Meet the 2017 MBA Efficiency Expert & Model of OneMacomb Nominees

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.

atcoindustries.com

 

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.

jemtechgroup.com

 

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.

agsautomotive.com

 

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.

artsacad.net

 

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.

mclaren.org/macomb

 

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.

autisticplayplace.org

 

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

Corporate Citizens compete to take home Macomb Business award

 

The Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development’s 5th Annual Macomb Business Awards is quickly approaching! The awards breakfast will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 14 at Palazzo Grande in Shelby Township.

Nominations in six award categories have been collected and reviewed by a panel of judges. Last week, we let out a sneak peek at the amazing companies vying for Champion of Workforce Development.

Competing for the Corporate Citizen award are 14 Macomb County companies who excel at engaging the local community through service and financial support. Be sure to purchase your ticket to see who will take home the award.

Anderson, Eckstein and Westrick, Inc. (Shelby Township)

AEW is a leading design firm that provides civil engineering, architecture, geographic information systems, consulting and surveying services to municipal, institutional and private clients. They are committed to the enduring strength of our communities through innovation, value and engineering excellence. In 2016, AEW supported more than 65 community events, charitable foundations, food pantries and service clubs. They are also dues-paying members of more than 30 professional organizations, chambers of commerce and service organizations. AEW’s team of employees and managers hold food pantry drives, support Selfridge Air National Guard Base families at Christmas and donate hundreds of hours annually to performing community service.

aewinc.com

 

Bay Rama Inc.  (New Baltimore)

The Bay Rama Committee was formed in 1964. They have approximately 75 board and committee members and more than 100 active volunteers. Their purpose is to better the Anchor Bay community and make an economic impact. Their main fundraiser is the annual Bay-Rama Fishfly Festival, and they also sponsor the New Baltimore Christmas Tree Lighting in December. Bay Rama supports many local groups including New Baltimore Recreation, MacDonald Library, New Baltimore Lions and more. They have awarded more than $80,000 in scholarships to Anchor Bay graduates and donated more than $2 million to Walter and Mary Burke Park and Festival Park.

bay-rama.com

 

Binson’s Medical Equipment and Supplies (Center Line)

Binson’s is a family owned and operated full-service home medical equipment, medical supply and orthopedic company. Their customer base includes individuals, hospitals, doctor offices, nursing homes, health plans and other providers. They are committed to helping defeat the diseases that impact the families they serve on a daily basis. Throughout the years, they have raised and donated funds to many charities including the Karmanos Cancer Institute and Muscular Dystrophy Association. They also played a big role in supporting the MDA Summer Camp and Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure by donating the medical supplies and wheelchairs needed for attendees to participate at these events.

binsons.com

 

Brose Jefferson (Warren)

Brose Jefferson is a manufacturing location of the Brose Group, the fifth largest family-owned automotive supplier. It manufactures door modules and latch mini-modules for several major OEMs such as Ford and Chrysler. Brose partners with Macomb Community College to identify displaced workers with an interest in mechatronics and has donated funds to assist students working toward a mechatronic certificate. They have also donated to the Macomb Community College Foundation to provide meals and bus tickets to students with financial needs. Brose meets with students to educate them about careers in manufacturing through events at the Michigan Technical Education Center and Macomb County’s Manufacturing Day.

brose.com

 

CJ Barrymore’s Entertainment (Clinton Township)

There is a variety of family entertainment to be found at CJ Barrymore’s including bumper cars, laser tag, dining options, arcade, racecar tracks, rock wall, bumper boats and the new rollercoaster. Wanting everyone to have fun, CJ Barrymore’s proudly hosts free parties for the terminally ill and sponsors the annual Children’s Hospital Cancer Survivor Day. They are a proud member of the Chippewa Valley Coalition for Youth and Families and have provided a Leadership Scholarship to Chippewa Valley High School for the past 30 years. They also purchase products and utilize vendors from local companies, ensuring that the money they spend benefits the community.

cjbarrymores.com

 

Godlan, Inc. (Clinton Township)

Godlan is a leading professional manufacturing services company that implements integrated technology solutions, helping manufacturers streamline operations, communicate better, innovate faster, sell more and ensure the health of their business. Godlan has been in business since 1984 and has two locations with more than 50 employees. They are dedicated to charitable giving and to fostering a culture of giving throughout the organization. For the past five years, Godlan provided each employee with a donation to the charity of their choice. Through this program, approximately $500,000 has been contributed to charities, including the Macomb Charitable Foundation.

