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Time to play! New playground opens at Pavilion Shore Park in Novi


Less than a month after the Novi City Council approved a new playground at Pavilion Shore Park, the structure is up and ready for fun, just in time for the Christmas break for area children.

Jeff Muck, the city's director of parks, recreation and cultural service, said it's the fastest turnaround he's seen on such a project during his time with the city.

Read more. 

Nearly 10,000 students to attend MiCareerQuest Southeast, region's largest career exploration event

Students from 107 southeast Michigan high schools are set to converge on the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi as MiCareerQuest Southeast – the region’s largest-ever career exploration event – connects 9,700 students with representatives from 114 companies and organizations.

The students, from schools in Oakland, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw and Wayne counties, will engage in a broad range of interactive, hands-on activities with more than 500 working professionals from 114 exhibiting organizations in four growing career quadrants: advanced manufacturing, construction, health sciences and information technology. More than 125 of the most in-demand occupations in the state will be showcased. The day-long event is set for November 28.

“The Suburban Collection Showplace will be bulging at the seams with so much to see and do, as our young people explore so many exciting career opportunities,” said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, who plans to attend. “I expect this event, which directly addresses employers’ calls for help in filling critical jobs, to be inspiring and engaging for all those participating.”

MiCareerQuest Southeast is coordinated by Michigan Works! and the Oakland County Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs. The Michigan Talent Investment Agency (TIA) is the presenting sponsor of the event.

During their visit, students and their chaperones will move between career quadrants over a two-hour period. The venue will host three separate sessions from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., with an average of 3,200 students in each. At least 150 school buses will transport the students and their 600 chaperones to the event. Advanced school registration was required.

Nearly 200 volunteers from Michigan Works! agencies across the state, the Michigan Talent Investment Agency, county government offices, local community colleges and other groups will be on-hand to assist.

“There has been a steady build-up of excitement for this event, among the schools, exhibitors and everyone who has volunteered to help,” said Jennifer Llewellyn, Oakland County’s manager of workforce development. “This is the first time an event of this nature and size has ever taken place in the southeast Michigan region. I’m expecting a great day.”

Macomb County’s Romeo High School plans to send its entire freshman class of 450 students. In 2019, as part of its transformation into the state’s first Ford Next Generation Learning community, the school will launch a special career academy for students in grades 10-12.

“Every student will be part of a career academy, preparing them with the more advanced skills they need to be successful in college, their careers and life,” said CTE Director Natalie Davis. “We believe MiCareerQuest Southeast is the perfect opportunity to expose our ninth-grade class to what career pathways are available to them prior to academy selection.”

According to Michigan Talent Investment Agency data, almost half of the companies the agency works with across the state indicate they struggle to find qualified people to fill their job vacancies. Wanda M. Stokes, director of the Talent Investment Agency, said MiCareerQuest Southeast is a unique event to help address the long-term challenge of filling this talent pipeline.

“The Talent Investment Agency’s WorkShare program is proud to serve as the 2018 Presenting Sponsor of MICareerQuest Southeast,” Stokes said. “The unique, experiential learning approach that MICareerQuest takes provides students with hands-on exploration of high-demand, high-wage careers in their region. Immersion into hands-on learning is what ultimately helps students find their passion, so they can, in turn, discover their purpose. MICareerQuest understands that extending career exploration beyond the walls of the school and creating opportunities for students to engage with business professionals is critically important in providing students with a variety of career path choices.”

In addition to the Talent Investment Agency, major event sponsors include platinum sponsors Beaumont Health in health sciences and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in advanced manufacturing. Consumers Energy, DTE Energy, the Building and Construction Trades Council and MUST (Management & Unions Serving Together) are joint platinum sponsors in the construction quadrant.

Other major sponsors include Oakland Community College, Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation, Michigan Works! Southeast, Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works!, Oakland County Michigan Works!, SEMCA Michigan Works!, Kelly Services, Automation Alley and Ascension Michigan.

Beaumont Health will showcase several occupations. Aaron Gillingham, chief human resources officer, said Beaumont is investing in the future for the region’s children.

“There’s no better place to be than in front of 10,000 students to highlight the great career options we have at Beaumont and across the medical sector,” he said. “MiCareerQuest Southeast will educate people on the types of opportunities available now, as well as the types of careers they can have in the future.”

A list of occupations to be showcased, including the organizations who are staffing exhibits, is attached. For more information, visit oakgov.com/micareerquestse.

13 Michigan schools earn coveted Blue Ribbon awards


Does your school deserve a blue ribbon?

