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FCA Foundation awards $50,000 grant to Winning Futures student workforce prep mentoring program

Winning Futures announced a one-year $50,000 grant from the FCA Foundation, the charitable arm of North American automaker FCA US LLC. Funding from the FCA Foundation will support core expenses for local tenth graders who are participating in Workforce Prep – an in-school mentoring and leadership skills development program for challenged high school students. This program addresses the critical need to better prepare students for life and careers after high school.
 
Workforce Prep is a four-year program that starts with students in the tenth grade and continues through the student’s first year of continuing education. Through in-class mentoring and leadership skills development, job shadowing, and internships, students gain critical workplace skills and hands-on experience, empowering them with the tools, knowledge, and motivation they will need to realize a meaningful career and upward mobility.
 
“The FCA Foundation’s support of youth development and education is truly outstanding,” said Winning Futures President and CEO, Kristina Marshall. “Their support enables us to carry out our mission, preparing students to be self-reliant, successful adults.”
 
“We are very pleased to partner with organizations like Winning Futures, who are highly effective at giving young people the skills and support needed to succeed in school, at work and in life,” said Emeel Ajluni, Vice President – FCA Foundation. “We also believe that empowering and educating our youth is key to building strong, resilient communities.”
 
Winning Futures’ Workforce Prep program supports 500 students at 7 metro-Detroit high schools; and engages 150 mentors from the community including nine FCA US employees. Programs are currently held at Warren Mott High School (Warren, MI), Community High School (Sterling Heights, MI), Pontiac Academy for Excellence (Pontiac, MI), Mumford High School (Detroit, MI), Cass Technical High School (Detroit, MI), Harper Woods High School (Harper Woods, MI), and Madison High School (Madison Heights, MI).
 
Stephen Hatfield is a FCA US employee and has mentored through Winning Futures since 2012. Stephen has dedicated more than 375 volunteer service hours helping more than 35 students become self-reliant, employable, and productive adults. He was honored by Winning Futures earlier this year as Mentor of the Year at Pontiac Academy for Excellence and recently recognized by FCA for his outstanding community service.
 
“I love making a connection with the kids and being an adult they can rely on and learn from,” said Stephen. “We never have enough people we can learn from.”
 
  • Click here to watch a FCA US video recognizing Stephen’s community service.
     
About the FCA Foundation
The ?FCA Foundation? is the charitable arm of North American automaker FCA US LLC, a member of the ?Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.?(FCA) family of companies. The FCA Foundation invests in U.S. charitable organizations and initiatives that help empower people, build strong, resilient communities and generate meaningful and measurable societal impacts. In support of these objectives, the FCA Foundation focuses on the following foundational pillars: youth development, education, support for military, veterans and their families, and community service.

About Winning Futures
Winning Futures (www.WinningFutures.org) is an award-winning nonprofit organization that empowers youth to succeed through mentoring, strategic planning, and workforce preparation. The organization partners with metro-Detroit high schools to deliver weekly in-class life skill and workforce preparation sessions that are facilitated by local business professionals. A recent recipient of the National Quality Member designation from MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, Winning Futures has positively impacted more than 47,000 students and awarded $1.9 million in scholarships.

Walsh named gold-level status veteran-friendly school

Walsh has been recognized by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency for its commitment to helping student veterans succeed in college. 

This is the eighth consecutive year that Walsh has been named a Veteran-Friendly School and the third consecutive year that the college has received Gold-level status -- the agency’s highest distinction. 

“Veterans represent an important talent pool for our state,” said Dr. Michael Rinkus, Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer at Walsh and U.S. Army veteran. “About 7.5 percent of Michigan adults are military veterans, according to the last U.S. Census. Our goal at Walsh is to provide personal, dedicated support to veterans so they have a clear pathway from education to successful careers.”

Walsh is committed to helping veterans transition from military service to a college degree to successful career. The college waives the application fee for veterans and offers personalized assistance to help with education benefits. Walsh also has licensed professional counselors on staff to assist during the transition process. 

