STEM education fuels Macomb County’s defense industry

“Macomb County is the defense capital. We build things to protect those who protect us.”

These are the words that Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel uses to tout the strength of the defense industry here in Macomb County. With first-class Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security installations and a robust advanced manufacturing industrial base, Macomb County has all the components necessary to be a global leader in national security.

Vital to the success of Macomb County’s defense industry is top tier STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) talent. Scientific advancement and engineering prowess are what have kept and will continue to keep the U.S. Armed Forces at the forefront of conventional and unconventional military capabilities. In order to stay at the forefront, and to keep our soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen safe, as well as “to provide for the common defense” as stated in the preamble of the U.S. Constitution, STEM talent is of great importance.

selfridge_1With future prospects for security in mind, Selfridge Air National Guard Base hosted the second of a three-part event spanning St. Clair, Macomb and Wayne counties on May 19 called Inspiring the Next Generation. This event was designed to showcase potential career options in the defense industry for local high school STEM students.

Students had the opportunity to work with robotics controls, experience a flight simulator from Eastern Michigan University’s College of Aviation, solder wires on an F-35 Lightning II model and hear from representatives from General Dynamics Land Systems, Women in Aviation and the Misty Blues All Women Skydiving Team on what it means to work in the defense industry and aviation.

Over 500 STEM students from Anchor Bay School District, Chippewa Valley School District, Warren Woods Public Schools, Center Line Public Schools and Utica Community Schools participated in the event.

Rochon, Daniel IMG_0069Dan Rochon works for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development as an associate planner in economic development services.

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Lockheed Martin visits Macomb County

Macomb County welcomed a team of representatives from Lockheed Martin for an invitation-only matchmaking event last week.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 97,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.

DSC_4068-updateThe event was spearheaded by our department in collaboration with the Macomb County Chamber, Macomb Community College, Macomb Regional Procurement Technical Assistance Center and Pure Michigan Business Connect.

By all accounts, the day was a success for Lockheed Martin as well as the 50 companies that were selected to participate. Behind the scenes, many months of preparation were involved.

DSC_4053The first, and most important, accomplishment was to convince Lockheed Martin that suppliers throughout our region were capable and eager to fulfill contracts with them.

The growing strength of Macomb County’s aerospace industry and its linkage to the supply chain helped to seal the deal.

Encouraged by the strong interest shown by the company, the planning team helped to develop an online vetting process for interested companies. Initially, more than 300 companies completed the online form. Of that, 120 met the basic qualifications and underwent a second vetting process. In the end, 50 highly capable companies from across the state were selected to attend.

DSC_3953The event was held at Macomb Community College’s University Center in Clinton Township and opened with remarks from Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel; Gen. John D. Slocum, commander of Selfridge Air National Guard Base; and Dr. Jim Jacobs, president of Macomb Community College.

Officials from Lockheed Martin offered overviews of each division and procurement needs. After lunch, one-on-one networking sessions between companies and procurement specialists were held. The event ended with a networking reception.

As the aerospace industry continues to evolve and grow, we anticipate programs, such as the Lockheed F-35 program, will have a stronger linkage to our supply chain here in Macomb County.  Preparing our businesses and workforce for the next generation aircraft is our business, and these matchmakers will keep them on their radar for future needs.

Related links:

https://www.politicscentral.org/contracting-giant-lockheed-looks-macombs-defense-corridor/

http://www.macombdaily.com/general-news/20170518/lockheed-martin-visits-macomb-county-to-connect-with-potential-suppliers

Radd- Vicky IMG_0001 LOW_RES

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

Discover Leadership Macomb

It isn’t difficult to find them – at local charity events, on school and nonprofit boards, serving in elected positions, in board rooms and classrooms, leading teams and organizations, and collaborating on projects and common goals. With over 700 graduates from Leadership Macomb scattered throughout the region, their impact can’t be missed.

leadership macomb pic 1.jpgFor 20 years, the organization has been instrumental in helping both emerging and accomplished leaders expand their network and enhance their knowledge of local systems, assets and issues as well as their individual commitment to work toward the common goal of strengthening Macomb County. Leadership Macomb graduates are invaluable resources and key contributors to the entire region.

