Businesses need severe weather plans too, are you prepared?

mcswaThe state of Michigan has designated April 8-14 as Severe Weather Awareness Week. Preparing for severe weather is extremely important. Macomb County businesses should be prepared and educated on what to do in case of a thunderstorm, tornado, power outage, flooding and more.

As a business are you prepared in case of an emergency? What is your business emergency plan if tornados warnings are issued at closing time? Or if severe weather hits and half of your warehouse is flooded?

The Macomb County Office of Emergency Management & Communications urges businesses to be prepared for these events and have plans in place. Some items to consider having in your plan are:

  • What is the communication plan between management and employees
  • What happens if severe weather hits when your employees are in the office or on the road
  • Does your business have emergency supplies, fire extinguishers, flashlights/batteries, first aid kit, drinking water, NOAA weather alert radio/batteries and necessary tools
  • Are tornado shelters clearly label and able to accommodate employees
  • What happens if the production facility is shut down for several days due to a power outage or flooding

There is no better time than now to develop or update a plan. Macomb County Emergency Management & Communications has developed a Community Emergency Preparedness Guide that can help businesses prepare for severe weather and other hazards they may encounter.

Lauri Cowhy is a senior communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

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I want to go back to college and finish my bachelor’s degree . . . as a working adult with family obligations, can I find the time?

PrintYes! Designed for busy adults, Oakland University – Macomb is offering four accelerated bachelor’s degree completion programs at the OU Anton/Frankel Center in Mount Clemens:

  • Bachelor of Science in General Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Resources Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Marketing

Classes are offered in the evenings in an accelerated, eight-week sessions that combines classroom work with online assignments.  That means a full-time student would only need to attend class two evenings per week and could complete their degree in two years or less.Finish Line 480x320

“As a single mother working full-time, any free time is a bonus,” says Nakisha Scruggs, a recent graduate. “I wanted to be an example to my daughter and show her that if you want something bad enough and apply yourself, you can do anything.”

If you have some college or are interested transferring, OU-Macomb will offer a Fast-Track Open House on Thursday, April 19 from 5:30-7pm. To learn more, visit www.oakland.edu/macomb.

Macomb County has been an integral part of Oakland University’s growth since the institution’s founding 60 years ago. OU is committed to making an impact in Macomb County by enriching lives through expanded access to higher education, nurturing college-bound youth, supporting economic development and engaging with alumni and the local communities.

It’s a wrap; Food and agricultural businesses gather to learn about the benefits of a “Farm to Fork” ecosystem

The Macomb Food Collaborative hosted the All about Food: Farm to Fork Conference here in Macomb County last week.  The conference attracted participants from across southeastern Michigan.

The morning started with a five person panel talking about their experiences in the industry.  They talked about services for business startups, growth, economic development and resources available to people looking to expand a business. The panel consisted of:

  • Jack Johns – project coordinator for Macomb County Planning and Economic Development. Jack pecializes in servicing the food and agricultural industry. He helps attract, retain, and grow businesses in Macomb County
  • Terri Barker – Economic/Community Development Analyst, Agriculture Development Division for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Terri works with businesses to help them expand utilizing state programs and services.
  • Jess Youngblood – Owner of Youngblood Vineyard. Although the vineyard (first-ever in Macomb County) and winery is not open for business just yet, Jess discussed how her longtime dream is coming together. She discussed the struggles and joys of starting their own business. Youngblood Vineyard plans to open to the public next year.
  • Andy More – owner of Cap n’ Corks discussed how he has grown his business from a local beverage supply store and will soon be opening Caps N’ Corks brewing which will produce their own beer and wine.
  • Patricia Moore – Brown Iron Brewhouse discussed how the business has grown so much over the last three years and how they have been able to give back to the community.

The day was filled with a wealth of information during the breakout sessions.  The topics ranged from food safety; starting a business; vegetable gardening; soil health and testing. Several sessions were demonstrations about cooking, healthy eating and local gardening.

macomb food colaborativeSeveral students from L’Anse Creuse’s Pankow Center presented how to make a bubble bucket, best management practices, growing your own herb, harvesting and preserving. Students presented a powerpoint, while showing participants how to build their bucket, and test for nutrient requirements. Students brought their lavender, lettuce and basil plants for participants to see how well anyone can grow herbs in their own home.

