Roseville High School students learn valuable workforce skills

In honor of Career and Technical Education Month, County Executive Mark A. Hackel, Department of Planning & Economic Development Director John Paul Rea and other department staff toured the Auto Tech Department at Roseville High School. This impressive and growing program is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. It teaches students the technical skills needed to pass state certifications which will enable them to get jobs in the automotive industry.

miranda working on daytona.jpgOne of the cars the kids are working on is a 1965 Shelby Daytona Coupe which will be displayed at Autorama this weekend and compete against cars from other schools. Judges will evaluate elements such as cleanliness, safety, if the vehicle is complete (no missing bolts) and attention to detail.

The vehicle originally arrived as a kit car – which means lots of boxes with many pieces that don’t necessarily fit together perfectly, and this is how junior Miranda Rumfelt prefers it.

“I like to figure out how to do it rather than have it ready to go,” said Rumfelt.

Just last week, she painted the shell of the Daytona. And by paint, I mean she mixed the paint and applied the primer, sealer, base coat and clear coat. And after the painting is done, it isn’t finished. The vehicle still needs wet sanding, the buffing wheel, wax and touchups.

mark-miranda-clay-modelRumfelt is just one of the growing number of girls participating in Roseville’s Auto Tech program. In addition to class, she also attends DRIVE at the high school Thursday evenings. This program isn’t limited to students, and here, Rumfelt has learned even more specialized skills, such as tape drawing and clay modeling, for which she has won awards from the Michigan Industrial & Technology Education Society.

With a goal of leading her own design team at Chrysler or General Motors one day, Rumfelt plans to take summer classes at Lawrence Tech, is aggressively seeking internships and is looking ahead to college, potentially at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit.

working.jpgIn the meanwhile, some of her classmates are passing their certifications and already lining up great jobs right out of high school. Auto Tech Department Head Paul Tregembo Jr. said the school has found great partnerships with several local businesses, including Roy O’Brien, and welcome more. If you have a business interested in getting involved with the Roseville Auto Tech Department, contact Tregembo at DriveOneDetroit@gmail.com.

To learn more about Roseville High School’s automotive programs, visit rcs.misd.net/roseville-high-school.html or DriveOne.net, find them on Facebook at facebook.com/DriveOneDetroit or follow on Twitter @DriveOnDetroit.

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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Website launched to ramp up support for F-35 aircraft at Selfridge

As part of Macomb County’s campaign to secure a squadron of the F-35 Lightening II at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Brig. Gen. John D. Slocum and County Executive Mark A. Hackel announced the launch of a new website, mif35.org.

selfridge_1The Department of Defense is currently reviewing five potential locations for the fighter aircraft and will choose two final sites. A site survey will be conducted at Selfridge in July, and a final decision by the secretary of the Air Force is expected this summer or fall.

The county is partnering with the base, the Selfridge Community Council, the Macomb County Chamber of Commerce and other community partners to promote Selfridge as the ideal location for the F-35 and to highlight the economic benefits of landing the new aircraft at the base.

The website, designed by Mount Clemens-based Hunch Free, is one of the tools being used to engage the local community and inform them about the importance of bringing the F-35 to Selfridge. In addition to featuring detailed information and supplemental videos, the website also opens a channel of communication with the public, allowing users to show their support, sign up to receive updates and submit any questions they may have about the F-35 potentially coming to Selfridge.

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According to Slocum, Selfridge has fantastic airmen and is a wonderful facility that can easily handle the F-35 aircraft. He emphasized that if the F-35 comes to Harrison Township, it will secure the future of the base for decades to come.

“This is the base that deserves the F-35,” said Hackel.

In addition to strategic location, other features will also be taken into consideration as the Department of Defense makes its decision, such as education and job opportunities as well as housing costs and more. Hackel said he will be a forceful advocate to get the F-35, and if accomplished, he has no doubt any additional employees this transition may bring will feel comfortable making Macomb their home.

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

Synergy on display at Macomb Business Awards

16602943_1312782952101043_4054351920554564864_nOne of the overall themes that emerged at the 5th Annual Macomb Business Awards is how interconnected Macomb County’s business community is. Successful partnerships are constantly being forged. This can be seen when two corporations do business together, when a business leverages the media or resources offered through a professional organization, and even when a customer benefits from the products being made by Macomb County companies.

In acknowledgment of one such successful partnership, the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development (MCPED) honored Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works! with the Economic Development Partner of the Year award. MCPED Deputy Director Vicky Rad presented the award, stating how important workforce development is to Macomb County companies. Executive Director John Bierbusse accepted the award on behalf of his organization and credited their partnership with MCPED for extending Michigan Works’ reach into Macomb County’s business community.