“The hard work and sacrifice you put in for this country make you incredibly deserving of an education,” said Kyle Richardson, a 2017 Walsh accounting alumnus who served in the military. “Many veterans believe there is not enough time, they have to go back to work full-time after starting a life based on full-time military pay, or they do not know how to utilize their benefits. Walsh helps you with all these areas to ensure you are set up for success.”
 
While at Walsh, veterans have access to veteran-specific scholarships, extended payment due dates for GI Bill® users and personalized help with education benefits. Walsh’s Troy location also has a dedicated space for veterans. 

“Walsh made me feel like I was more than just ‘another student,’ Richardson said. “Since I served four years in the military, I was older than most college students. I knew I wanted a college program that I could finish efficiently, and Walsh's four-semester school year made this a reality.” 

The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency recognizes academic institutions of higher learning committed to supporting the needs of student veterans and dependents. The program awards Gold-level, Silver-level or Bronze-level status to institutions that offer veteran-centric services and programs.  

To learn more about Walsh’s veteran services, visit www.walshcollege.edu/veterans

About Walsh 

Walsh is an all-business, private, independent, not-for-profit, fully accredited college offering undergraduate and graduate business and technology degrees, as well as certificate programs. Founded in 1922, Walsh is one of the region’s largest business schools, offering classes in several locations as well as online. Our nationally ranked programs integrate theory and application to prepare graduates for successful careers. Walsh degree programs include accounting, finance, information technology, management, marketing, taxation and other fields. For more information, please visit www.walshcollege.edu.

Walsh is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (www.hlcommission.org) and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (www.acbsp.org).

LTU sophomores improve the lives of persons with disabilities through innovative products

Lawrence Technological University sophomore engineering students once again spent the fall semester designing products to help developmentally disabled people improve their lives.

Students worked with the Dearborn-based Services to Enhance Potential (STEP), which finds and manages job placements for the disabled, and ConnectUs, a Livonia-based nonprofit that provides quality programming for individuals with severe multiple disabilities.

The students are part of a course, EGE 2123, Entrepreneurial Engineering Design Studio, that is required in most LTU engineering programs. Students meet with the nonprofit agencies and their clients, witness, first-hand, the clients’ challenges, and design and build physical products to help solve those challenges.

"Creating a product for a real person - and in particular, a person with a disability - and seeing directly the impact that they can have on that person's life, really resonates with the students,” said Heidi Morano, director of LTU’s Studio for Entrepreneurial Engineering Design (SEED), who teaches the course with Susan Henson, SEED project engineer. “We often have former students return to the studio to ask if their STEP client is still using their product. The empathy that the students develop for their customer really shows."

This week, the students presented their products in open houses to LTU faculty, staff, and students, as well as working professionals in engineering and related fields. Those who attended cast votes to name first- and second-place teams in both sections of the EGE 2123 course.

Winners in the afternoon class that worked with STEP were:

  • First place, Ramp It Up, who produced a 3-D printed magnetized bracket to aid the production of roller assemblies used to transport cafeteria trays. Team members were Joe Daszcz of Allen Park, Chris Langston of Farmington Hills, Devin Morrison of Madison Heights, Maurice Rivers of Chicago, and Matthew Wenzel of Howell.
  • Second place, tie, Gasket Smashkit, who produced a board with cones affixed to it to help workers punch holes out of gaskets without damaging the gasket. Team members were Lauth Aljida of Novi, Dillon Tierney of Highland Township, and Meshal Alharbi of Kuwait.
  • Second place, tie, InspectTech, who designed a device to incorporate inspection into the manufacturing process of a component in automotive bumpers. Team members were Samantha Khon of Dearborn, Alyssa Downs of Southgate, and Miguel Sanchez Munoz of Spain.
     

