast, Macomb Community College President Jim Jacobs, Ph.D., delivered his final forecast presentation last week. The event was presented by the Chamber Alliance of Macomb County, and Wayne State University was the premier sponsor, as they have been for the past 10 years.

The overall message was that while Macomb County is still recovering from the recession, it is well positioned to continue its path of progress.

The county is seeing remarkable automotive investments, many of which are in areas of the automotive industry that will continue to see growth, such as research and development for autonomous vehicles. Manufacturing also continues to be an important part of what Macomb County does. Jacobs marveled how over the span of his career, this industry has transformed from bending steel to software.

Macomb’s defense industry is also robust, not only including major assets such as TACOM Life Cycle Management Command, TARDEC and Selfridge Air National Guard Base, but also the private sector which is winning significant contracts. Another industry growing in importance is cybersecurity, as is evidenced by yet another cybersecurity lab opening in the county next week at the Wayne State Advanced Technology Education Center in Warren.

The county continues to attract population growth, in particular new immigrants. As such, Jacobs said the county needs to position itself as welcoming. He also predicts a new suburban ecosystem that emphasizes the importance of recreation, education, health care and the environment.

Jacobs said regional transit would make the county more attractive and is essential to economic growth. He cited the success of Jimmy John’s Field as valuable family entertainment that also spills over to other local businesses. Greening projects like the Green Macomb Urban Forest Partnership are also making Macomb more attractive.

Jacobs called for more organizations like Advancing Macomb and Leadership Macomb, which he credited for getting citizens involved in the community and not simply looking to elected officials to lead the way.

The county also has challenges to overcome. These include providing residents more opportunities for growth, continuing to diversify the economic base and expanding civic infrastructure to complement and support the private sector.

According to Jacobs, the continued growth of Macomb County will depend on how well we protect and grow our defense assets, how we handle infrastructure issues and adapt to new needs such as broadband and autonomous sensors on roadways, and how we overcome disparity throughout the county.

At the conclusion of the event, Jacobs received a standing ovation. The chambers thanked him and revealed that he has agreed to play a role in future economic forecasts after he steps down as president of Macomb Community College later this year.

Caitlin Gerds-Habermas is an associate planner in Business Outreach and Communications for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.

And the nominees are . . .

mba-ticket-salesMacomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development is preparing to celebrate its 5th Annual Macomb Business Awards breakfast on Feb. 14 at Palazzo Grande in Shelby Township.  Each year, the department welcomes nominations from businesses and organizations based (or with a significant impact) in Macomb County in six distinct categories.

The first is “Champion of Workforce Development.”  A strong candidate in this category is one that has a strong employee recruitment program in place and also recognizes the value of retaining employees through opportunities for skills enhancement and advancement.

A panel of judges has reviewed each nomination.  A single recipient from the list below will be presented with an impressive crystal award by County Executive Mark Hackel and our emcee, Huel Perkins from Fox 2 Detroit.  The nominees are:

Achatz Handmade Pie Company (Chesterfield Township)

Pie making is becoming a lost art, but at Achatz, they still do things the old-fashioned way. Many of their recipes have been passed down through generations, and they continue the tradition by using the same techniques learned in childhood. Since starting in a Victorian home in 1993, the business has grown to include six retail locations and around 100 employees. Achatz is committed to developing leaders. Every employee is invited to a weekly huddle to openly discuss the company’s financials. They see how much money the company makes and spends so they can be informed to participate in large decisions.

achatzpies.com

 

Advantage Living Center (Roseville)

Advantage Living is a short-term rehabilitation, skilled nursing and assisted living center with two locations and approximately 300 employees in Macomb County. They provide premium, patient-directed and highly-skilled post-acute and rehabilitative care in a compassionate and professional environment. Advantage Living has found success in employee longevity through utilizing many different tools including employee incentives, funding for educational and certification classes, free CPR classes, birthday recognition, biweekly Employee Appreciation Days, monthly newsletters, employee picnics and yearly award ceremonies. They often use community events as hiring platforms, successfully adding new employees from the local community to the Advantage Living family.

advantageliving.net

 

Ascension St. John Providence Health (Warren)

St. John Macomb Hospital in Warren is implementing a new Regional Onboarding Center (ROC) to retain newly-hired nurses. The ROC creates an orientation process that integrates experiential learning and deliberate practice to develop more competent and confident nurses in less time. Key aspects include dedicated onboarding staff, program duration varied by individual need, bridging the gap between nursing school and clinical practice and more. This program provides a comprehensive orientation which not only validates technical skills, but also provides the nurses an experience that immerses them in the culture of the organization and fosters relationships with educators and peers.

stjohn.org

 

FreeStar Financial Credit Union (Clinton Township)

Originating as the first and only financial institution on Selfridge Air National Guard Base in 1957, FreeStar Financial Credit Union now has four locations in Macomb County and more than 60 employees. To maintain a healthy work-life balance for employees, they implemented delayed opening of business to create a time slot each week for employee training. They also conduct “stay interviews” with employees to gain insight on why employees are choosing FreeStar Financial Credit Union for their careers. To improve recruiting efforts, they have adopted the use of Skype for easy, no-travel interviews as well as quarterly Open Interview Days for appointment-free interviews for job seekers.

freestarfinancial.com

 

Hard Milling Solutions, Inc. (Romeo)

