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Lake Orion / Orion Township : Innovation & Job News

16 Lake Orion / Orion Township Articles | Page: | Show All

Lake Orion students take part in county Manufacturing Day


For Teddy Anderson, a junior at Lake Orion High School, seeing what the professionals at Atlas Copco Tools and Assembly Systems do could be a glimpse into his future.

Teddy and 17 of his classmates toured Atlas Copco in Auburn Hills as part of Oakland County’s fourth annual Manufacturing Day on Oct. 5.

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Giving a hand-up to local entrepreneurs


Alex Chudzinski is working hard to transform the small cell phone repair business he started as a student at Lake Orion High School into a thriving, growing company.

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Community college works with 8 companies to train nearly 700 new workers


Eight Oakland County companies will hire 693 new employees under a new training agreement with Oakland Community College.

The agreement leverages training and funds under the Michigan New Jobs Training (MNJT) program, which enables companies working with community colleges to divert the Michigan income taxes of new employees to provide new jobs training.

Read more.

Booming craft beer industry means growth for Lake Orion's Craftwerk Brewing Systems

Craftwerk Brewing Systems got its start four years ago with the idea of supplying the equipment for the rapidly growing craft brewing movement in Michigan. Since then, the Lake Orion-based business has grown into a national brand.

"We have equipment in something like 20 states," says Tark Heine, managing director of Craftwerk Brewing Systems.

Heine got his start in craft brewing in mid-Michigan in 1989 when he began working for the Frankenmuth Brewery. He worked in management there until 2006 and struck out on his own in the industry a few years later.

"What really got me into fabrication was building the Frankenmuth Brewery," Heine says.

Craftwerk Brewing Systems manufactures high-quality, Michigan-made brewing equipment that now can be found in breweries throughout the state, including Motor City Brewing Works, Short's Brewing Co, and Founders Brewing Co., as well around the country. The company offers design, engineering, fabrication, and installation services for brewers from coast to coast.

"We can do a turn-key brewery for you," Heine says. Locally, Craftwerk built Birmingham's Griffin Claw Brewing Co. from the ground up.

The company has doubled its revenue over the last year, allowing it to grow its team to 95 people, including eight hires over the last year. Of its current staff, 88 are fabricators.

"The biggest problem we have is finding and training the fabricators," Heine says.

The rapid expansion of craft breweries and similar outfits (distillers and meade makers), both in Michigan and across the U.S., has left Heine bullish about his company’s prospects.

"The market is not slowing down," Heine says.

Source: Tark Heine, managing director of Craftwerk Brewing Systems
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

GM will build Chevrolet Bolt at small-car plant north of Detroit


The Chevrolet Bolt EV concept unveiled by General Motors last month at the Detroit auto show will reportedly not be just a concept much longer. 

Citing two anonymous supplier sources, Reuters reports that GM plans to begin production of the vehicle - or at least an electric vehicle akin to it - in October 2016 at GM's Orion Township plant where it currently assembles the Chevrolet Sonic and Buick Verano. 

Read more.

Creative Techniques receives supplier award from Honda of America

Creative Techniques, a leader in the reusable packaging industry, has received The Special Recognition Award for 2013 from Honda of America. This prestigious award was presented to Creative Techniques at their facility in Orion with Honda of America Central Region MRO/Indirect Procurement staff presenting to the company’s entire team.

Creative Techniques has been a valued supplier to Honda of America since 1998, when the company first designed and manufactured parts kitting trays for the new Russells Point Transmission Plant. Since that time, the relationship has grown, with Creative Techniques providing trays, totes, containers, dunnage, seat shipping pallets, and the proprietary Envirolid pallet lid to Honda manufacturing facilities throughout North America.

The Special Recognition Award is being presented to Creative Techniques for outstanding performance and achievement in packaging from April 2012 through March 2013, and specifically for the extraordinary effort performed in the development and production of a unique tray and tray holder system that affords Honda a high level of automated assembly and significant manpower savings. Creative Techniques is the only Michigan business to receive this award, and is one of only six companies within a MRO supply base of approximately 5,000 organizations to receive such recognition.

For over a quarter of a century, Creative Techniques (www.creativetechniques.com) has led the reusable packaging industry with sustainable products that minimize waste and improve supply chain environmental performance. Specializing in the design and manufacture of custom, reusable packaging products, every one of these trays, totes, containers, pallets, and lids is produced from 100% recyclable and/or recycled materials. And while each of these products is engineered to eliminate expendable packaging and meet each client’s specific requirements, they are also designed for responsible reclamation. 

SOAR Learning expands market reach, staff

SOAR Learning is growing in some key areas, boosting its bottom line, adding to its staff and expanding into new markets.