A physical representation of MCPED’s partnership with Digital First Media was also on display via copies of Macomb Momentum placed at each seat. This was the second issue of a new publication that highlights Macomb County’s unique businesses in a vivid magazine used to promote the county to potential business investors. Digital First Media Publisher Jeannie Parent also spoke at the event, giving businesses tips for how to successfully partner with the local media to share their stories.

16684211_1312783542100984_7161971016275480028_nEach of the award winners thanked and acknowledged the networks of people that support them. Bob Binson accepted the Corporate Citizen award on behalf of Center Line-based Binson’s Medical Equipment and Supplies for their charitable community engagement. As Binson exited the stage after accepting the award, emcee Huel Perkins, anchor at Fox 2 Detroit, stopped him. Perkins shared that his 90-year-old mother was only able to attend her grandson’s high school graduation because they were able to get a special chair that helped her get up the stairs – a chair acquired at Binson’s.

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More partnerships were highlighted when MCPED Director John Paul Rea presented Dr. Jim Jacobs, Macomb Community College president, with the Beacon of Economic Development award. Jacobs pointed out that the college collaborates with this year’s keynote speaker, Richard Sheridan, founder, CEO and chief storyteller for Menlo Innovations, on the college’s Innovation Fund. He said many of the award winners have connections to the college as well.

“I accept this award, but I see this as part of all of us working together,” said Jacobs. He said we can leverage our strengths when we all work together.

A business is more than just a company engaged in commerce. It’s a team of employees, it’s a network of industry professionals, and it’s a partnership with the community.

To learn more about the Macomb Business Awards nominees, finalists and sponsors, visit MacombBusiness.com.

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

New companies compete for Startup Business to Watch award

mba-ticket-salesDon’t miss your chance to attend the Macomb Business Awards next Tuesday, Feb. 14! Today is the last day to purchase tickets, which are available online at macombbusiness.com/bizawards.

Over the last few weeks, we have shared with you the nominees for Champion of Workforce Development, Corporate Citizen, Diversification Leader, Efficiency Expert and Model of OneMacomb awards. Here are the exciting new companies that have been operating for less than four years and have more than two full-time employees that are nominated for the final category: Startup Business to Watch.

Allegiance Gym (Warren)

Allegiance Gym provides health, skills and fitness training to suit every age and level of experience. They offer jujitsu, live sparring, Muay Thai training, wrestling, boxing, submission grappling, mixed martial arts and more. Their instructors help children and young adults gain confidence in their abilities to effectively ward off an attacker, and law enforcement officers who are part of their clientele indicate feeling better equipped to adequately protect themselves in a hand-to-hand combat situation. In just under one year, owners Chris Wisniewski and Brendan Seguin have developed a uniquely strong bond with their clients, which has helped their business grow.

allegiancegym.com

 

Avaneer Dental Studio (Warren)

Avaneer is a dental laboratory that specializes in designing advanced all-ceramic restorations. Founded in October of 2013 with one employee, the company now has 13 full-time employees plus two co-op employees. The business has been profitable from the first year of operation, and once they started growing at an accelerated rate, Avaneer partnered with an investor, adding value to the company. In less than three years, they upgraded from a 1,100-square-foot facility to a 3,500-square-foot suite. Though uncommon for a startup lab to expand beyond their local region, Avaneer already provides dental laboratory services to five states.

avaneerdental.com

 

Miller’s Big Red (Washington Township)

Miller’s Big Red was acquired in June of 2013. It is a fruit orchard that offers you-pick strawberries, raspberries, peaches, plums, cherries, 22 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, 16 varieties of apples, asparagus and a variety of other products. Significant efforts and monies have been allocated for saving, reviving and expanding the business. Currently under construction is a year-round cider house and brewery scheduled to open early this year. The facility will also be utilized for manufacturing hard cider, beer and spirits. Big Red is committed to serving the metro Detroit area as a local venue and source for Michigan-made products.

millersbigred.com

 

Brown Iron Brewhouse (Washington Township)

A premier destination brewpub and full-service restaurant, Brown Iron opened in January of 2015. They showcase small batch craft beer made in-house and specialize in freshly made smokehouse cuisine. They have quickly become a fixture in northern Macomb County, combing several pieces of blighted property and transforming it into a German-style brewpub. In their first year of business, Brown Iron was named Best Beer Bar in Michigan by craftbeer.com. They welcomed more than 200,000 guests in the first 18 months, and sales have increased more than 16 percent since last year. Brown Iron continues to grow and is seeking a second location within Macomb County.