Leadership Macomb is the ultimate platform for bringing private, public and nonprofit sectors together to experience the county, connect and collaborate with each other, and become engaged locally and beyond.

Discover how graduates are transformed both personally and professionally by enrolling in the Leadership Macomb XXI 2017-2018 program which runs Sept. 20, 2017 through June 6, 2018. The application deadline is July 1. Visit leadershipmacomb.org for more information.

If you are already a graduate of Leadership Macomb – we hope to see you Wednesday, June 7 at MacRay Harbor to celebrate our 20-year anniversary! This class reunion will be a chance to visit with alumni and see the impact Leadership Macomb has made over the past two decades. Find out more and purchase tickets at www.leadershipmacomb.org/20-20event.

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Diane Banks is the program director for Leadership Macomb.

Register now for All about Food: From Farm to Fork conference

All about Food: From Farm to Fork is an annual event that is hosted at the beautiful Macomb Community College University Center and put together by the Macomb Food Collaborative. People from across the food system gather here to learn, grow and share about food. It is a great place to meet other food lovers, small business owners, agencies that regulate food safety and economic developers who work with food businesses.

Macomb Food Program pic 2There will be breakout sessions with experts discussing a variety of topics including the future of farming, dairy farm trends, conserving agricultural land, organic urban farming and the viewpoint of running a small farm in Michigan.

Your ticket gets you into all aspects of the event from the wonderful presentations, to the pop-up market, to a great lunch that satisfies many types of nutritional needs.

One of the very fun parts about the event is the pop-up market that has small business food vendors offering samples of a diverse line of products. There are also businesses offering information about many different food and health programs in the area, along with nutritional and essential oil businesses. This was a huge hit last year when the businesses were added to the event for the first time.

Macomb Food Program picThe event this year will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 6 at the University Center, 44575 Garfield Road, UC-1, Clinton Township, 48043. Signage will be at the road and main entrance.

Tickets are $30, and the deadline to register is May 30. Tickets are $35 at the door as long as there is capacity, which is not guaranteed. You can register online at www.macombfood.org (online registration fees apply) or fill out this registration form and make checks payable to the Macomb Food Collaborative. Send to Macomb Food Collaborative/MSUE, 21885 Dunham Road, suite 12, Clinton Township, 48043.

Click here to view the workshop schedule.

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Johns, Jack IMG_0030Jack Johns is a project coordinator for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development. He specializes in working with food, agriculture, energy, robotics, autonomous vehicle and retail businesses. If you are a business owner and would like to contact him, email jack.johns@macombgov.org or call (586) 469-6293.

Department seeks Manufacturing Day hosts and sponsors

MFG Day 2016 AOne of the goals of the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development is to strengthen the county’s workforce by exposing the next generation to a wide range of in-demand career opportunities. Our efforts continue to grow and are demonstrated through a variety of different programs, one of which is Manufacturing Day.

National Manufacturing Day is an initiative that gives manufacturers the opportunity to open their doors to show the public how advanced the industry has become. Our department first participated in 2013 when Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel led the media on a tour of local plants that culminated with a roundtable discussion with area manufacturers.

It was at this event that we learned that one of the greatest concerns of manufacturers is the need for talent. We also learned that there was a concern about the number of young people who were exposed to the industry and the interesting and well-paying careers that it offers.

MFG Day 2016 BHearing this, department staff collaborated with the Macomb Intermediate School District to get students from every high school on buses and into local plants to see the industry in action. Since 2014, more than 5,500 students have participated.

Plans are underway for the next Manufacturing Day which will be held Friday, Oct. 6. The department seeks area manufacturers who are willing to host tours for students and sponsors to help cover event expenses. To learn more, visit www.MacombBusiness.com/mfgday.

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.