godlan.com

 

Jefferson Yacht Club (St. Clair Shores)

Founded in 1957, the Jefferson Yacht Club is a private club that provides dining for their members and their guests as well as an in-ground pool, tiki bar and outdoor pavilion. Located in the center of the Nautical Mile, the Jefferson Yacht Club supports community events such as AquaFreeze, Restaurant Week and the Memorial Parade. Through events like their annual Turkey Bowling Night, they contribute monetary donations and frozen turkeys to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, collect food for the Macomb Food Bank and contribute toward the St. Clair Shores Cops for Kids program. They support many charities and provide their facility for fundraising efforts.

jeffersonyachtclub.com

 

Kevin Koresky Attorney at Law (St. Clair Shores)

Kevin Koresky has been a respected attorney at law for more than two decades. With a newly-launched website, it is easy for clients to see they have the right to be properly represented. Koresky takes each case personally; you will never be just a case number with him. This can be seen through the way he takes the time to answer small questions to reassure a client, the way he fights for an innocent client and how he treats a simple will with the utmost respect. He has a passion for helping people and makes sure his cases are handled properly, respectfully and timely.

koreskylaw.com

 

Key Safety Systems (Sterling Heights)

With corporate headquarters in Sterling Heights, KSS has been offering top automotive safety equipment for nearly 40 years. They make airbags, seat belts and other safety technologies. KSS was interested in becoming more involved in local community activities, so they became a repeat supporter of the Sterling Heights Initiative for Neighborhood Excellence (SHINE) program. SHINE relies heavily on volunteers to assist homeowners with fairly substantial tasks to clean up or renovate their property.

keysafetyinc.com

 

Michigan First Credit Union (Eastpointe)

Founded in 1926 as the Detroit Teachers Credit Union, the Michigan First Credit Union was renamed in 2001 to reflect the diversity of their growing membership. In 2015, they opened their state-of-the-art Gratiot Financial Store in Eastpointe, reviving a main intersection in the community. Each year, time, resources and thousands of dollars are donated to the local community through scholarship programs, student branches, free educational seminars and hosting blood drives and shred days. In the last year, Michigan First Credit Union has participated in, sponsored or donated to Gleaners Food Bank, the Recreation Authority of Roseville and Eastpointe, Hope Center Macomb, Cruisin’ Gratiot and more.

michiganfirst.com

 

Michigan Youth Appreciation Foundation (Warren)

Michigan Youth Appreciation Foundation was formed to inspire youth to do the most good, stay in school, graduate college and become future leaders, hopefully in Michigan. Since 1991, more than 1,500 college scholarships have been awarded to deserving students to continue their education. Michigan Youth Appreciation Foundation works with a dozen colleges and universities to talk to kids about opportunities available to them. They also host workshops on anti-bullying, fighting crime, healthy eating and entrepreneurship. Metro Detroit Youth Day is their major event which has grown to include more than 35,000 youths, 360 organizations, 240 corporate sponsors and 1,700 volunteers.

metrodetroityouthday.org

 

Motown Soup (Utica)

“Good for you, good for the community,” is Motown Soup’s slogan. Begun 12 years ago, the business is 100 percent volunteer led, and all profits are given back to the community. During an average week, up to 100 volunteers produce soup and baked goods mixes which they label, package and sell. Profits from 2015 were given to Macomb County nonprofits such as MCREST, Hope Center, Lighthouse Outreach, Habitat Macomb and Samaritan House. Motown Soup not only helps through their outreach, but they also touch the lives of their volunteers who are mostly retired – giving them new meaning in life as they help the soup project.

motownsoup.com

 

My Deal Graphics (St. Clair Shores)

Founded in St. Clair Shores 20 years ago, My Deal Graphics offers the highest quality products at the lowest costs. A locally-owned small business, My Deal Graphics works with many of the sports teams, school districts and businesses in Macomb County. Owner Steve Salerno has worked hard to build relationships with these organizations and to provide them with the needed apparel for their businesses or teams. Salerno’s employees are creative and innovative in their approach to helping businesses. As My Deal Graphics has grown, they have given back to the community through donations at local events and to the local sports teams.
mydealgraphics.com

 

Relevar Home Care (Mount Clemens)

