American Society of Employers to offer HR and leadership-focused classes in Macomb County

Continuing education is an important aspect of personal and professional growth; something that both employers and employees must invest in. This sentiment is especially relevant in the human resources field – as there are frequent changes in regulations and constant questions around new personnel issues. All told, HR professionals must be well-informed and trained to deal with the ever-evolving workplace and yearly courses offered by the American Society of Employers (ASE) can help them achieve this standing.

ase_logoASE, a not-for-profit employer association that serves as a source for information and support on all matters affecting employment, recently announced that it would expand the courses it offers into Macomb County. In partnership with Macomb County Planning and Economic Development, ASE will hold the below classes in Mount Clemens for HR professionals and business leaders.

And to note: As an introductory offer, they are offering member rates and an additional 10 percent discount now through March 15. To take advantage of this offer, enter discount code ‘TD10’ when registering.

  • Thursday, January 24, 2019 – 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
    Title: Contribution—Increasing Your Leadership Value
    Purpose:   To assist leaders in growth and development by clarifying areas they can control and influence, exploring career stages, and identifying personal strengths/opportunities.
    Objectives: The purpose of this training is to increase career progression, business results, and value to the organization by identifying and leveraging contribution value. Participants will complete a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®) assessment on seven competencies including leadership, communication, and decision-making prior to class date.
    Who should attend: Managers, team leads, supervisors, and individual contributors

Register for Contribution-Increasing Value for Greatest Impact

  • Thursday, February 28, 2019 – 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
    Title: Generations at Work: Bridging the Generation Gap
    Purpose: The purpose of this training is to help participants bridge the generation gap and create a respectful workplace to increase productivity, morale, and motivation.
    Objectives: This course will provide a better understanding of the generational differences in the workplace.  Participants will learn how to maximize relationships and build on strengths across generations to optimize effectiveness and productivity.
    Who should attend: Managers, team leads, supervisors, and individual contributors

Register for Generations at Work:  Bridging the Generation Gap

  • Thursday, March 28, 2019 – 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Title: Supervisory Survival Skills
    Purpose: The purpose of this training is to help participants understand the role of a supervisor and identify skills needed to be successful.
    Objectives: This course will define the role and responsibilities of a supervisor.  Participants will practice techniques to develop relationships, deliver feedback, delegate, make decisions and conduct effective meetings.
    Who should attend: Individuals who are new to the field of supervision

Register for Supervisory Survival Skills

  • Thursday, May 2, 2019 – 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
    Title: Succession Planning for Leadership Positions
    Purpose: The purpose of this training is to discuss how to create an organized program for identifying and developing future leaders to fill senior and executive positions within an organization.
    Objectives: Participants will learn the important steps and receive tools that can be adapted to their workplace to create a documented approach for creating the leaders of tomorrow.
    Who should attend: HR managers

Register for Succession Planning for Leadership Positions

In addition to clicking the above links, interested individuals may also register by email at asetraining@aseonline.org or by calling 248-223-8041. Additional classes and events can be found on the ASE website.

Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

Local program to address employment gaps in advanced manufacturing industry

Macomb County and its neighboring regions have a rich history in both defense and automotive manufacturing.  But as new automation and robotics technology disrupt those sectors, the area’s economy has shifted from having a traditional blue collar workforce to a “new collar” workforce.  This shift in skillsets – from traditional manufacturing to high tech careers – has created a skills gap that further widens as the workforce chooses other career options outside of STEAM. If not addressed, this gap will create problems in production capabilities and all told, the effect on our economic well-being will be devastating.

pexels-photo-1216589To help fill this burgeoning skills gap, Macomb Community College is offering three advanced manufacturing programs in early 2019. The programs – controls technician, maintenance technician and robot technician – are designed to give participating students the training needed to enter the manufacturing industry with no previous experience necessary.

All three programs are noncredit and full time, featuring a combination of classroom education and hands-on experience. The programs run between three and four months long, depending on the focus. Those that successfully complete their program earn a certificate of completion from Macomb, an OSHA 10 card demonstrating the student meets certain OSHA requirements and certification from FANUC, a global supplier of factory automation.  Those that take the controls technician program will also have the opportunity to take the Siemens Mechatronics System Certification Program Level 1 exam. More than 300 employers have hired Macomb students who have successfully completed these programs.