Winners in the evening class that worked with ConnectUs were

  • First place, AMTF, a team that designed a table with jacks and actuators that raised and lowered to accommodate the height of a client’s wheelchair. Team members were Garrick Beaster of Romulus, Ethan Harrington of Shelby Township, Aidan Nolan of Clarkston, and Joel Trend of South Lyon.
  • Second place, Ticket Masters, which designed and built a new ticket dispenser for ConnectUS. Team members were Emily Gandolfi of Falmouth, Tyler Gregory of Livonia, Matthew Luckow of Dearborn, and Matt Quigley of Rochester.


Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, and Engineering. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 15 percent of universities for the salaries of its graduates, and U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.


LTU professor puts community mapping into the hands of the people with mobile mapping cart

A Lawrence Technological University professor is leading a community mapping project in Detroit. And though he may be Principal Investigator of Mapping + Humanities, Dr. Joongsub Kim, Ph.D., has designed it in a way that makes the community members themselves the true leaders of the project.

Dr. Kim, Professor, and Director of LTU’s Master of Urban Design program, and his team have designed a mobile mapping cart to allow community members of Detroit’s West End neighborhood to map and document their neighborhood and tell their own stories.

The mapping cart is attached to a bicycle, and local high school students ride it around the neighborhood. Drawings, pictures, and infographics are then created to be incorporated into maps. Captured are things that affect people’s daily lives, vacant buildings but also historically significant buildings and other community assets.

The spectacle of a bike-pulled mapping cart is also meant to draw crowds, facilitating conversations and the sharing of stories between neighbors.

"We’d like to make sure that the community is able to design and build their own maps so that they have ownership and want to use them rather than have outside planners coming in and saying, Here’s a plan for you, here’s a map for you, now use it," says Dr. Kim.

"This is to give people a sense of voice and empowerment."

Mapping + Humanities is a multi-tier program. Following a November exhibition, the first mapping cart will be given to the community in December. In the meantime, planning sessions are being held with local high school students. A manual will then be put together, and the high school students will be helped in making their own mapping cart.

Mapping + Humanities is a collaboration between Urban Design and Humanities programs at LTU and West Grand Boulevard Collaborative in Detroit’s West End neighborhood. A Michigan Humanities Council Grant funds it.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.


MiCareerQuest Southeast nearly sold out as more than 9,000 students registered for inaugural event

More than 9,000 high school students from nearly 100 southeast Michigan schools have registered for MiCareerQuest Southeast, the region’s largest-ever career exploration event, which takes place November 28.

The huge response has shattered event organizer expectations, who anticipate the 10,000-student limit will be reached much sooner than planned. Once the limit is reached, schools will be placed on a waiting list, as each school’s registration numbers and arrival schedule are confirmed in early October.

“The strong response to MiCareerQuest Southeast is very exciting,” said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson. “I think everyone recognizes this is not your typical job fair, and they want their students to be part of it. We’re connecting working professionals eager to demonstrate what they do on the job with young people who want to learn as much as they can about the career opportunities before them. We have room for less than 1,000 more students. If your school has not registered yet, do it now. I would hate for an interested student to miss out on this singular event.”

High schools interested in registering should visit OakGov.com/MiCareerQuestSE. The school registration period will close on October 1, or when all the available student slots are filled.

Event organizers started communicating with public and private schools in February. Notices were sent to all public high schools by the Intermediate School Districts in Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, Washtenaw, Livingston and Monroe counties.

More than 90 companies, trade associations, labor organizations, universities, community colleges and vocational schools are participating in the event, with new ones committing each day. They are preparing hands-on, interactive demonstrations to showcase the skills and education needed to compete for today’s most in-demand jobs in advanced manufacturing, construction, health sciences and information technology. The event will feature a minimum of 20 occupations in each of the four career quadrants. The current list of participating exhibitors can be found at OakGov.com/MiCareerQuestSE.