Relevar is a private home care company with a corporate office in Mount Clemens and caregivers spanning several counties. Relevar improves and enhances the day-to-day lives of its clients on a daily basis by providing trustworthy, compassionate and professional care. Last year, they were recognized by the Mount Clemens Beautification Committee due to the pride they put into their building’s yard and landscape. Relevar constantly keeps a recruiter on staff, promoting local employment. They also partner with Lutz School for Work Experience where they provide real-life work experiences and training to students with special needs, promoting the transition from school to community life.

relevar.com

 

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

IT jobs growing in Macomb County

As the world becomes increasingly interconnected through technology, Macomb County is on the cutting edge of the information technology (IT) and cybersecurity industries.

There are currently 367 companies that make up Macomb County’s network of IT and cybersecurity businesses. Collectively, they employ more than 8,000 workers (and growing!). These companies are utilizing sophisticated software systems and the latest in technology to revolutionize security.

IT1At the Velocity Hub of the Michigan Cyber Range, Macomb County companies have access to the resources they need to secure their connected products. Certification classes in more than 20 different cybersecurity disciplines equip our workforce with the knowledge needed to excel in this growing industry.

The county is also home to MADCAT (Michigan Automotive & Defense Cyber Assurance Team), an organization devoted to supporting the region’s cyber ecosystem. Through collaborative partnerships, MADCAT focuses on driving technology innovation forward.

Jobs are available and growing across all fields of IT and cybersecurity. Here is a snapshot of some of the fastest growing in June of this year.

IT2

The business development team of the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development is here to help.  Our job is to be knowledgeable about and connected to a wide assortment of programs available to help businesses succeed.

Our services are free, confidential and easily accessed.  Simply get in touch, and we will arrange for your team to meet with our seasoned professionals. We will listen to your goals to grow your business, discuss current and anticipated barriers and discuss options for getting you on your way.

Posavetz, Nick IMG_0221Nick Posavetz is a senior planner for Macomb County, often providing content for the Macomb Business and Make Macomb Your Home websites and associated social media accounts. If you have something you’d like to feature, reach out to him at posavetz@macombgov.org.

Macomb’s food producers make my stomach smile

Grasshopper outsideI work for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development as a senior economic development specialist, and I love my job not only because I get to help businesses grow, but also because my stomach loves my amazing food business clients. I recently met with one new bakery in Roseville called Grasshoppers Bread Company.

A family-run small business, Grasshoppers Bread Company is owned by Michael and Barbara Byrd and their daughter Samantha. While watching Michael work his culinary magic making some delicious products with a roller, dough and some flour, he told me how their business began.

Grasshopper pastriesGrowing up, Michael spent time with his great-grandparents up north, and they showed him how to make bread. When he lost his automotive job during the Great Recession, he went to a local Michigan Works! office and was offered an opportunity to go back to school. Through the culinary arts program at Macomb Community College, he learned the skills needed to become a professional baker.

Michael was baking from his home under Michigan’s Cottage Food Law, and when a building became available, he jumped right on it. He said the Grasshoppers business name was from an old cartoon character that family and friends used to call him, and he thought it would be a great name for the business. They opened a week before Christmas and sell 10 different types of breads. They also sell pretzels, buns, cheesecake, brownies, almond croissants, and are working on new items all the time. They even have what is called a Turtle Pocket made out of caramel, chocolate and pecans. Another great product is similar to an Almond Joy with almond paste chocolate and coconuts. Yes, you read that right, and I’m sorry if you are drooling now.

Grasshopper pastriesOne of the products that I had a chance to taste was a triple apple cider cake with a frosting made from Barbara’s grandmother’s recipe. I kept saying how amazing it was, and that put a huge smile on their faces because they care that you will be happy with your purchase.

Grasshoppers Bread Company plans to bring in a professional cake artist who will be doing different styles and 3D designs on wedding, birthday and other event cakes.

They also sell wholesale and supply bread to neighboring Motorcity Meatball Kitchen – another local business I love. It always makes me happy to see businesses combine their powers to create a super product. It would be like combining Batman and Superman if Batman and Superman were culinary artists.

Getting back to reality now, Grasshoppers Bread Company makes Italian white bread six days a week and one other bread each day. Monday is Italian herb, Tuesday asiago/cheddar or what I call a slice of happiness, Wednesday is Boston (white), Thursday they make a honey wheat, Friday is rye, and Saturday you can get yourself some challah/cinnamon raisin.