An information session for the maintenance technician and robot technician programs will be held on Jan. 17 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Macomb Community College’s M-TEC (7900 Tank Avenue in Warren).  Those interested in the controls technician program should contact 586.498.4100 in advance of the information session.

The controls technician program will begin Jan. 28, maintenance technician on Feb. 18 and robot technician on March 11. Those who are unemployed may qualify for funding to assist with a portion or all of the cost of tuition. For more information and to register for the information session, go to Macomb.edu/infosession. For additional information on tuition assistance, call 586.498.4100 or email workforcedev@macomb.edu.

Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

Explore potential career paths with your child this holiday break

Students across Michigan are preparing for the annual winter break period; two weeks off from school where they can relax and recharge while celebrating the holidays. Many will spend the period hanging out with friends, binge watching Netflix and indulging in various sweet treats, but this year, there’s another activity that we advise young people and their parents pursuing. In recognition of December being Michigan Career and Exploration and Awareness Month, we are encouraging all families to discuss jobs and career pathways with their children.

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“It’s important students explore careers early and often,” Talent and Economic Development Department of Michigan Interim Director Jeremy Hendges said. “This month is about highlighting the array of resources and opportunities to explore careers before students graduate from high school. But more than that, it’s an opportunity to bring those conversations about career exploration home from the classroom to the holiday dinner table so families and friends can share their experiences with their students, too.”

With more than 811,000 career openings across the state through 2024, Michigan is working to close the talent gap. State leaders believe that talent gap stems from a career awareness gap and counselors, educators, employers and parents all have a role in helping Michigan’s young people explore the hundreds of thousands of high-demand, high-wage careers available in the Great Lakes State.

“Too often, students leave high school without a plan for what’s next and are doing their career exploration in college,” Hendges added. “The more we can help students explore these opportunities earlier, the sooner we can close our talent gap and connect our young people with rewarding, great-paying careers here at home.”

To help parents and families with these conversations, we’ve pulled together several easy-to-use resources that can answer questions, facilitate dialogue and spark inspiration. They include:

  • Going-PRO.com: This one-stop online tool provides students and all Michiganders with information on the state’s most high-demand, high-wage career opportunities in the professional trades, including salaries and job growth data, ‘A Day in the Life’ series that highlights professionals in their careers and how they got there and local schools and training facilities to get started in a Professional Trades career.
  • Pathfinder: Students can roadmap their career path with the state’s Pathfinder tool that allows them to pick a career field and see, all at once, how to get there from training to full-time career.
  • CareerOneStop.org: Families can learn details about any occupation with this resource, including what you might do on the job, how much you might earn and how much education or training you might need.
  • MiTalent.org: Michigan Training Connect can assist students in making knowledgeable decisions concerning their professional future and career.
  • MiBrightFuture.org: This robust and easy-to-use online system provides Michigan students valuable exposure to the world of work through interactions with real-life professionals, both helping students identify how to get a job they care about and employers find the qualified talent they need.
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook: The Bureau of Labor Statistics created the OOH to help young people find career information on duties, education and training, pay and outlook for hundreds of occupations.

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By using these resources this holiday season, parents can give their children a leg up when it comes to their future. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comment section below and our Macomb County team would be happy to provide assistance.

Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

L’Anse Creuse-Pankow receives $1,000 from 2018 MFG Day video contest

Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel yesterday announced students from the L’Anse Creuse Frederick V. Pankow Center as the winners of the Manufacturing (MFG) Day 2018 Student Video Challenge. The contest, which coincided with the October 5 celebration of MFG Day in Macomb County, required participants to create a three minute video around the theme “Why should manufacturers get involved in Manufacturing Day?” It also asked for videos to highlight a MFG Day host site company, careers within that company and the overall student experience during the event.

MFG Day Video Challenge winners“We asked students to help us create a tool that would promote Manufacturing Day in the future,” said County Executive Hackel. “And the teams that submitted videos did an incredible job. It is clear that they are all talented individuals with bright futures ahead.”