The Lake Orion-based education firm helps students streamline their study habits and learn more effectively. It has expanded into the markets that help parents with family education and families overcome ADHD learning disabilities.

"These are the markets where people are in need," says Susan Kruger, president & CEO of SOAR Learning, formerly SOAR Study Skills.

That has allowed the 16-year-old company grow its revenue by 11 percent over the last year. SOAR Learning also hired two people in the last year and now has a staff of four people.

"This has been a smaller year in terms of growth for us," Kruger says.

Source: Susan Kruger, president & CEO of SOAR Learning
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Five north Oakland County chambers host 6th Annual Bullseye Business Conference

The Auburn Hills, Clarkston Area, Orion Area, Pontiac Regional, and Waterford Area Chambers of Commerce have collaborated to host the sixth annual Bullseye Business conference at Oakland Schools on the morning of October 25. The conference draws more than 100 area business owners, professionals, employees, and entrepreneurs looking for information and inspiration in the areas of marketing, business development and the economy.

This year’s speakers include a Welcome address by Oakland County followed by President of Biggby Coffee Mike McFall, presenting “A Car That Can Fly:  Building and Expanding a Healthy Business.”  Mr. McFall will share the success story of Biggby, the largest U.S. operator-owner retail coffee franchise.  He’ll be followed by FOX 2 Reporter, Money Editor, and Host of the Feldman Report, Murray Feldman, presenting Michigan Business Issues, Trends and Forecasts.  Mr. Feldman will share information about business sector growth, consumer confidence and the local economy.  And, finally, the Radio Disney Road Crew will present “Marketing Magic:  The Disney Experience,” with creative insights on how to build a stronger brand presence with Disney’s proven strategies.  

“The Bullseye Business Conference provides an affordable training opportunity for members and guests in the North Oakland County region,” states Marie Hauswirth, Executive Director of the Waterford Area Chamber and Chair of the Bullseye Business Conference.  “Our attendance grows each year as word spreads about this innovative program offering.”

The half-day conference, begins at 8:15 a.m. for registration and networking, and ends at noon.  Bullseye is sponsored by HAP, dbusiness, and many area businesses and includes speakers, networking, and a continental breakfast.  Sponsorship opportunities start at $250 and include an expo table. For information and tickets, contact any participating Chamber.  Early bird tickets (before October 20) are $40. After October 20, the cost is $79. Students pay just $20. Oakland Schools is located at 2111 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford, Mich.
The Auburn Hills Chamber of Commerce is where business, educational, cultural and civic leaders collaborate to connect a world-class business community.  The Chamber represents more than 260 organizations, and is focused on educational, networking, leadership and workforce development programming which supports the business to business needs of the local area. 

63 Oakland County businesses made Inc. 5000 list of "America's 5,000 Fastest-Growing Companies"

63 Oakland County companies made this year's list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the U.S., published by Inc. magazine this month. (Michigan had a total of 144 on the list.) At the top of the local group is SilkRoute in Troy, a retail merchandising and inventory apparatus designer whose revenue grew by 1,588% in the past three years.

Here are all of the local companies on this year's list:

229: SilkRoute, Troy
275: Mango Languages, West Bloomfield
278: PROLIM, Farmington Hills
450: PrizeLogic, Southfield
459: ProtectCell, Novi
504: Staffworks Group, Southfield
541: JobApp Network, Bloomfield Hills
618: Vigilant Technologies, Troy
693: PITSS, Troy
890: Detroit Trading, Southfield
999: Rapid Global Business Solutions, Madison Heights
1071: Kyyba, Farmington Hills
1076: MyInsuranceExpert.com, Troy
1113: Impact Management Services, Southfield
1132: Great Expressions Dental Centers, Bloomfield Hills
1199: Netlink, Madison Heights
1457: Zoup!, Southfield
1463: Nexcess.net, Southfield
1697: w3r Consulting, Southfield
1810: ICONMA, Troy
1919: Woodward Asset Capital, Southfield
2009: TTi Global, Rochester Hills
2186: Marvel Technologies, Novi
2273: Dialogue Marketing, Troy
2327: Red Level Networks, Novi
2427: Arrow Strategies, Bingham Farms
2433: National Food Group, Novi
2616: Preferred Data Systems, Farmington Hills
2638: BlueWater Technologies, Southfield
2662: Duffey Petrosky, Farmington Hills
2837: Creative Breakthroughs, Troy
2886: Diversified Industrial Staffing, Troy
3004: Alliance Technology Solutions, Orion
3128: Image One, Oak Park
3140: DGE, Rochester Hills
3206: JAWOOD, Bingham Farms
3239: Venteon, Troy
3248: i3Logic, Pontiac
3313: SunSoft Technologies, Farmington Hills
3564: Aleva Stores, Rochester Hills
3740: Portfolio Solutions, Troy
3774: ePrize, Pleasant Ridge
3792: Computerized Facility Integration, Southfield
3828: Paramount Technologies, Walled Lake
3879: Fisher/Unitech,Troy
3905: Ross Mortgage, Royal Oak
3918: One Source Talent, Troy
3962: DaySmart Software, Wixom
3873: HTC Global Services, Troy
4057: OpTech, Troy
4139: Natural Way Lawn & Tree Care, Lake Orion
4258: DSS, Southfield
4269: V2Soft, Bloomfield Hills
4290: ImageSoft, Southfield
4372: Eview 360, Farmington Hills
4391: ACE Tech, Auburn Hills
4556: PriveCo, Troy
4628: Human Capital Staffing, Bloomfield Hills
4641: McGraw Wentworth, Troy
4916: Airfoil Public Relations, Southfield
4953: Infomatics, Farmington Hills
4961: Multi-Bank Services, Southfield
4976: IdentityPR, Bingham Farms