Thirteen Michigan schools received the coveted 2018 National Blue Ribbon Schools award Monday  — a recognition of either overall strong academic performance or progress toward closing achievement gaps. It's the biggest honor a school can receive in the U.S.

Read more

You're invited to the MSU Tollgate Farm to Table Dinner

Michigan State University alumni and friends of MSU Tollgate Farm are invited to the Tollgate Farm to Table Dinner on Saturday, August 25 at Tollgate Farm in Novi. From fruits and vegetables to lamb and cornish hens, the Tollgate Farm to Table Dinner will feature locally-grown food from MSU Tollgate Farms or within a 25-mile radius. 

Enjoy an evening outdoors on the farm with scenic hills and countryside practically unknown elsewhere in present-day Oakland County.

The evening will feature:
  • Cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and a four course meal prepared by local chefs coordinated by MSU alumnus Jeff Rose, an accomplished chef with CAYA (Come As You Are) Smokehouse and Grill. Other chefs include, Alan Mehar (Compass Group Detroit), Jay Grundy (Red Dunn Kitchen), & Chris Johnson (Meeting House).
  • A menu highlighting food grown locally at either MSU Tollgate Farm or within a 25-mile radius.
  • A Wagon ride to the dinner location.
  • Taste the Local Difference verification as a Certified Local Food Event.
Tickets to the dinner are $150/person and proceeds will support MSU Tollgate Farm's educational programming. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

Goodwill Industries expands reach in Oakland County managing Michigan Works! office in Pontiac

The Oakland County Workforce Development Board today approved the selection of Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit as the new service provider for the Oakland County Michigan Works! center in Pontiac.

The announcement gives Goodwill Industries its third Michigan Works! service center in the county. It also manages locations in Highland Township and Novi.

“We are excited to expand our relationship with Goodwill Industries,” said Irene Spanos, the county’s director of economic development, which oversees workforce development. “Oakland County Michigan Works! remains fully committed to the citizens of Pontiac and the surrounding communities. We expect a smooth transition and this move will significantly enhance the breadth and quality of services offered to job seekers and businesses in the area.”

Goodwill Industries will begin operating the Pontiac center July 1 and the transition should be completed early this fall. The building location is expected to be announced by early summer. Goodwill Industries replaces Oakland Schools, which did not bid to renew its contract.

“Goodwill Industries is pleased to further expand its work into Oakland County as operator of the MI Works! Service Center office within the city of Pontiac,” said Dan Varner, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit. “We’d like to thank the Oakland County Workforce Development Board for this opportunity and look forward to deepening our partnership.”

Oakland County Michigan Works!, a partner of the American Job Center Network, helps more than 45,000 job seekers prepare for careers and conduct job searches each year. The agency provides services to businesses, including talent recruiting and training support. Other centers are in Ferndale, Oak Park, Southfield, Troy and Waterford.

“We’re excited to welcome Goodwill Industries to Pontiac,” said Jennifer Llewellyn, workforce development manager for Oakland County. “We expect this transition to be seamless and we’re committed to offering quality services to Pontiac and the surrounding communities.”

Chef plans Japanese bakery with traditional, cutting-edge pastries


Chef Doran Brooks promises his pastries will never bore you. 

Comfort you? Yes. Bring a little fun to your dessert plate? Absolutely. Add an unexpected twist to a traditional tiramisu or chocolate mousse? Expect it.

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Age-friendly in the future: Engineering contest has students thinking about seniors' needs


In Valdada, in the year 2065, senior citizens get help from Herbie, a robotic personal assistant that can cook, clean, have conversations and even use Braille to communicate with the visually impaired.

"It looks like us, but it's animatronic," said Joseph Waller, an eighth-grader from New Era Christian School, who explained Valdada — and Herbies — to visitors at Novi's Suburban Collection Showplace. "It's made by Apple, so you know it's good."

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Helping hands: Library, robotics team partner to produce limbs for kids


There’s giving a hand – and there’s giving 200 hands.

That’s one of this year’s goals for the Novi Public Library. Partnering with the Novi High School robotics team, the library is working to establish itself as an official chapter of e-NABLE, joining the group’s grassroots effort to create free 3D-printed limbs for kids overseas who’ve lost a hand, arm or fingers due to war, disease or natural disaster.

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Japanese-style pavilion and garden coming to MSU Tollgate Farm & Education Center In Novi

A Japanese garden that will include a pavilion and 17 flowering cherry trees will be constructed at Michigan State University’s Tollgate Farm and Education Center in Novi.