Six videos were submitted by student teams for consideration in the MFG Day Video Challenge. All were reviewed by a panel of judges with experience in the film and video profession. The winner, a video produced by students from the L’Anse Creuse Frederick V. Pankow Center, received high marks for camera techniques, lighting, content, graphics and titles, editing and sound. The team featured Fori Automation as their video’s central focus and included interviews with company leaders and MFG Day attendees. It can be viewed in its entirety here.

“We were so impressed with the L’Anse Creuse Frederick V. Pankow Center team,” said Tom Nahas, a contest judge and owner of Mad Habit Creative. “These students took the competition directive and made it their own by adding creative elements and distinct production abilities to their final video. The end result was a professional and unique marketing tool that will support the county in its mission to make next year’s Manufacturing Day the biggest one yet.”

As the winner of the MFG Day challenge, the Pankow Center team received the contest’s grand prize – $1,000 awarded to their school and $50 in prepaid credit cards for each student participant. Winning students include:

  • Jacob Ashba
  • Jack Braithwaite
  • Lauren Bayless
  • Angel Delich

The team was mentored by Michael Kaufman, an instructor with the Pankow Center’s television and broadcast media CTE course offering. During the check presentation to the team, Kaufman noted that the prize money will be used for student experiences like field trips and student scholarships.

To view all the MFG Day Student Video Challenge entries, visit https://www.manufacturemyfuture.com/video-contest. (Pictured above from left to right: Michael Kaufman, Angel Delich, Jacob Ashba, Jack Braithwaite, Lauren Bayless and County Executive Mark A. Hackel).

About MFG Day in Macomb County: Manufacturing Day is a national campaign designed to create awareness about the economic importance of the industry and the interesting and well-paying jobs it provides. Since 2014, more than 10,000 students have participated in Macomb County’s Manufacturing Day through the support of an active planning committee and the generosity of host sites and sponsors. In 2018 alone, 82 tours were given by 72 host companies to 2,400 students from 28 MISD schools. It was the largest ever Manufacturing Day in Macomb County. For more information, visit http://business.macombgov.org/Business-Events-ManufacturingDay.

Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

Upcoming event aims to expose young people to careers in technology and manufacturing

Macomb County has long been a manufacturing powerhouse. For close to a century, our region has designed and produced countless products, parts and materials for the auto industry and military – which makes continuing the steady flow of talent into our workforce a top issue for local leaders.

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One major component of producing this next generation workforce involves exposing young people to the variety of careers and opportunities available in the manufacturing and technology sectors. And the upcoming Careers in Manufacturing Expo aims to do just that. The free career event will be held on Thursday, Dec. 6 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Macomb Community College South Campus. It will feature a light dinner, an opportunity to interact with area employers and a panel discussion about educational pathways that lead to career success. The panel will include insight from interns all the way to CEOs, all of whom can provide perspective to the public.

“It’s really all about developing career awareness and technology awareness, particularly within the automotive field,” said Joe Petrosky, the dean of the Engineering and Advanced Technology at Macomb Community College. “That evening event has local employers that come in. Students and parents and families can interact with those employers, […] learn more about apprenticeships, learn more about internships (and) the programs available at the college.”

Companies participating in the event include:

  • Ford Motor Company
  • Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles
  • General Motors
  • Magna International (manufacturing)
  • Continental AG (manufacturing)
  • Comau (automation)
  • Siemens (automation)
  • American Axle (auto)
  • Kuka (automation)

All interested parents and students are welcome to attend the expo, where one lucky student attendee will be awarded the special door prize – a professional grade drone!

Again, the event is free, but registration is required here.


Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

FIRST Robotics: A student’s perspective

It is estimated that 65 percent of today’s kindergarteners will have job titles that do not currently exist. Many of these new roles will be related to STEM, so it is imperative that young people have opportunities to explore and become educated in these fields.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics is a program that does just that. Its mission is to inspire young people to become science and technology leaders by engaging them in mentor-based programs and competitions. According to FIRST, this is as close to real-world engineering as a student can get.

Knowing this, Macomb County has begun collaborating with the 16 teams based here. One of our first efforts – a FIRST Robotics open house and panel discussion hosted by students from the International Academy of Macomb and the I.AM.ROBOT First Robotics team on Monday, Nov. 19, 2018 from 3:45 p.m. – 6 p.m. For more information on the event or to secure your spot, click here.