browniron.com

 

Laser Mark-It (Richmond)

Laser Mark-It traveled to New Mexico to learn glass etching and stone craving, added dye sublimation, porcelain memorials, ad specialties, signage and UV printing. They also offer laser engraving, photo throws, tile murals and wall tributes. From a simple metal tag to a beautiful photo on wood, Laser Mark-It can make a keepsake that lasts a lifetime. They take pride in what they do and have filled a need in the area for this type of work. They are always pleasant with customers and employees and are also involved in community events. Due to their growing business, they recently moved into a larger shop.

lasermark-it.com

 

Macomb Construction LLC (Shelby Township)

From small handyman projects like a rejuvenated kitchen or bathroom to an entire custom home remodel, Macomb Construction provides complete professionalism. They are a licensed and insured full construction company that specializes in roofing; siding; windows; additions; garages and garage doors; concrete driveways; basement, bathroom and kitchen remodeling; custom builds; rooftop snow removal; and landscaping. They are an expanding company with a great work ethic. Their jobs are done in a timely and very expert manner.

macombconstruction.com

 

Rose-A-Lee Technologies (Sterling Heights)

Rose-A-Lee is an economically disadvantaged woman-owned small business incorporated in 2013 that offers engineering services with prototype manufacturing. They specialize in tool and fixture design as well as reverse engineering for the U.S. government. Their capabilities include sheet metal stampings, fabrications and CNC machining. Rose-A-Lee’s primary market is the defense industry, and they have been able to enter the market and increase sales year after year in a time when spending has been reduced. In 2016, the company purchased two vertical mills and a CNC lathe to keep up with orders as a prime and tier one supplier to the U.S. government.

rosealeetechnologies.com

 

TM Solutions (Roseville)

TM Solutions is a metal fabrication business that supports the automotive, defense and commercial industries. Their services include laser cutting, CNC forming, robotic welding, metallurgical engineering, certified welding and product design. TM Solutions’ goal is to emerge as a leading global manufacturer from concept to completion. Their engineering and manufacturing expertise is integrated, which allows for innovative, cost-effective and on-time delivery of their custom solutions to market. They are their customers’ single source for innovative design, engineering and flexible manufacturing.

tmsglobalservices.com

 

Trillium Facility Solutions (Shelby Township)

Trillium FS exists to make the lives of their clients simpler. They are a provider of facility solutions for clients with geographically dispersed properties. Their technology platform provides a single source for all facility services by engaging their pre-qualified network of contractors, offering a range of services including HVAC, electrical, plumbing, painting and carpentry. They also offer snow and ice management as well as landscaping services. Trillium FS is transforming the facility management industry through the use of technology. They are currently developing mobile app tools that will soon become the next big Uber-style app for facility management companies nationwide.

trilliumfacility.com

 

United Shore Professional Baseball League (Utica)

USPBL is the first professional independent baseball league in Southeast Michigan. The league’s inaugural season in 2016 featured three teams: Utica Unicorns, Eastside Diamond Hoppers and Birmingham Bloomfield Beavers. USPBL attracted more than 225,000 fans during its first season at Jimmy John’s Field. Starting the league was a Herculean task that included working with city and county officials, securing corporate sponsors, constructing a state-of-the-art stadium, designing team logos and uniforms, hiring more than 400 employees, marketing and launching a baseball finishing school. USPBL has significant plans for growth in the future including a fourth team next season and additional stadiums in the future.

uspbl.com

 

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

Meet the 2017 MBA Efficiency Expert & Model of OneMacomb Nominees

Out of 52 total nominees, six companies will go home with an award at the Macomb Business Awards Feb. 14. The annual event honors companies who are defining and implementing best practices in Macomb County. The Efficiency Expert award will go to the company that best exemplifies the ability to increase cash flow through process and/or energy efficiency. The Model of OneMacomb award will be given to the business who has gone above and beyond to cultivate an environment where diversity and inclusion are valued. Buy your tickets by Feb. 8 to see who will go home the winners!