Lunch included homemade specialties from Henry Ford Health SystemsDorsey Culinary SchoolWestview Orchards and the Clean Plate.  The products served were amazing and Westview Orchards and the Clean Plate would love to see new customers stop in and visit their family-owned businesses.

Check out more event photos at  facebook.com/MacombFoodCollaborative/ 

The event was hosted by the Macomb Food Collaborative, a non-profit organization that works to ensure access to safe, fresh, fair and healthy food for all. It promotes a vibrant, local food economy, sustainability and good nutrition through education, outreach and support.

For more information on starting or growing your food and agriculture business in Macomb County – contact Jack Johns.  He can connect you to the resources you need.  He specializes in Food and Agriculture, as well as automation, connected vehicles, robotics, energy and retail businesses.

Lauri Cowhy is a senior communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

Are you a foodie? Learn, connect and eat at the All About Food Conference on March 20th

basic-loga_origThis year’s event highlights the Macomb County food system and will be held at the Macomb Community Action’s Family Resource Center located at 196 North Rose Street, Mount Clemens, MI.  (Formerly Washington Elementary School.)

Registration begins at 8 a.m. The event kicks off at 8:30 a.m. with a panel of Macomb County food and beverage business owners. Each will offer insight about their businesses and the role they play in supporting locally sourced for their food and beverage products. The panel will include voices from a vineyard, brewing supply store and a brew house/restaurant.

As any local food conference attendee would hope, a locally sourced and prepared lunch will be provided as part of the cost of attendance. Guests can expect a delicious spread from meal contributors including Henry Ford Health Systems, Dorsey Culinary School, Westview Orchards and the Clean Plate.

The conference attracts participants from across southeastern Michigan region. Breakout sessions offer a range of choices. Gardeners and farmers may take interest in the basic vegetable gardening, soil health and testing, and a garden in a bucket sessions. Schools and other institutions will be represented with farm to school, feeding the whole child, and food safety sessions. Those that take interest in local food from an environmental standpoint may find themselves attending sessions on disappearing farms and farmland and closed loop systems. Other sessions will address a myriad of food related topics including: legislative advocacy, starting businesses, vegetarianism, and local produce in USDA designated food deserts.

For a complete schedule visit this link.

Time is running out to register! Early bird registration is open through March 16th, with a fee of $25. To register online: http://www.macombfood.org/all-about-food-conference.html. A very limited number of walk-ins will be accepted on the day of the conference, with a fee of $35.

The event is hosted by the Macomb Food Collaborative, a non-profit organization

That works to ensure access to safe, fresh, fair and healthy food for all. It promotes a vibrant, local food economy, sustainability and good nutrition through education, outreach and support.

MCC to host information sessions about free advanced manufacturing training for eligible participants

MCC 1Macomb Community College will host information sessions about advanced manufacturing training programs available in several high-demand career pathways: controls technician, robot programmer, mechanical maintenance specialist and robotics technician. This is part of the PRISM (Prosperity Reaches into Southern Macomb) Project, funded by a grant from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, which focuses on workforce development, introducing students to information technology careers and engaging employers in sustainable workforce training programs.

Through this grant, the PRISM Project will provide advanced manufacturing training to a minimum of 100 adults. MCC will employ a comprehensive support services model that intensively engages with students throughout the entire process, beginning with recruitment and program selection, continuing through their course of training and extending through career coaching and job placement.

MCC President James O. Sawyer IV said that the PRISM Project is about “positioning residents for long-term success, helping them develop both foundational and technical skills to pursue sustainable career pathways versus short-term jobs. And, more broadly, it’s about enhancing community vitality, building a strong pipeline to address the skills gap, growing local business and industry, and fostering a stronger regional economy.”

In addition to workforce development efforts, the project will introduce 100 high school students to IT careers through PRISM IT academies this summer and will also work to identify opportunities for employers to be involved in sustaining workforce training programs.

