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