“Our exhibitors are putting a lot of thought and energy into this event so they can grab the attention and imaginations of students, many of whom are considering their career options for the first time,” said Jennifer Llewellyn, Oakland County manager of workforce development and one of the lead planners of MiCareerQuest Southeast. “Our ultimate goal is to feed the long-term talent pipeline in southeast Michigan, a challenge shared by virtually all of our employers.”

MiCareerQuest Southeast is being organized by the Oakland County Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs and Michigan Works! The Michigan Talent Investment Agency is presenting sponsor. Platinum sponsors include Beaumont Health (health sciences quadrant) and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (advanced manufacturing quadrant). In addition, DTE Energy, Consumers Energy, Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council and MUST (Management and Unions Serving Together) have joined together for the platinum sponsorship in the construction quadrant.

Event organizers are still seeking a platinum sponsor for the information technology quadrant. Additional major sponsors include Oakland Community College and Automation Alley. There also are more than 20 smaller sponsors, representing their respective career quadrants. The full list of sponsors is available at the event website. Organizations interested in a sponsorship should contact Beth Tomaszewski at tomaszewskie@oakgov.com.

New coworking space aims to appeal to the Ferndale spirit

A new coworking space is opening in Ferndale, and it's been created with the city itself in mind.

Co-owners Lisa Schmidt and Ben Long want PatchWork Collective to represent the city and all its unique charm. The coworking space and short-term office facility were developed to appeal to the individual and creative community of Ferndale, says Schmidt.

There are the weekly yoga sessions. An acupuncturist is one of the tenants. There is a shower for those that bike to work.

"We have the standard tables and desks but also beanbag chairs and couches. You can find the workspace that you need so you can focus," says Schmidt.

"PatchWork is a coworking space with the heart of Ferndale, not some stuffy office from the 80s."

And Schmidt and Long should know something about Ferndale. The Ferndale residents are both board members on the Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce.

PatchWork came from Schmidt and Long’s own needs. Both of them are attorneys, and the duo formed the Schmidt & Long law firm in 2016. PatchWork was borne from their frustrations in finding the perfect office for their new law firm.

After searching throughout Ferndale, Schmidt and Long found a 4,500 sq. ft. space at the corner of Woodward and Marshall. PatchWork has taken over two-thirds of the old InkAddict space, and that company has down-sized to the back third of the building.

The duo also decided to expand their vision from a law office to a co-working space, recognizing the trend of freelancers working remotely.

The facilities include a large open office space, a conference room, and a series of smaller private offices, the latter of which can be rented by the hour or on a more permanent basis.

PatchWork Collective is located at 22007 Woodward Ave. in Ferndale.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.


Entrepreneurial competition rewards idea generation

Equipped with just three slides and four minutes, the five finalists of a school-wide business idea pitch competition, sponsored by OU’s School of Business Administration, presented their ideas to a panel of experienced entrepreneurial-minded professionals for the chance to win cash awards.  

Open to all OU students, the competition invited participants to submit a proposal detailing an idea for a product, service or social enterprise that would benefit the Oakland University community. From the 25 submitted proposals, judges selected five finalists who then took part in pitch development workshop to help them prepare for the last phase of the competition. 

“Hats off to the students because they had some pretty complex concepts they had to explain in a very short time,” says Gregory Doyle, manager at Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center, who served as one of the judges. Ray Gunn, MGT ‘80, president, Schechter Wealth, and Jim Roberts, CEO, Jim Roberts Enterprises, also served as judges. 

Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and competition coordinator Jae Kang, Ph.D., points out that “unlike other business plan competitions, the focus of this competition was idea generation. Unfortunately, many business plans go to the trash can because they start from ill-defined ideas, or uncreative ideas. This event is designed to help the student with the initial idea.” 

Whether launching a startup or entering an established company, the problem identification and solution process is a valuable skill for any business-minded professional. 