The ceremonial launch for The Sakura Garden project is set for Nov. 1 at 2 p.m. Local dignitaries and sponsors as well as Mitsuhiro Wada, Consul General of Japan in Detroit and Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, are expected to attend. The site is at 28115 Meadowbrook Road in Novi.

“I am honored to be present for the launch of the Sakura Garden project in Novi,” Wada said. “It is my hope that when the garden is completed, it will be a place where Japanese and American families congregate to enjoy cherry blossoms together.”

Patterson, who donated $10,000 toward the $150,000 project, said Oakland County has more than 270 Japanese-owned firms with business locations here. Japan is the largest source of foreign direct investment in the county.

“We wanted to create a destination that will last for generations and can be enjoyed by everyone,” Patterson said. “We have warm relationships with Japan and the many Japanese companies that operate here. This project just adds to the quality of life that makes our county so attractive.”

The project is the result of a partnership between Michigan State University, the Japanese Consulate of Detroit, the Japanese Business Society of Detroit, Novi and the Oakland County Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs.

Economic developers from Oakland County travel to Japan a least once a year to meet with the leaders of companies that are already here and in an attempt to attract other companies who may be interested in expanding operations to North America, said Irene Spanos, the county’s director of economic development.

“I’m grateful to the many Japanese firms operating in Oakland County and our other partners for supporting The Sakura Garden,” Spanos said. “Without their generous support, this project doesn’t happen.”

Fourteen other sponsors besides the county executive contributed $10,000 each to support the project and create an endowment to maintain the garden: Daifuku North American Holding Co., Deloitte & Touche (Japanese Services Group), Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, Inc., KIP America, NGK Sparkplugs (USA) Inc., NHK International, Nissan Technical Center North America, One World Market, the Michigan Economic Development Corp., Toyoda Americas Corp., Toyoda Gosei North America Corp., Toyota Boshoku America, Toyota Industries Electric Systems North America and Toyota Tsusho America, Inc.

The project is expected to be completed in summer 2018. Michigan also will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of its sister-state relationship with Japan’s Shiga Prefecture. Matt MacDougall, a senior project manager with Oakland County, designed the pavilion.

Free community event for family caregivers like you

Caregiver Expo: Saturday, October 14, 2017
The Area Agency on Aging 1-B (AAA 1-B) is hosting its 18th Annual Solutions for Family Caregivers Expo to provide caregivers with valuable information, answers, and links to community resources and services.

Saturday, October 14
9 a.m. -  2 p.m.
The Suburban Collection Showplace (See a map and get directions)
46100 Grand River Avenue
Novi, MI 48374

FREE Admission and Parking! 
Pre-registration not required. Registration takes place at door. 
  • Visit with over 100 exhibitors to learn more about products and services available to assist caregivers.
  • Attend expert presentations throughout the day on a variety of topics (see below).
  • “Ask The Resource Specialist” and get answers to questions on Medicare, Medicaid, prescription assistance, transportation options and learn about specific services and resources available in your community.
  • Enjoy free morning refreshments.
  • Cash and carry lunch available.
  • Door prizes & giveaways!
  • Free chair massages
Presentation Schedule:  

9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

  1. How to Protect Your Assets from the Devastating Cost of Long-Term Care
    Christopher J. Berry, VA-Accredited and Certified Elder Law Attorney
    The Elder Care Firm
    Attorney Berry will share the legal steps needed to plan for the long-term care journey for yourself or a loved one, and discuss the six ways to pay for long-term care. Included will be how to plan for governmental assistance with Medicaid and the Veterans Administration (VA) Benefit.
  2. Me, Myself and I (Caregiver Health)
    Charlene Whitt, Certified Health Education Specialist
    Caregiving is hard work. When you work hard you should take time for yourself to maintain your own health. However, finding that time can be harder than caregiving. This session is all about you and how to find yourself again.
  3. Making the Most of Your Medicare Benefits
    Michael Jakubic, Director of Medicare Sales
    Health Alliance Plan (HAP)
    Are you making the most out of your Medicare benefits? HAP’s Medicare expert will help you learn the various ways to fully utilize your Medicare benefits. Michael will review Medicare, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans to help you find the best plan for you.
  4. Hospice: End of Life Options
    Heather McPherson, Operations Manager
    Personal Touch Home Health Care Services, Inc.
    Today Americans are living longer. With longevity, knowing your end-of-life preferences has become more important. Heather will discuss hospice, palliative care, artificial life support, DNR, advanced directives, VSED, self-determination and their differences to help you be aware of and make informed decisions.