I would be doing the business an injustice if I did not say that they make this bread old school. From start to finish, it takes three days to make each loaf. This might seem like a lifetime to wait for food. Luckily for you, you need only to walk through their doors, take a big whiff of all the fresh products being made, and make that delicious purchase. You will thank me, and you are so welcome.

Grasshoppers Bread Company
15680 13 Mile Road, Roseville, MI 48066
586-218-8770.

Jack Johns is a senior economic development specialist with the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development. He specializes in assisting food and agriculture, automotive, energy and retail companies.

 

Macomb then and now

On a daily basis, we are bombarded with facts and figures about how the economy is doing: the jobs report, quarterly GDP, auto sales, stock indexes. Those with an agenda may have an overly bleak or optimistic viewpoint, while others seem far too concerned with the price of tea in China when all you want to know is how things are going in Macomb.

Macomb County’s economy is strong. But just how strong depends largely on perspective. The county has undergone significant economic growth since the turn of the new decade, but still hasn’t fully recovered from highs reached back around the new millennium.

In 2010, Macomb County had an unemployment rate of 13.9 percent. Nearly 60,000 individuals of the county’s approximately 425,000 labor force were drawing unemployment. In 2015, that number dwindled to 6.1 percent (roughly 25,000).

The economy in Macomb County has steadily improved since bottoming out in 2009, where Michigan was hit especially hard during the Great Recession.

To go back to when things were best, you have to look back to 1999 when Macomb County hit its maximum – 427,668 people in the county had jobs and unemployment was only 3.3 percent. Today, 390,572 are employed, up from a low of 350,776 in 2009.

chart1

Where are the jobs coming from?

Manufacturing in Macomb County declined for nine straight years from 2000-2009, but has since rebounded six straight years. Health care and accommodation and foodservices industries have seen growth, while retail and construction have both declined.

chart2

Looking at these industries over the past 15 years highlights two key points. The first is that manufacturing was and continues to be Macomb County’s driving economic force. The second is that it has also been the industry most sensitive to change. From 2000 – 2009, manufacturing in Macomb lost 54,095 jobs (51.82 percent – more than half!), then from 2009 – 2015 gained 19,755 of them back. The change in the number of manufacturing jobs outnumbers the entire number of jobs in many of Macomb’s major industries.

While manufacturing is the single biggest industry within the county, it is worthwhile to point out a few other trends. Construction has also been impacted by the recession and has seen a downturn (and subsequent rebound). Health care and social assistance industries meanwhile have showed continuous healthy growth across the entire time period.

Earning a living wage

Jobs are only part of the story. What those jobs are paying is equally as important.

Since the turn of the millennium, private sector wages within the county have steadily risen, even during the recession.

chart3

Looking specifically at the county’s dominant industry, manufacturing, and using 2000 as a base year, there are 32.9 percent fewer manufacturing jobs in Macomb County, yet during the same time period, wages grew 29.7 percent. Manufacturing in Macomb and as an industry is becoming more automated, where the value per hour worked has increased, yet the manpower needed to accomplish tasks has decreased.

chart4

Those who have jobs in manufacturing are finding them to be lucrative opportunities. The average weekly wage in manufacturing in Macomb is now $1,430 per week. This is 49.2 percent higher than the average for all private sector jobs in the county of $958 per week.

What does it all mean?

While there are certainly no guarantees, the data seem to make a case for the following: Manufacturing will continue to be the bedrock of Macomb County’s economy, and wages within that industry are likely to continue to rise. Job growth may slow, but the days of double digit unemployment from 2009 – 2011 are clearly a thing of the past and not likely to return in the short or medium turn.

Economists with Economic Modeling Specialists Intl (EMSI) predict the employment within the county to grow to 360,658 by 2025. Over the next 10 years, their models show Macomb growing payroll by 4.6 percent while the state of Michigan sees a 6.0 percent growth.