“Developing a business idea helps you think outside of the box,” says Samantha Roberts, MKT ‘18, the $1,000 silver winner. “You have to think of potential issues and resolve them before anyone even asked. This competition helped me to be able to fully analyze a situation and come up with solutions.” Roberts’ pitch proposed PodU, a podcast-based app to connect students to lectures and class materials. 

“It was one of my best experiences at Oakland, I’ve become famous,” says Fawaz Alkhudhayr, engineering junior, who took home the $2,000 gold award. Alkhudhayr’s proposal aimed to add diverse food options on campus by introducing a middle eastern food, snack and juice truck. 

“I’m interested in taking any chance that comes my way,” says Alkhudhayr. “When you get email from your University, don’t ignore it. You should take a look, think about it. You don’t always know where your success will come from.” 

Patrick Adamus, marketing junior, captured the $500 bronze award for his idea to create an Oakland Network app, which would include sections on parking availability, professor ratings, discussion boards and petitions. 

Judges were impressed by the imagination and work that went into all the submissions and presentations by the finalists. 

“As judges, we really focused on how well thought out the idea was, the clarity of the presentation and the feasibility and approach to solve the stated problem,” says Gunn. “Alkhudhayr stood out because of his relentless passion for his idea combined with his ability to identify and address a real problem: the need for variety in food options on campus.” 

“There’s an awful lot of talent at Oakland University and I’m sure I was only seeing the tip of the iceberg,” says Doyle. “There were some brilliant students and I’m looking forward to next year’s competition. It was just a great experience for everybody who participated.”

Oakland University to recognize prestigious nurses at 30th Annual Nightingale Awards

Oakland University’s School of Nursing and its Board of Visitors are celebrating 30 years of honoring Michigan’s top nurses at its annual Nightingale Awards for Nursing Excellence.®
 
The only event of its kind in the state, this prestigious awards ceremony will be held on May 10, 2018 at the San Marino Club in Troy. The awards were created to spotlight nurses from a variety of clinical roles who go above and beyond in their care for their patients and their families. 
 
More than 700 nurses, physicians and administrators, as well as family members and nursing supporters will attend this year’s awards ceremony. This esteemed event includes an elegant sit down dinner and fish-bowl style raffle. Raffle winners have the opportunity go home with a 40” Smart TV, golf and spa certificates, a trip to Chicago and other unique packages. Fox 2 News anchors Roop Raj and Amy Andrews will once again co-emcee this year’s awards ceremony.
 
Each of ten winning recipients receives a check for $1,000, a solid bronze statue of Florence Nightingale and a special Nightingale ceremonial pin. Runners-up each receive a commemorative plaque and Nightingale ceremonial pin. Nominees were nominated by their peers, supervisors, friends and patients in recognition for their superior service and expertise.
 
The 2018 Nightingale Awards for Nursing Excellence® is presented by Beaumont Health.  Other sponsors include: Ascension Health, St. Joseph Mercy Health System, Detroit Medical Center, St. John Providence Medical Staff, Nexteer Automotive, McLaren Oakland & McLaren Macomb and PSJ Anesthesia. 
 
For more information, or for tickets to the event, please contact August Gunderson in the School of Nursing at (248) 364-8725, via email at nightingale@oakalnd.edu or visit oakland.edu/nursing/nightingale.

2018 Award Winners
 
Advanced Nurse Practice & Research
Winner: Mary Jo Smith, St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor
Runner Up: Makenzie Thimm, Ascension Michigan – St. John Providence

Distinguished Alumni
Winner: Kristen R. McGrath, Beaumont Health – Royal Oak
Runner Up: Katie Hoxie, Beaumont Health – Royal Oak

Excellence in Education
Winner: Kino Xandro Anuddin, Ascension Michigan – St. John Providence 
Runner Up: Antionette A. Trevino, Beaumont Health

Emerging Nurse Leader 
Winner: Michele Rausch, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland 
Runner Up: Faith Aven Straton, Ascension Michigan – St. John Providence