“This new project is about providing a clear and more affordable pathway to industry certifications or associate degrees that are relevant to our region’s economy,” said David Egner, president and CEO of the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation. “The more local employers we can engage in helping to drive, shape and grow this project, the greater the impact it will have in connecting jobseekers with the opportunities available in these growing industries.”

MCCMCC’s advanced manufacturing training programs will be conducted January through July 2018 and will range from 13 to 19 weeks long. They will be available with either a Monday through Friday daytime schedule or an evening schedule that also includes a full-day commitment on Saturdays. The programs include both foundational skills and manufacturing training components.

Information sessions about these training programs will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, Jan. 10 and Tuesday, Feb. 6 at the college’s M-TEC facility, 7900 Tank Ave., Warren, 48092. For those living south of 16 Mile Road in Macomb County who meet other eligibility factors, all or a significant portion of tuition may be covered by the college’s PRISM Project. Additional tuition assistance may be available to financially support other individuals interested in training who do not meet PRISM requirements. To register or for more information, call (586) 498-4100 or email workforcedev@macomb.edu.

Caitlin Gerds-Habermas is an associate planner in business outreach and communications for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.

Attention Local Businesses! We want to help you reach shoppers this holiday season.

mapIn an effort to support independently owned and operated retailers this holiday season, the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development is partnering with the Sterling Heights Regional and Macomb County chambers to launch the #ShopLocalMacomb campaign.

As part of the promotion an interactive Shop Local Macomb map was created which features more than 1,600 locally owned stores. The map is searchable by type of merchandise sold or location. If we have missed you, please let us know planning@macombgov.org .

Visit makemacombyourhome.com/shoplocal to submit your store information, photo and holiday specials and we will share it in our #ShopLocalMacomb gallery.

Shoppers will have a chance to enter a contest to win one of five $500 gift cards, donated by First State Bank. Shoppers can snap a photo of them shopping local and post it online between November 24 and December 3. Winners will be randomly selected during a live Facebook drawing at noon on Monday, December 4.

Help promote Shop Local Macomb by downloading a flyer to hang in your window or door and sharing it on social media using #ShopLocalMacomb

More details about the campaign can be found at www.MakeMacombYourHome.com

Lauri Cowhy is a senior communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

Lincoln High School unveils enhanced CAD/CAM program

Our department was privileged to join with county officials, district personal, former students and business leaders at the Lincoln High School Center for Career and Technology in Warren. The gathering was to celebrate new machinery which will enable students to prepare for high-demand careers in manufacturing.

Press Event 087A DMG MORI 5-axis CNC machine, valued at $250,000, was given to Van Dyke Public Schools on a two-year, no cost lease from DMG MORI. Based in Japan with locations across the globe, DMG MORI is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of CNC machines.  The gift will enable students to hone their computer aided drafting (CAD) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM) skills through the school’s career technical education program.

Dr. Masahiko Mori, president of DMG MORI, flew in from Japan to be part of the celebration.  It was obvious from his remarks that he and his company are happy to support educational programs that produced trained and ready individuals to run their machines.

Rick Hecker, President and CEO of Eifel Mold & Engineering of Fraser, chairs the school’s business advisory committee for CAD/CAM. He is credited with securing the donation. When he shared the good news with committee members, others stepped forward to make sure that the equipment would be installed and serviced at no cost to the district:

  • Metro Air Compressor of Roseville offered the necessary air compressor and installed it.
  • Powertran Transformers of Ferndale offered a transformer
  • Autodesk, a software developer from California, will provide 75 Powermill licenses for use by students and instructors
  • Spectron Electric of Fraser finalized installation with materials provided by Grant Industries, also of Fraser

Press Event 073During the event, the American Mold Builders Association (AMBA) presented a check for $10,000 from the American Mold Manufacturing Advancement Fund (AMMA Fund) to cover additional expenses.

The best part of the evening was near the end of formal presentation when Lincoln graduates of the program were invited to make remarks. Many of them are currently employed in the industry and were proud to share their success story with the crowd of more than 50 people.

Each of them credited their instructors, Mr. Fred Cook and Mr. Mike Zainea for inspiring them to be the best they can be.