Buy Nearby is this weekend!

MRA-infographicThe Buy Nearby campaign is an ongoing, year-round, feel-good campaign intended to create excitement about the great shopping in Michigan and the advantages of supporting retailers and communities in Michigan. You can think of it as a “shop local” campaign for the entire state. The campaign is designed to get everyone excited about the great places and great shops in Michigan and get shoppers committed to buying in Michigan.

The campaign runs throughout the year and is formally celebrated on the first weekend in October, called “I Buy Nearby Weekend.” The two-day special shopping weekend, which this year falls on Oct. 7-8, will include a drawing for a $500 gift card to one lucky shopper who posts a photo of buying nearby with the hashtag #ibuynearby.

In addition to promoting the fun and value of shopping at Michigan retail businesses, the Buy Nearby campaign is designed to be an economic driver for the state.

Did you know that there are about 1,600 independently owned and operated retail establishments in Macomb? Support Buy Nearby in Macomb County this weekend.  Check out our interactive map of independently owned and operated store throughout the county.

Shoppers and retailers are encouraged to use social media to post photos and comments during “I Buy Nearby Weekend,” as well as throughout the year, about their great experiences when they Buy Nearby.

The Buy Nearby campaign was created by the Michigan Retailers Association and launched in April 2013. The 2017 campaign is sponsored by DTE Energy (title sponsor) and Retailers Insurance Company (supporting sponsor). Contributions to the campaign can be made on the Buy Nearby website at www.BuyNearbyMI.com.

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There is still time to participate in the 5th Annual  Business Super Prepared

SuperPrepared-Logo_Trans_ColorBusiness owners must expect the unexpected—AND prepare for it! That’s the message of the 5th Annual  Business Super Prepared”, a conference and expo planned for Wednesday, September 27, at the Lorenzo Cultural Center, Macomb Community College, in Clinton Township.

Top area hospitals and county emergency management teams have joined forces to present this event along with the Macomb County Chamber.

“We read headlines every day about terrible situations that businesses go through—from fires to workplace violence to computer security breaches,” said Grace Shore, CEO of the Macomb County Chamber.  “While we can’t predict what will happen, we can and should do our best to be prepared. Having a plan in place with the ability to respond quickly could mean the difference between business survival and failure.”

Local industry experts will present workshops and case studies on topics including:

  • Cyber Security – Single Employee Click
  • Managing Disruptive Behaviors
  • Being Prepared: A Community Responsibility
  • Human Trafficking
  • Case Study: Equifax Security Breach and what it means to you!

Event sponsors are: Beaumont Hospitals, United Shore Baseball League, General Motors, Accident Fund and McLaren Macomb.  This event is presented in partnership with Leadership Macomb and Macomb County Emergency Management.

“This is really valuable information that everyone needs to consider. We hope our business community and area municipalities will take advantage of the dynamic program and resources that we have assembled,” said Vicki Wolber, director of Macomb County Emergency Management and Communications.

The conference and expo take place from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Macomb Community College’s Lorenzo Cultural Center. The event costs $15 and includes continental breakfast and lunch and vendor show. Register online at Macomb County Chamber or phone (586) 493-7600 with questions.

Westview Orchards to feature Made-in-Michigan food products on Sundays this fall

tmp_10209_7-3-2012_23100_Beautiful Westview Orchards in Washington Township is one of Macomb County’s northern gems.  This historic farm – it has been operated by the same family for more than 200 year – has delighted generations of families with their wonderful donuts, cider and smorgasboard of family fun activities.

This fall, Westview is adding a new reason to visit them on Sundays.  In addition to the normal fall- themed events and wine tasting, Westview is teaming up with local small food businesses and providing them the opportunity to get their name out.  These businesses will be providing samples so that customers can taste before they their new locally produced favorite products.

This Sunday, Sept. 17, the Made In Michigan Barn will feature: Great Lakes Pickles, Motown Soup, and Grandma Luckey’s Herb Dressing. 

So come stuff your face with homemade donuts and cider, watch the kids play, all while getting the chance to try new products that you will not see in the big box stores yet.  With your help and Macomb County’s Economic Development team, when these small businesses turn big, you will be able to tell all your friends and family that you knew, tried and were purchasing their products before they were well known.  

If you are interested in learning more about Westview Orchards in Washington Twp, MI visit www.westvieworchards.com

Are you a local business with a food product you’d like for people to try on a future Sunday?

Please contact me at  jack.johns@macombgov.org with a little information about your product and your contact information.  (Disclaimer – This opportunity is only for products made in a commercial kitchen. We cannot accommodate entrepreneurs operating under the cottage food law and making products in their home kitchen with this venture.)

Johns, Jack IMG_0030

Jack Johns is a Project Coordinator within the economic development services group. He specializes in serving the food and agricultural industry as well as automation, robotics, connected vehicles, energy and retail businesses.

Velocity introduces hacking tools in cyber training course

The Velocity Hub of the Michigan Cyber Range offers those looking to hone their offensive and defensive cybersecurity skills the opportunity to do so at the next Guided Capture the Flag course June 15.

This daylong program enables students to engage in live attacks on networked systems in a secured environment. Students will learn the fundamentals of hacking tools, techniques and methodologies. Topics such as password exploitation and storage, proxy chaining and SQL vulnerabilities will be covered. This is a great starting point for anyone interested as it is tailored to each participant, allowing students to dig as deep into the exercise as they are able.

This capture the flag exercise is hosted on the Michigan Cyber Range, the nation’s largest unclassified training cyber range, and takes place in a virtual training environment known as Alphaville. This is a simulated town that includes a school, library, power and electric, private business and city hall. Alphaville was created by Nathan Dragun who is the instructor for this class as well as the director of development for the Michigan Cyber Range.

Dragun has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Western Michigan University. He has completed advanced training in network security and artificial intelligence and has more than 13 years of experience solving complex technical issues in areas of security, computer networking, software development and architectural design.

Guided Capture the Flag takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 15 at the Velocity Hub of the Michigan Cyber Range, 6633 18 Mile Road, Sterling Heights, 48314. The cost is $625, and registration information can be found at www.oakland.edu/macombouinc/cyber-institute/education. There are no pre-qualifications to enroll. For more information, contact Joan Carleton at macinc@oakland.edu or (586) 884-9324.

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

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.

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

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

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.

Macomb Food Program logo

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.