Opened in 2004, HMS is a world leader in high-level engineering and CNC machining. Because of the unique process they developed and use, they had a hard time finding qualified employees. Seven years ago, they decided they needed to develop young talent, so HMS began hiring co-op students from the Romeo Engineering and Technology Center. Since then, they have trained and employed 13 young people who have gone on to hold high-level positions in HMS and other companies. HMS offers competitive wages, an industry-leading benefits package and bonuses twice a year to share profits with employees and compensate them for their hard work.

hardmillingsolutions.com

 

R&E Automated Systems (Macomb Township)

R&E specializes in all areas of turnkey automation including concept, design, prototyping, controls design and engineering, robotics and PLC programming, laser welding, joining, roller hemming and more. R&E has a dedicated, state-certified training center which provides training to young professionals looking to get into the industry, existing professionals looking to expand their knowledge and on-site training for its own employees. R&E has grown from 30 employees to more than 400 in the span of 10 years and continues to grow. The company recruits at local colleges and is very involved with local high schools and middle schools, helping them to grow their STEM programs.

reautomated.com

 

Want to see who takes home the award?  Join us at the breakfast!  We expect more than 400 people to join us for this two-hour, action-packed event.  Tickets are available online. Sponsorship opportunities offer great exposure and help us cover the direct costs of the event.  For more information, contact maria.zardis@macombgov.org or call 586-469-5285.

Zardis, Maria IMG_0089Maria Zardis is the program manager of the Business Outreach and Communications Group for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.

 

 

Impact of Macomb County suppliers on display at NAIAS

With $7.37 billion worth of automotive investment in the last six years, Macomb County has established itself as the ideal place for businesses to thrive. Major automotive suppliers have chosen to locate their businesses here, invest in state-of-the-art facilities and employ thousands of workers. Their innovative technologies and products are leading the industry and are on display at the 2017 North American International Auto Show.

Axalta Coating Systems in Mount Clemens is a global supplier of liquid and powder coatings. They develop, manufacture and sell brilliant automotive basecoat colors and topcoats as well as corrosion protection electrocoats. They serve customers ranging from small businesses to global OEMs. In 2014 and 2015, Axalta received General Motors’ Supplier of the Year award for going above and beyond GM’s requirements, providing customers with the most innovative technologies and the industry’s best quality.

DSC_1616.JPGAs market leaders, this is the third year Axalta has chosen the automotive color of the year. After analyzing global preferences, Axalta determined the 2017 color of the year to be gallant gray – a sleek alternative to standard silver containing shades of both blue and green. Axalta invited students from Roseville High School to paint pedal cars in gallant gray which will be given away throughout the year.

“These students are getting great experience learning how to work with aftermarket paint and prepare these vehicles for a paint job,” Axalta Marketing Manager John Wray told the Detroit Free Press last week.

Gallant gray will also make an appearance at the Charity Preview, of which Axalta is the presenting sponsor for the second year in a row. The ribbon cutting will feature a gallant gray ribbon and gray accents will be incorporated into the entire event. The Charity Preview will be held this Friday at Cobo Center. Last year, this lavish event raised more than $5.2 million for children’s charities, and there is no reason to doubt this year won’t be even more generous.

Magna is another impressive supplier with a presence at the auto show. Magna Seating is a foam seating production facility in Shelby Township employing 150 people. They are innovators and leaders in the development and manufacturing of high-quality seating systems, mechanism and hardware solutions, specialty mechanism solutions, seat structures and foam and trim products for the global automotive industry.

In 2015, Magna Seating won a Macomb Business Award for energy efficiency. The company has invested in LED lighting, e-waste recycling and a variable-speed drive air compressor to make their processes and 60,000-square-foot facility as efficient as possible.

The technologies and products suppliers like Axalta and Magna are designing and manufacturing have a global impact that reaches far beyond Macomb County’s borders. Yesterday, Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel got a close look at the innovation happening at these companies, and you can too by attending the NAIAS.

Caitlin Gerds-Habermas is an associate planner in Business Outreach and Communications for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.

Truck of the Year finalist has Macomb County ties

The North American International Auto Show kicks off next week, and some of the highly-anticipated reveals will include the winners of the North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards. While Car and Truck of the Year awards have been given out for more than 20 years, Utility Vehicle of the Year is a new award added this year due to the increased demand for SUVs.

2017-NAIAS-website-carousel-newest.jpgMacomb County has had a direct connection to several of the past award winners. In 2014, the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray designed at the General Motors Technical Center in Warren won Car of the Year. In 2013, the Cadillac ATS also designed at the Tech Center won, and that same year, the Ram 1500 built at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Warren Truck Assembly Plant won Truck of the Year. This year, the Ford F-Series Super Duty is the contender with Macomb County ties.

The 2017 Super Duty features a new fully-boxed frame made from over 95 percent high-strength steel, conventional and gooseneck towing, and seven cameras for enhanced visibility. This full-size pickup truck incorporates military-grade aluminum alloy, resulting in a vehicle that is 350 pounds lighter. According to Ford’s website, “no other gas-powered full-size pickup delivers as much torque for jobs calling for rugged pulling power.”

And the engine that is capable of such impressive torque is made right here in Macomb County at the Ford Romeo Engine Plant. Romeo Engine opened in 1973 and is one of several Ford facilities located throughout Macomb County. The plant is more than 2 million square feet and employs 527 people.

ford-f-series_super_duty-2017-1280-0eThe North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards honor innovation, design, safety, performance, technology, driver satisfaction and value. The winners are determined by a group 60 professional automotive journalists who serve as judges. The process of selecting finalists began last June and included three rounds of voting. Winners will be announced Monday, Jan. 9.

Caitlin Gerds-Habermas is an associate planner in Business Outreach and Communications for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.