 

Efficiency Expert nominees:

 

ATCO Industries, Inc. (Sterling Heights)

Founded 36 years ago, ATCO is a leader in the quality control and warehousing segments of the automotive industry. They have grown to include additional services such as supplier development, logistics, manufacturing and technical services. Tremendous growth in the U.S. and Mexico has resulted in new jobs in Macomb County and two new buildings at their corporate campus in Sterling Heights. Rather than rely on minimum standards, ATCO has led the industry in innovation and technology. At great expense, the company has developed and patented a tablet-based technology to capture quality control data and report it to their customers in real time.

atcoindustries.com

 

JEM Tech Group (Clinton Township)

JEM is dedicated to helping customers with information technology products and services to transform their mission-critical environments into energy-efficient areas. They provide corporations with efficiency studies to assess their baseline energy consumption, determine problem areas and provide recommendations. Improvements may include reorganizing room layouts, equipment upgrades or airflow management devices. JEM also provides hardware and software that analyzes power consumption down to each outlet. Knowing the amount of power servers the customer is using can help determine what equipment can be better utilized or consolidated. JEM can help companies eliminate 30 percent in energy costs, resulting in significant savings.

jemtechgroup.com

 

Model of OneMacomb nominees:

AGS Automotive Systems (Sterling Heights)

AGS specializes in value-added engineering, metal stamping, plating, painting and bumper system design and assembly for the automotive industry. After expanding in Sterling Heights, they needed to fill their rapidly growing workforce needs. AGS partnered with a local temporary staffing agency to employ Iraqi refugees who had settled in the area. Through teamwork, cooperation and developing an understanding of their employees’ needs and perspectives, the company was able to overcome the challenges of bringing together different cultures and languages in a fast-paced environment. AGS provides opportunities for growth and development, and the new employees have become outstanding leaders on the shop floor and in the business.

agsautomotive.com

 

Arts Academy in the Woods High School (Fraser)

Arts Academy in the Woods is a free public high school where students can major in the fine and performing arts while also fulfilling their academic requirements. They promote racial, cultural and gender diversity, and this is reflected in the makeup of their student body. Since their founding, hundreds of students who were uncomfortable fitting in at other schools have felt welcomed and accepted in this school community. Arts Academy in the Woods begins each school year with a three-day diversity training for new students which is led by current students. Here, students develop a cultural awareness and respect that will benefit them for a lifetime.

artsacad.net

 

McLaren Macomb (Mount Clemens)

A 288-bed acute care hospital, McLaren Macomb is one of Macomb County’s top employers. They provide a full range of services including cancer and cardiovascular care. Their diversity and inclusion efforts extend to employees, patients and their families and focus on engagement, recruiting and training. Accomplishments include reviewing and increasing HR outreach practices for hiring to key diverse professional groups, increasing career fair participation with organizations that target various ethnic groups and identifying diversity training modules for employees. McLaren Macomb has updated their translation services to a more robust system that has 57 languages in video and more than 210 languages available in audio.

mclaren.org/macomb

 

Play-Place for Autistic Children (Sterling Heights)

Play-Place is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inclusion, acceptance and support. They offer recreation, education, therapy, life skills, social development, respite relief, resource management and vocational training. Their goal is to become the world’s premier destination for autism relief. Play-Place provides many development and employment training opportunities for young adults affected by autism and special needs challenges through their WorkPlus program, vocational program and partnering with organizations like Warren Consolidated Schools and Lutz School to provide job coaches, resume building and interviewing experience. They also conduct bimonthly Parent Resource Nights where local experts provide workshops on a variety of topics.

autisticplayplace.org

 

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

Menlo Innovations CEO Richard Sheridan to deliver keynote at MBAs

sheridan-and-employeesRichard Sheridan, founder, CEO and chief storyteller for Menlo Innovations, will be the keynote speaker for this year’s Macomb Business Awards.

Sheridan has gone from kid programmer at Clinton Township’s Chippewa Valley High School in 1971 to Forbes cover story in 2003. Today, his Ann Arbor-based company develops High-Tech Anthropology® products for a growing list of clients that include AAA Life, Carhartt, the city of Ann Arbor, Domino’s Pizza and many others.

vikinghelmetWhile his focus has always surrounded technology, his passion is for process, teamwork and organizational design. As word spread about the innovative workplace he created, people came from around the world to see “The Menlo Way” in action.  His book Joy, Inc. provides inspiration and practical advice for cultivating an effective and highly productive strategy for building an “intentionally joyful culture” for his employees.

In addition, Digital First Media – Michigan Region Publisher Jeannie Parent will present action-based information about how to leverage media through partnerships.

The Macomb Business Awards is an annual event hosted by County Executive Mark A. Hackel and the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development to celebrate business success. It will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 14 from 8-10 a.m. at Palazzo Grande in Shelby Township.  Huel Perkin, anchor for Fox 2 Detroit, will emcee as businesses from across the county are awarded in six categories.

Tickets are $30 and available for purchase online until Feb. 8:  Get Tickets.

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.