Executive Administration
Winner: Marilyn S. Begle, Beaumont Home Health Services
Runner Up: Kathy M. Brubaker, St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea
 
Nursing in the Community
Winner: Diane Zalecki Bertalan, HAVEN of Oakland County
Runner Up: Mary Ann Ryan, HOPE Recuperative Care Center
 
Post-Acute Care & Specialty Nursing
Winner: Pamela Laszewski, Karmanos Cancer Center
Runner Up: Marla Clausen, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital
 
Staff Nurse (2)
Winner:  Sabrina M. Zott, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland 
Winner:  Deborah White, McLaren Oakland 
Runner-Up:  Maria Borri, Beaumont Health – Royal Oak 
Runner-Up:  Lisa M. Hill, Ascension Michigan – St. John Providence 
 
People’s Choice Award
Winner:  Leesa J. Jones, Ascension Michigan – St. John Providence
Runner-Up:  Krystal L. McNamee, Henry Ford Health System – Detroit

Veteran Reboot Job Project aims to find employment for military vets

All U.S. military veterans are invited to participate in the new Veteran Reboot Job Project, hosted by Oakland County Michigan Works! and the Oakland County Veterans’ Services Division.

The program launches Nov. 3 from 9 – 11 a.m. at the Veterans’ Services Division offices in Troy, 1151 Crooks Road and in Pontiac, County Service Center, building 26 East, 1200 N. Telegraph Road. The meetings will take place on the first Friday of every month.

“Our military veterans have served our country and now it’s time for us to serve them,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “A growing number of companies across the county are making it a priority to hire qualified veterans. The Veteran Reboot Job Project – the first of its kind in our region – will help veterans establish their own personal brands, launch job searches, prepare them for interviews and connect these heroes with veteran-friendly employers looking to hire people today.”

The project connects veterans to trained Michigan Works! and Veterans’ Services staff members, who act as advocates to link veterans with employers in a variety of fields.

In addition to a monthly topic and discussion, networking and support meetings feature local employers who want to hire veterans. Each employer will provide an overview of job opportunities available and the skills required. Veterans are encouraged to bring copies of their resumes.

Monthly meeting topics will include:
  • Job search strategies
  • Transferable skills from military duty to civilian life
  • Overcoming age bias (older veterans)
  • Resume development and critique
  • Interview preparation
  • Job fair tips
  • Vocational training opportunities through Oakland County and other organizations
Each Veteran Reboot Job Project meeting features an overview of the broad range of services and benefits exclusively available to U.S. military veterans at the eight Michigan Works! and two Veterans’ Services offices in Oakland County. The Michigan Works! offices can provide advance notice and access to job listings before the general public can consider them and the Veterans’ Services offices can advise applicants on educational and vocational opportunities available through the Veterans’ Administration.

“Whether you have an active job search underway or are underemployed and looking for a better opportunity, the staff at each of our Michigan Works! offices is ready to support your efforts to successfully land your next position,” said Jennifer Llewellyn, manager of Oakland County’s Workforce Development Department. “We invite veterans to come in any time and take advantage of our free services and benefits.”

Oakland County Michigan Works! offices are located in:
  • Ferndale at 713 E. 9 Mile Road
  • Highland at 2218 S. Milford Road
  • Novi at 31186 Beck Road
  • Oak Park at 22180 Parklawn St.
  • Pontiac at 1850 North Perry St.
  • Southfield at 21415 Civic Center Drive, Suite 116
  • Troy at 550 Stephenson Highway, Suite 400
  • Waterford at 4241 Steffens Road
For more information, visit www.OaklandCountyMIWorks.com.

LTU to host 'Young Women's Leadership Conference' featuring entrepreneur Andra Rush

Lawrence Technological University’s College of Management will host a “Young Women’s Leadership Conference” from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Oct. 21 at the university, 21000 W. 10 Mile Road in Southfield. The event will be held in LTU’s Architecture Building Auditorium (see www.ltu.edu/map).