11 a.m. to Noon

  1. Long-Term Care: Resources, Programs and Options That Can Help
    Shavon Walton, Clinical Manager
    Area Agency on Aging 1-B
    Gary Evans, Vice President of Operations
    SameAddress (A program of the AAA 1-B)
    Long-term care options can be confusing. Knowing where to turn for services to help a loved one remain at home is important to them and you. Shavon will explore options available to caregivers like home-delivered meals, personal care, homemaking, support groups and more. Gary will share an innovative senior concierge service that’s available as well as ideas about ways to help caregivers.
  2. The Diamond in Your Disappointment
    Beth Weber, RN, HOPE Services
    Caring for the chronically ill involves a variety of unrecognized and misunderstood losses. In this session participants will learn about chronic sorrow or living loss, gain resources to manage recurrent triggers and find the hidden treasure in their troubles so they can persevere and endure with hope.
  3. Medicare Advantage or Medigap? What’s the Right Fit?
    Rosemarie Cook, Medicare Sales Consultant
    Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
    Too often, Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers let financial considerations drive their plan choice: Which plan has the lowest premium? How complicated is it to use? But Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplemental plans are different in approach and coverage. This session will educate you on some of the key differences between Medicare Advantage vs. Medicare Supplement plans, so you can make informed decisions.
  4. Caring for the Caregiver: Creating Personal Resilience
    Jane Felczak, MSN RN CPPS, Principal Quality Consultant
    Henry Ford Health System
    Resilience is the capacity to bounce back from stress, pressure or disruption. Resilience education teaches you the ability to adjust rapidly to adversity in a healthy manner, and is an integral component of personal well-being. This program was designed to bring meaningful and validated tools to participants, combining the best available data and tools with humor and honesty.

12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

  1. Understanding and Responding to Dementia-Related Behaviors
    Lauren Cetnar, BAA, CTRS, Education Program Coordinator
    Alzheimer’s Association–Greater Michigan Chapter 
    Behavior is one of the primary ways for people with dementia to communicate their needs and feelings when language is lost. However, some behavior can be challenging to caregivers. Join us to learn how to decode behavioral messages, identify common triggers, and learn strategies to help understand and cope with some of the most common behavioral challenges of dementia-related diseases.
  2. Finding the Right Medical Care for Your Loved One
    Chris Popp, MD, Regional Medical Director
    Oak Street Health
    Rafe Petty, PhD, Regional Vice President
    Oak Street Health
    Managing a loved one’s medical care can be daunting for family caregivers. Finding the right healthcare provider can make a huge difference. Dr. Popp and Dr. Petty will explore how to work with providers to build a productive relationship and also introduce a different approach to healthcare for adults on Medicare that emphasizes devoting more time to patients in the exam room and beyond.
  3. Elder Law Mini-Course for Caregivers
    Jim Schuster, J.D., Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA)
    Jim Schuster gives you the practical information for managing long-term care. You’ll learn simple, inexpensive steps to take to avoid the devastating costs or making common mistakes, essential legal documents to have, and how to get all of your Medicare, Medicaid and VA benefits without losing your home or life savings. Attendees will take home an information-packed course book.
  4. Resources You Might Not Know About: An Information Panel
    Kelly Elswick, Resource Specialist,
    Area Agency on Aging 1-B
    Judy Rathburn, Resource/Mobility Specialist
    MyRide2/Travel and Transportation
    Jenny Jarvis, Chief Strategy Officer 
    Area Agency on Aging 1-B (Moderator, Medicare Part D Open Enrollment)
    Nikki Puroff-Main, Seniors Helping Seniors
Get More Details: 
For complete details, download the 2017Solutions for Family Caregivers ExpoFlyer, visit michigancaregiverexpo.com, or call the Area Agency on Aging 1-B at 800-852-7795.

Help Spread the Word:
If you know any other caregivers who might find the expo helpful, please pass along this info. We've made sharing easy. You can forward this email to a friend or share the event's facebook listing on your own Facebook page.

10 Michigan cities make list of '100 Safest Cities in America'


Ten of the top 100 safest cities in America are right here in Michigan.

Alarms.org released their annual "Top 100 Safest Cities" list and Michigan is well represented.

Here's some insight on how these rankings are decided from Alarms.org:

According to the FBI, violent crime has been decreasing over the past 10 years (down by 16.5% from 2006 to 2015) while property crime rates continue to gradually fall by 2% per year. Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) has shown that police have improved their methods for monitoring troubled areas and having more outreach. These methods help to prevent crime and encourage people to work to become model citizens.