Posavetz, Nick IMG_0221Nick Posavetz is a Senior Planner for Macomb County, often providing content for the Macomb Business & Make Macomb Your Home websites and associated social media accounts. If you have something you’d like to feature, reach out to him at posavetz@macombgov.org

Velocity Hub grand opening highlights new cybersecurity asset

Stone.jpgFriday, March 18 marked the grand opening of the Velocity Hub. This is the first secure cyber range in Michigan available to companies to test their technologies on early-stage connected products. It is an extension of the Michigan Cyber Range that is powered by Merit Network and managed by the Macomb-Oakland University INCubator (Mac-OU INC). The highly-anticipated grand opening was filled to capacity with 225 registered guests representing government, business and academia.

The event was emceed by Sean Carlson, vice president of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Michigan Defense Center. His first introduction was Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor who presented a video explaining the importance of cybersecurity to large and small businesses and how the Velocity Hub came to fruition.

The next speaker was Sen. Gary Peters who sits on the Senate Homeland Security Committee. Peters recently introduced a bill, the State and Local Cyber Protection Act, intended to provide state and local governments access to training against cyberthreats. He stated that cybersecurity is critical to keeping the automotive and defense industries in Michigan, especially when the state faces competition from Google and Apple headquartered in California.

“This center will make sure Macomb County and Michigan are the center of new technologies that will change the world forever,” said Peters.

Brig. Gen. Michael Stone, assistant adjutant general for installations with the Michigan Army National Guard, spoke next. He is working with the federal government to establish a nationwide network of cyber ranges to train tomorrow’s workforce.

“We planted the seeds, now it’s time for Macomb County to take off with it,” said Stone.

He called the Velocity Hub a unique asset for the entire country, praising the public/private partnership that enables it to be self-sustaining.

FrontCyberRangeSteve Arwood, MEDC CEO, spoke about the strong relationship Macomb County has with the Michigan Defense Center, thanks in part to the effort of individuals such as Stephen Cassin, former Macomb County Planning & Economic Development director. He stated Michigan has what is needed to retain and attract talent and warned against complacency during this time of vast technological change.

With experience as the former Macomb County sheriff, Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel stressed the importance of having someone to turn to when Internet crime happens. He stated there is a need to cultivate subject matter experts who can tackle issues, such as cyberattacks, that affect the public. He cited Planning & Economic Development Deputy Director Vicky Rad as being an expert in the Macomb County cybersecurity initiative.

Dr. Betty Youngblood, vice president for strategic planning and Macomb outreach at Oakland University, thanked the Mac-OU INC staff for their hard work readying the hub, which included numerous meetings, events and grant research.

“Today begins the next chapter in services offered here,” she said.

Dr. Joe Adams, vice president of research and cybersecurity at Merit Network, presented Larry Herriman, interim executive director at Mac-OU INC, and Jennifer Tisdale, cyber programs manager for defense and automotive offices at MEDC, with coins. He credited the two individuals for making the hub happen. He said the hub will not only create a more cyber-aware workforce able to protect their organizations, but it will also serve as an economic development magnet.

The last speaker at the event was Nathan Dragun, director of cyber range development for the Michigan Cyber Range at Merit Network. He addressed the audience from a hacker’s perspective, stating the focus should not be on controlling the Internet, but embracing and working with it, reminding everyone the tools used to attack are the same used to defend. The hub is valuable because it will enable users to keep up with technology and to gain a true understanding of how to use it through hands-on training, testing and collaboration.

Source.jpgPamela Lewis, director of the New Economy Initiative, had the honor of cutting the ribbon. An open house followed where attendees networked and explored the Velocity Hub. Decked out with a new front desk, computer stations, white boards and mounted projection screens, guests were able to view a live Alphaville exercise where Oakland University students were participating in a virtual match of capture the flag.

The Velocity Hub is the result of the collaboration of the Merit Network, the Michigan Defense Center of the MEDC, the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development, the city of Sterling Heights and Oakland University. It offers training space, hosts live hacking exercises and assists in software testing for local companies. Small businesses in the defense, homeland security and advanced manufacturing industries may benefit the most from these services as hackers may view them as vulnerable and a way to hack into larger companies for whom they are suppliers. Mac-OU INC will also offer certification classes in more than 20 different cybersecurity disciplines.

For more information about certification courses or how you can utilize the Velocity Hub, contact Larry Herriman at (586) 884-9332 or email him at herriman@oakland.edu.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hot Jobs in Macomb: What’s in demand in Macomb County?

Good news for job seekers: In Macomb County there were 49,949 total job postings in January 2016 representing 13,553 unique jobs. (Source: EMSI’s proprietary job postings data.) These numbers indicate a posting intensity of 3.68-to-1, meaning that for every available position there were 3.68 job postings for it.