The event is intended for middle school, high school, and undergraduate young women interested in business, technology, and STEM fields. Around 200 attendees are expected for the event, according to Minakhi Jena, director of business programs in LTU’s College of Management.

“The conference goal is to help build a network of support to empower young women, to provide them with an opportunity to learn about business and technology careers and pathways to success,” Jena said. “It will be an excellent opportunity for young women to interact and learn from accomplished women who work in variety of fields – business, information technology and STEM.”

The event will also include panel discussions and leadership development exercises.

The conference keynote speaker is Andra Rush, CEO of the Rush Group of Companies. She will speak on building businesses in male-dominated industries. Rush launched Rush Trucking Corp. with a $5,000 loan and $3,000 in savings in 1984. Today, Rush Trucking transports goods for Fortune 50 companies across the United States and Canada. She also launched Dakkota Integrated Systems LLC in 2001, providing assembly and sequencing of automotive interiors to several automakers. And in 2012, with joint venture partner Faurecia, she launched Detroit Manufacturing Systems LLC, which now employs more than 1,000 people.

The event is free but registration is required by Monday, Oct. 16 at www.ltu.edu/ywlc or by phone at (248) 204-3050. For more information, email mhernande@ltu.edu.

5Qs with founder and executive director of Fleece and Thank You

Excerpt: 

DBusiness Daily News interviewed Nicholas Kristock, founder and executive director of Fleece and Thank You of Novi, about the nonprofit’s mission to create a more hopeful hospital environment by providing fleece blankets tagged with video messages to children battling an illness. Kristock played semi-professional soccer in Australia while working for four charities and considers the sport the “vehicle” that brought him to the nonprofit world. 

Read more

Special needs adults earn praise and a paycheck at Mi Abilities

Excerpt

Bear Hall is on a mission to find meaningful work for young adults with disabilities. 

“What started this three years ago was I heard a statistic that in Huron Valley, from ages 25-54, there had been 1,200 kids on IEPs (individualized education program) and only 8 percent of them got a job. Ninety-six out of 1,200. And I said something has to change and it can’t just be jobs pushing carts and bagging.

Read more

OCC is riding the CREST of public safety

June 16 was a big day for the OCC Police Academy, which celebrated its 50th graduation since the program’s establishment in 1967. Recognized as a leading police training facility in the State of Michigan, the Police Academy consistently graduates high achievers through a combination of skilled and experienced training staff and hands-on training through CREST (Combined Regional Emergency Services Training).

The June ceremony recognized 33 new graduates – 17 from various agencies in the area and 16 pre-service or self-sponsored candidates.

"Our graduates represent courage, compassion and dedication to our community," said Interim Chancellor Peter Provenzano. "They are committed by oath and honor to protect and serve, and we are indebted to them for their service."

Graduating Police Academy class president Samuel Hannum added, "This is where we start representing every officer in the United States."

CREST is the region's unique training center, developed by local Police, Fire and EMS agencies in collaboration with Oakland Community College. It includes furnished houses, a bank, convenience store, motel and five-story live fire-training tower on Oakland Community College's Auburn Hills Campus. The CREST site offers an experience where real-life scenarios are simulated by trainees who must not only think through options and decisions, but also actively apply their public safety skills.

OCC offers advance training, degrees and certificates in public safety fields including Police, Fire, EMS and Emergency Dispatch. It is is overseen by a new interim dean, Lt. David Cece, former OCC public safety officer.

OCC is also pleased to announce two new endowed scholarships related to CREST. The first, the Rolland C. Thayer III Firefighters Memorial Endowed Scholarship. Thayer was Captain of the Pontiac Fire Department for more than 25 years and this scholarship honors his service by supporting a student in the Basic Fire Academy.

The second new scholarship is the Richard and Patricia Tillman Endowed Scholarship Fund that will benefit the top marksman in each class at the Academy. The Tillmans both worked at the Police Academy; Mr. Tillman served for nearly three decades.