At the same time, renovations of old buildings have brought life back to once dangerous areas by providing new shops and family entertainment options. The more entertainment and attractions a city has the more the need for more development and property values to rise.

Read more

Showplace to host Brickworld LEGO Exposition


Brickworld is excited be bringing a premiere LEGO display and exposition to the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. The event will fill 40,000 square feet with displays, interactive activities and vendors.

Read more

Free or low-cost business classes offered in June/July at the Oakland County One Stop Shop

Business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking for assistance are encouraged to attend high-value, low- or no-cost business workshops offered by experts at Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center.

Unless otherwise noted, all programs are held at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, west of Telegraph, in Waterford. For pre-registration and a location map, visit www.AdvantageOakland.com/businessworkshops or call (248) 858-0783.

June/July Workshops:

Market Research Basics
June 13 | 9-11:30 a.m.
July 11 | 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Troy Public Library - 510 W. Big Beaver Road, Troy
Ready to grow your business? Our Market Research Basics workshop helps you discover ways to find your ideal customers, identify your competitors, perform competitive analysis, identify new site locations, target direct mail campaigns, reveal untapped markets and expand to new and appropriate markets. If you are ready to grow your business, the Market Research Basics workshop is for you.
Cost: No charge | Registration Required

Starting a Business
June 15 | 9-11:30 a.m.
July 6 | 9-11:30 a.m.
July 27 | 10 a.m. - noon

Troy Public Library - 510 W. Big Beaver Road, Troy
Thinking about starting a business? This workshop is designed for individuals who are at the beginning stages of starting a business. This workshop will help aspiring entrepreneurs assess their abilities to lead and manage a company as well as evaluate market and sales potential for their products and services. Topics like startup costs, financing options and business planning are introduced, along with the necessary steps to getting started. If you are ready to start your business this workshop is for you.
Cost: No charge | Registration Required 
Social Media for Business Growth
June 21 | 9-11:30 a.m.

Business Power Tools – An overview for using LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to grow any business.
Whether you call it social media, social networking, web 2.0 or internet marketing, the question on every professional’s mind is this: “Is social media a waste of time or an essential power tool for business in a post phonebook world?”
Amid all of the distractions, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are emerging as essential tools for marketing your business. Join Terry Bean from Motor City Connect for this entertaining and educational seminar as he takes you through the tools and rules of social media. You’ll learn what works, what to avoid and how to use LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to grow your network, engage prospects and generate profit. Get ready to kick your internet marketing presence into gear.

This class is designed to use these tools for profit. It covers:
  • Three Things You MUST do to Find Success on Each Platform
  • How to Use Status Updates That Gain Attention
  • Ways to Manage Priorities So You’re Not Stuck in an Endless Loop
  • How to Make Posting Simpler
  • The Fastest Way to Grow Your Audience
  • Which Platforms Are Best for You
Cost: $40 per person | Registration Required

July Workshops

CEED Lending Small Business Loan Orientation
July 12 | 9-11 a.m.

Have a need for alternative financing for your business? Is your business located in Oakland County? Consider learning more about the CEED Lending Small Business Loan Program. Discover the requirements and processes necessary to apply for and obtain a small business loan. If you are interested in alternative financing for your Oakland County small business, then the CEED Lending Small Business Orientation is for you. CEED Lending is an initiative of the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council.
Cost: No charge | Registration Required 

Walk-in Start Up Thursdays in Waterford and Novi

WalkIn-StartUp Small Business CounselingJune 1 | 9:30 a.m. – Noon | 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
July 6 | 9:30 a.m. – Noon | 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

In Waterford: One Stop Shop Business Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford
In Novi: Novi Civic Center - Community Development Center Room, 45175 Ten Mile Road, Novi

Whether you opened a business or you’re thinking about it, the Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center has resources to help you. We can provide you with confidential small business counseling. You receive one-on-one advice from an experienced business consultant – with no appointment necessary. Consultants offer direct answers to your questions about startups, suggest next steps and provide guidance on business planning tools. These high value services are offered at no charge to you. Walk-in sessions are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Each session is limited to 15 minutes. 

Novi students are national DECA champs


When it comes to business and marketing, four Novi High school students know their stuff.

The four students were crowned national champions last weekend at the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) International Career Development Conference in Anaheim, Calif.

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Novi music festival gets new name, dates


Now that the city of Novi has a new signature festival — The Main Event Novi, presented by Diversified Members Credit Union — it just needs Mother Nature to cooperate so people can head “downtown” this summer for two days of live music, beer and wine and great food from local restaurants.

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73 Novi Articles | Page: | Show All
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