Heavy and Tractor Truck drivers are most in demand with companies looking to fill 2,334 unique positions. The average wage for this group in the county is currently $18.79/hour.

Registered nurses were the highest posting intensity, with 7.16 job posts for each job available, implying strong demand.

See the chart for the most in demand jobs.

Chart.png

Are you looking for work, or do you know someone who is? Head on over to the Michigan Talent bank at www.MiTalent.org or reach out to the local Michigan Works! office.

Posavetz, Nick IMG_0221Nick Posavetz is a Senior Planner for Macomb County, often providing content for the Macomb Business & Make Macomb Your Home websites and associated social media accounts. If you have something you’d like to feature, reach out to him at posavetz@macombgov.org.

Macomb County growing and cultivating talent

Macomb County has been swimming against the tide of a statewide trend since 2000. Michigan’s loss has been Macomb’s gain.

Flash back to 2000. Macomb County’s population was 788,149. Fast forward 16 years to present day, and it currently sits at 865,570. A growth of 77,421 people (+9.8%) may not seem notable, but this occurred during a time when Michigan was losing population. In 2000, Michigan stood at 9,938,444 residents. Today that number has dwindled to 9,883,640, a drop of 54,804 people (-0.6%) which, without Macomb County, would have been a 132,225 drop. For perspective, that would be a bigger loss than losing every resident in the entire city of Lansing or Ann Arbor.

Most recently, Macomb County is growing at a pace of about 19 people per day. Given that the average household size in the county is 2.50 people, you could leave town for a three-day weekend on a Friday and come home on a Sunday to 23 new and occupied single family homes on your street. Imagine that kind of growth for the past 16 years and suddenly Hall Road makes sense.

Why is Macomb County different?

Given such a large sample size of time and population changes, Macomb County bucking the state’s trend signifies something stronger than chance. Residents are finding something in Macomb that they aren’t finding elsewhere across Michigan. A key area to look could be Macomb’s strong economy, deep pool of talent and high quality of life.

Macomb County’s workforce is becoming better educated. From 2000-2010, the number of those with associate’s degrees climbed by 1.2%,  bachelor’s degrees increased by 2.3%, graduate and professional degrees increased 1.9%, while those who did not graduate high school dropped by 4.6%.

Our workforce is gaining young professionals. From 2000-2010, those aged 10-24 accounted for 15,431 (20%) of Macomb County’s population growth. Six years later now in 2016, this age group is beginning their careers in the county.

Macomb County is affordable. The average price of a home in Macomb County is $139,500, compared to $199,600 in Oakland County. When factoring in median household income –- $53,870 in Macomb County (which is 12% higher than that of Michigan ($48,308)) – and $65,637 in Oakland shows that the cost of a home in Macomb County is 2.58 times the average annual income compared to 3.04 times in Oakland County. This doesn’t even account for property tax rates, which are much lower in Macomb.

On top of this, Macomb County is desirable. With 31 miles of coastline along Lake St. Clair, roughly 30 golf courses, orchards, blue ribbon schools and abundant retail, many are pleased to call Macomb their home.  Building permits hit a rock bottom of 346 in 2009 but have since averaged 1,835 per year from 2013-2015. The number of permits for multi-family housing was the highest in 2015 it has been since the new millennium (669).

What’s driving this growth? A thirst for talent.

Macomb County is experiencing job growth in a number of high paying fields.

Largest growth by total jobs:

chart1

Top 10 growth by highest wage:

Chart2.png

Most current openings:

Chart3.png

What does this mean for the future?

While the county’s auto rebound has been profound, the demand for services has been equally as impactful. Hall Road and Gratiot are bursting with new retail. Lakeside Mall has anchored Hall since the 1970s, but Partridge Creek opened within the last decade and Macomb Mall has undergone 8-figures worth of enhancements. A new premium outlet mall is planned at Hall Road and I-94 to attract shoppers not just within the county, but from all across the region. Coupled with a new independent league baseball stadium and a revamped Freedom Hill, Macomb County is becoming a regional destination.

These major investments are enhancing the quality of life within the community and encouraging local upgrades. Kroger has opened new mega stores, bringing in celebrities and offering perks such as personal shopping. Emagine Theatres chose Macomb for a new state-of-the-art multiplex. New breweries and restaurants are opening up all across the county, bringing with them career opportunities, a higher quality of life and a stronger quality of place.