Medical Main Street investment tops $61M

Oakland County, Michiganís Medical Main Street welcomed five more life science companies who either located or expanded their operations in Oakland County, generating new investment of $34.8 million and creating or retaining about 1,000 jobs. The first quarter new investment more than doubles the $26.89 million pledged by Medical Main Street companies during the first three years of the program. The total investment by the 15 companies who have settled on Medical Main Street is $61.69 million.

"Medical Main Street is less than three years old and continues to show impressive growth," Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. "These investments demonstrate that Oakland County and Southeast Michigan is a leading destination for excellence in health care and the life science industries."

Ascendant MDx in Farmington Hills is one of the new additions to Medical Main Street. The clinical laboratory, which makes diagnostic tests, has pledged investment of $3.7 million and is creating 162 new jobs. "AMDx is pleased to be a part of Oakland County Michiganís Medical Main Street," said Alan Mack, AMDx senior vice president. "It's a key reason we chose Oakland County over the other sites in Michigan. We are eager to uncover the opportunities it will provide."

The first quarter growth was led by CareTech Solutions, a provider of health care information technology and health care management solutions for hospitals in Troy. The company recently completed the second phase of an expansion project. Investment in the project totaled $28 million and created or retained 640 jobs.

The additional 2011 Medical Main Street companies, their Oakland County location, planned investment, and total jobs created or retained, are:
  • Innovative Surgical Solutions - Royal Oak: $500,000, 30 new jobs, 2 retained jobs
  • gloStream - Troy: $1.4 million, 40 new jobs, 2 retained
  • TRE - Total Repair Express - Orion Township: $1.2 million, 100 new jobs, 17 retained
Oakland County will also have a business development representative at the BIOMED show in Boston on April 6-7, promoting the county and Medical Main Street.

Oakland County will also have a business development representative at the BIOMED show in Boston on April 6-7, promoting the county and Medical Main Street.

Patterson created Medical Main Street in 2008 to focus on growing the life science industry in Oakland County and Southeast Michigan. The countyís burgeoning life science industry includes 93,000 health care and life science jobs and more than 4,300 life science and medical facilities. The county is projected to add 45,000 health care and life science jobs in the next 10 years, according to a study conducted by the Anderson Economic Group.

There are nearly 4,900 active clinical trials throughout Oakland County and the state - more than California, Florida, Texas or New Jersey. In addition to company attraction, Medical Main Street helps entrepreneurs commercialize their life sciences technologies, assists local life sciences companies grow their markets globally, trains the work force for this industry, and works with state government to ensure Michigan is legislatively a top state for life sciences companies.

Visit MedicalMainStreet.org to get involved in the medical solutions of the future.

Oakland County Medical Main Street attracts $11M in investment, 275 jobs

Healthcare, an industry long taken for granted in Metro Detroit, is proving to be an increasingly strong job source in Oakland County.

The Oakland County Medical Main Street program has attracted $11 million in investment, creating 275 new positions, over the last two years. The latest round comes from Royal Oak Medical Devices. The company plans to spend $2.6 million to expand its medical device design, manufacturing, and distributing operations, a move that is expected to create 26 new jobs over the next few years.

"In the past we have taken these jobs a little for granted because they were part of our infrastructure," says Maureen Krauss, director of the Economic Development and Community Affairs at Oakland County.