To get a better understanding as to why this event is important, we invite you to read the following essay written by Magdalena Sawicki, a student from the International Academy of Macomb and a member of the school’s I.AM.Robot FIRST Robotics team.

Before last year, I never had a true passion. I had many hobbies, but nothing that truly made me stop and think, “This is my thing.” Additionally, I always had this mentality that I never truly fit or felt comfortable anywhere, which understandably put a damper on my feelings towards groups and teams. However, that same thinking is what justified the importance of the moment I knew I discovered my passion.

IMG_4805It all began my freshman year when I went to a new high school. The rigor of the International Baccalaureate program was the smallest of my worries compared to the challenges of making new friends and having to reintroduce myself. To be frank, I did not know how I was supposed to paint myself as a unique individual, when I had nothing that set me apart.  The transition was hard and the routine of it all started to make me feel nauseous. Then, like fate had it, an announcement of a robotics meeting played over the speaker. From that moment on, I was under a spell. My weekly meetings turned into daily meetings, sometimes staying at school from 3 p.m. to midnight. It was the first time that I was so wrapped up in doing something that there was no other place I would’ve rather been.

Two years into being on my team, I developed a leadership position and I spontaneously pushed my team into signing up for the All Girls Competition in Bloomfield. It was the first off-season event the team would’ve ever participated in, but I was beyond ready for the challenge. The moment I received the green light, I pushed everything aside besides the competition. Along with preparing myself, I had to prepare the five other girls on the team, expanding my knowledge from just programming to building and electrical. We practiced three times a week and I was confident in our abilities, however, I was still very intimidated by the other teams. So much so, I spent the morning of the competition in the bathroom consoling myself. In the competition queue, fear really hit me. I was trembling and jittery. Luckily, I had a bond with my drive team girls and they put on my favorite music knowing goofy dancing calms me down. Without even realizing it, I was standing at the driver station setting up. My driver saw me tense up again and reminded me of the work I put in to make this possible. We stood in preparation for the match and it was then, when the buzzer went off, that I knew this is my passion. All my nerves disappeared and I went into full focus, winning that match.

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From that moment, every time I’m faced with a tough situation, I swear I hear that starting buzzer. Robotics helped me find my identity, passion and skills like team-work, time-management and most importantly, leadership. The Girls competition became my outlet for later being operator on the actual drive-team, taking my team to worlds, advocating for women in STEM and being the student mentor for my final year of robotics, for not five girls but twenty.

Magdalena Sawicki is a senior from the International Academy of Macomb and has been a member of 4810 I.AM.Robot for four years. She is on the programming, business, outreach and drive teams. Magdalena also holds an extreme passion advocating for women in STEM. Recently, she participated in the Bloomfield All Girls competition as a drive coach and won a $1,000 scholarship through the above essay (5/55 girls).

Popular workshop returns to help startup businesses

Small businesses and startup organizations are an essential part of Michigan’s economy. They keep our cities and towns vibrant by investing in communities and giving work to a significant number of people – over 1.8 million individuals to be exact. That’s more than 49 percent of the state’s private workforce and a reason why there are countless resources available to provide support for the sector.

One resource in particular is back by popular demand. “Starting Up,” a free workshop hosted by the Macomb-OU Incubator at the Velocity Center, is returning for a new session on Tuesday, December 18 from 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. The course is open to the public, including:

  • Individuals who have a high-tech startup
  • Individuals who have an early-stage, growth-based business
  • Individuals who have an innovative idea that they’d like to bring to market

During the workshop, attendees will explore Michigan’s “Entrepreneurial Ecosystem,” which is designed to help innovators start and/or grow tech-based businesses. They will also hear from John Eaton, the Macomb-OU Incubator client strategist. He will review the wide range of resources the state of Michigan offers – including business incubators, university technology acceleration and commercialization, SmartZones and various support services and funding programs. The end goal of the course – to identify what’s right for every individual’s business.

Those interested in attending can register here: https://hgioxpcxda.formstack.com/forms/starting_up_121818. Make sure to reserve a spot soon. These classes tend to fill up quickly.

Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.