These are exciting times for Macomb County.

Posavetz, Nick IMG_0221Nick Posavetz is a Senior Planner for Macomb County, often providing content for the Macomb Business & Make Macomb Your Home websites and associated social media accounts. If you have something you’d like to feature, reach out to him at posavetz@macombgov.org.

Retaining Macomb County businesses one cup of coffee at a time

I recently tagged along on a retention meeting Senior Economic Development Specialist Jack Johns scheduled with Minha’s Coffee Haus, a new business in Mount Clemens. It is called a retention meeting because one of the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development’s objectives is to retain existing businesses in the county by connecting them with services and resources that will help them grow and succeed.

Johns, known as the food czar to some due to his extensive work with agricultural and food-processing companies, wanted to check in with Minha’s Coffee Haus to see how he may be able to assist with any needs they may have. Of course, he also wanted to get his hot chocolate fix for the day.

We met with Sora Childress and learned about the business. They are renting a 1,200-square-foot space in the heart of Mount Clemens at 58 Cherry Street. They serve coffee, caramel macchiato, Mexican hot chocolate, espresso, cappuccino, chai lattes, water and pop as well as a rotation of baked items. They had a soft opening on Monday, Dec. 28 and have already met with officials from the city of Mount Clemens, the Downtown Development Authority and other small businesses nearby.

After learning more about Minha’s Coffee Haus, Johns was able to determine a list of needs. They are considering expanding their baked goods selection, so Johns was able to connect her with other Macomb County small businesses that make and package baked goods. He also offered marketing ideas ranging from signage to business cards.

Johns was also able to provide her with information about where to acquire affordable commercial machinery, a list of local packaging suppliers, information about free internship programs and a food-safe cleaning supplies contact.

At the end of the meeting, Johns promised to follow up with additional information and check back in. He also offered his assistance for any future issues that may occur.

If you are a Macomb County business and would like to know more about the services our department offers, contact us at (586) 469-5285 or visit our website at MacombBusiness.com.

Click here to read more about Minha’s Coffee Haus on the Make Macomb Your Home Blog.

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

Progress is standard at AGM Automotive

The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) means it’s that time of year again to think about the prospect of what possibilities lie ahead. What will this year bring, and how will we progress? But at AGM Automotive, progress is not something new to think about at the beginning of the year – it is a constant, ever-present goal and a core value of the company.

What started as a small lighting company in 2001 has progressed to include a product range featuring ambient lighting, courtesy lighting, overhead consoles, electronic assemblies and plastic components. We serve OEM, Tier 1 and Tier 2 customers within a global network including locations in North America, Central America, Europe and Asia. AGM’s global headquarters are based in Troy, Michigan. AGM’s expansion included the recent acquisition of Durmont, which brought carpets and floor mats to our product line.

AGMAGM’s ninth and newest 80,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility, which recently opened in Sterling Heights, is all about progress – it is located on Progress Drive, will provide opportunities for nearly 50 new employees, and was chosen for its location in Macomb County to provide progressively expanded capabilities to better serve our customers. A ribbon cutting ceremony and reception sponsored by the Sterling Heights Chamber of Commerce was held at the facility in September 2015 and included remarks from Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel and Sterling Heights Mayor Michael C. Taylor.

Progress has also been something to strive toward for our products. Our product range has expanded to include the exterior environment. We are also progressing behind the scenes with a newly expanded R&D department to increase the pace of innovation. New investments have brought rapid prototyping capabilities in-house, and we have expanded the use of electronic sensors in engineered optics.  AGM now has products in 26 vehicles featured at the NAIAS.

The automotive industry has shown tremendous progress in the past year as well. New innovations in lighting, particularly with ambient lighting, show that innovation and technology are on the forefront and high on the radar for AGM’s customers.  Interior electronics are becoming smarter, and the shift toward smart technology pushes us to look for ways to lead the industry with niche technology and products which will add functionality and grab the attention of the customer.

AGM looks forward to the NAIAS each year, not only to see the new models that will be presented, but to see how vehicles have progressed from last year’s show and what lies ahead for the future. We are proud to have our products included at the NAIAS and are excited to attend this year’s events.

Erica Dovitz is the marketing specialist at AGM Automotive.