For more information on training opportunities, please visit www.oaklandcc.edu/crest/

Judson Center's Autism Connections has begun a movement with over 30 official partners

During the month of April, Judson Center will be honoring National Autism Awareness month as we Bring Autism to Light for World Autism Day (officially on April 2). Judson Center’s main campus in Royal Oak (13 Mile and Greenfield Road), will be lit up blue beginning on Friday, March 31, and will continue to the end of the month. 
 
A movement has begun – Judson Center is teaming up with the City of Royal Oak to help Bring Autism to Light. During the next City Commissioners meeting, this Monday, March 27, Royal Oak Mayor, Michael Fournier along with the City Commissioners, will present an autism proclamation honoring National Autism Awareness Month and the life changing programs at Judson Center’s Autism Connections. Royal Oak is also urging all employees, residents and members of the business community to join the movement.
 
Many other partners, including the Royal Oak School DistrictTroy School Districtthe Jewish Community Center of Greater Ann Arbor (where Judson Center’s second Autism Connections program is located), Signs by Tomorrow, Medical Network One Health Solutions, Shrine Catholic Schools, Epsilon, Brooks Kushman, as well as over 20 other community businesses and organizations are joining the movement. 
 
Judson Center’s Royal Oak office is offering free blue light bulbs and lawn signs to anyone interested. You may also pick up lawn signs and light bulbs from Royal Oak City Hall as well as all three Royal Oak Fire Departments.  Companies can also participate and Bring Autism to Light by shining blue for autism, designating a day to wear blue for autism awareness, and making a donation to Judson Center’s Autism Connections.
 
“It is an honor to have the support of the community we serve.  At Judson Center’s Autism Connections, we understand that a diagnoses affects the entire family, not just a child and that is why this campaign is so important. To let our community know that you are not alone, Judson Center is here to help and support our community and families”, shared Judson Center CEO & President, Lenora Hardy-Foster.
 
Autism awareness is a part of Judson Center each day, as its Autism Connections program has been a part of Metro Detroit for over ten years, and expanded into Washtenaw County soon after, both providing comprehensive services to the entire family.  Currently, one in 68 children are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and in Michigan, there are over 50,000 individuals living with ASD. 

Troy Chamber launches young professionals network

The Troy Chamber is excited to announce the launch of the Troy Young Professionals Network, which creates and implements programs to assist professional members 35 years of age or younger. Their goals are as follows:
  • To create an environment where members can connect with individuals in the same stage of their career
  • To help early career professionals transition and thrive in the work force through educational programs and mentorship opportunities
In addition to planning social & educational programming, the Troy Young Professionals Network recently launched a mentorship program that matches young professionals with more experienced professionals to exchange resources, provide insights and learn new skills. The goal of the mentorship is for participants to create a foundation of trust, to be professionally and personally rewarded by their conversations, and to establish connections.

 “It’s exciting to be part of this network,” says Moe Moua, Committee Chair of the Troy Young Professionals. She explains, “Often times our generation finds it hard to make meaningful connections with other professionals. We also seek professional development and growth that may not always be so easily accessible. The Troy YPG will strive to build these networks and make professional development more accessible.”

The group’s next event, entitled “Quarter Life Crisis,” will be held at Northwood University’s Troy campus on March 23, 2017. Beth Bryce, Northwood University’s Director of Career Advancement, will provide strategies to create a realistic quarter-life crisis action plan.

For more information on the Troy Young Professionals Network, call 248-641-8151 or e-mail theteam@troychamber.com.

The Troy Chamber exists to help create long-term economic vibrancy, vitality and stability for Troy's business community. Representing nearly 700 businesses, the Troy Chamber serves as Troy's primary business information resource. By responding to members' needs, the Chamber is able to help businesses get connected and stay connected. With hundreds of meetings and programs each year, it's easy for members to make a connection!
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