No longer. Oakland County's life sciences industry employs 93,000 people and is projected to create another 45,000 jobs over the next decade, according to a study by the Anderson Economic Group. This industry also has deep roots in the research sectors. Just under 4,900 clinical trials are currently underway in Oakland County -- more than what is taking place in California, Florida, Texas, and New Jersey.

Oakland County started its Medical Main Street program in 2008 with the idea of helping fast-track growth in the life sciences industry. "It keeps the talent, assets, and people here," Krauss says. "It's a really strong part of our retention program."

Source: Maureen Krauss, director of the Dept of Economic Development and Community Affairs at Oakland County
Writer: Jon Zemke

Oakland County's Emerging Sectors program pulls in $194M of investment

If Metro Detroit's economy is turning a corner, then chances are it's going to be first apparent in the numbers from its new economy programs, like Oakland County's Emerging Sectors. The signs are looking good.

The business attraction and retention program for Oakland County has helped facilitate $194 million in new investment and create about 5,900 new jobs through June. That's enough to surpass total numbers in both categories for all of 2009. County officials expect similar growth for the rest of this year.

"It's certainly a great trend," says Maureen Krauss, director of economic development and community affairs for Oakland County. "So many projects that were on hold last year are back on track again."

The Emerging Sectors program began in 2004 with plans to diversify the county's economy and replace vanishing manufacturing jobs. It helps international companies looking to expand their North American operations and local firms based in the new economy.

Some of the recent investments include WABCO Reman Services of Rochester Hills investing $6 million and creating 228 new jobs; Southfield's Direct Sourcing spending $2 million to create 100 new jobs and retain 80 others; and EcoStore USA (Auburn Hills) putting $2.5 million towards the creation of 30 new jobs and the retention of three more. These and more made up the investment for June alone.

Source: Maureen Krauss, director of economic development and community affairs for Oakland County
Writer: Jon Zemke

Encryption Security Solutions hires 4, looks to add 2 more

Encryption Security Solutions is creating jobs as a means to an end of retaining and creating even more employment here.

The Lake Orion-based firm has added four positions in the last year, including two recent hires, bringing its staff to seven people. It plans to hire two more within the next 60-90 days to help deal with its increasing work load.

The 4-year-old firm is helping manufacturers learn the ropes of becoming a government contractor by complying with the
International Traffic in Arms Regulations. That allows them to begin taking orders for defense and homeland security sectors. The state is subsidizing two thirds ($4,600) of the cost of this training to help keep more manufacturing jobs here.

"When we were kids we were told Michigan is the Arsenal of Democracy," says Kevin Lasser, CEO of Encryption Security Solutions. "This is helping us be that again."

The company specializes in digital security and has a subsidiary called Pure Entropy Technologies that deals with many government contracts.

Source: Kevin Lasser, CEO of Encryption Security Solutions
Writer: Jon Zemke

Attention Prosper readers: Don't forget to check out our new workforce feature!

Last week was the unveiling of our newest feature for the Prosper newsletter. Each issue we'll display three jobs landed, three jobs available and three internships up for grabs in Oakland County. The Jobs Available portion will have the pertinent information for applying and the skills the employer is looking for. The Jobs Landed will feature individuals who have found jobs in the region and a brief bio on the individual who landed the job.

This will be a great asset if you're looking for a job as well as to see what industries are hiring and have hired employees.

If you have any openings you'd like listed, if you want to get the word out about people your company has hired, or if your company has an internship available, feel free to contact us here.

And, just a reminder, this is a free service.

The feature is sponsored by Oakland County Workforce Development division.

Oakland County pulls in $2.4 billion in investment since 2004

During these tough economic times, many companies and organizations bring out the long-term statistics from the past several years to put themselves in a better light. Oakland County can fall back on both the long- and short-term statistics.

The county released a report that shows not only has it taken in about $2.4 billion worth of investment over the last five years, it did well in June, with $748 million in investment.

Most of that comes from General Motors' plans for a $650 million Orion Township plant, which will build smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. However, that leaves about another $100 million that the county was able to attract in the midst of one of the toughest economies in generations.

Oakland County has had more than $2.4 billion worth of business investment in the past five years, giving residents a reason to be optimistic about its future during the most difficult economic challenge in its history, County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said recently.

"We had our best month ever during one of the worst times ever," Oakland County Executive L Brooks Patterson said in a press release. "We've withstood all of the body blows and we're still standing."

More of the $2.4 billion came from emerging sectors based in the new economy ($1.3 billion), compared to traditional business sectors, like automotive manufacturing. Oakland County created its Emerging Sectors program five years ago to help diversify its economy and make up for lost manufacturing jobs.

Source: Oakland County
Writer: Jon Zemke
16 Lake Orion / Orion Township Articles | Page: | Show All
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