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Innovation & Job News

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AM General lands $210M in contracts for new military vehicles and services


AM General, which operates a technology and engineering center in Auburn Hills, announced it has received an order to provide 740 new M1152A1 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV) to the U.S. Army National Guard.

The $89-million contract joins a recently awarded five-year contract for Systems Technical Support services for the family of HMMWV with a value of approximately $121 million. The STS services contract will support government task orders for engineering, logistics, and quality assurance projects among other orders.

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Lawrence Tech, Southfield launch new Centrepolis Accelerator


Lawrence Technological University and the City of Southfield have entered into a formal partnership to launch the Centrepolis Accelerator.

Housed on the campus of LTU, the Centrepolis Accelerator will broaden and replace the small business and entrepreneurial support services provided by the LTU Collaboratory in recent years, leveraging the city’s focus on driving local and regional economic development through Southfield’s Centrepolis SmartZone.

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HoMedics in Commerce Township and New York’s Bluestar Alliance sign $165M agreement under Brookstone


HoMedics in Commerce Township, a large manufacturer and distributor of personal health, wellness, and relaxation products, and New York’s Bluestar Alliance have announced the signing of a $165-million, five-year license agreement under the Brookstone brand. The license covers a range of massage, massage chair, home environment, and other select product categories.

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Bloomfield Hills-based Sterilogy and Grand Valley students develop system to help reduce infections


Keeping hands clean and sanitized in hospitals and other medical facilities can be a challenging and inconvenient problem, with caregivers having to go to a sink or sanitizer station between each patient.

Bloomfield Hills-based Sterilogy worked with a group of Grand Valley State University applied Medical Device Institute (aMDI) students to devise a series of devices to address that issue. 

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Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak first in state to offer minimally invasive pediatric epilepsy surgery


Beaumont Children’s Hospital in Royal Oak announced it was the first in Michigan to establish a Pediatric Stereo-Electroencephalography (SEEG) Epilepsy Surgery Program.

SEEG is a minimally invasive diagnostic EEG within the skull that pinpoints the source of seizures. It replaces a craniotomy with 2-millimeter holes in the skull, much smaller than the hole necessary for a craniotomy.

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Oakland County Michigan Works! and OCC hosting special panel on value of apprenticeship programs

Oakland County companies interested in building their talent pipeline are invited to attend a special luncheon and panel discussion on how to successfully implement registered apprenticeship programs.

Sponsored by Oakland County Michigan Works! and Oakland Community College, the event is Nov. 13 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at OCC. Companies interested in attending the “Apprenticeship Works” luncheon should contact Therese Geer at OCC, 248-232-4141, or email apprenticeship@oaklandcc.edu.

County Executive L. Brooks Patterson issued a special proclamation to designate the week of Nov. 12-18 as “National Apprenticeship Week in Oakland County.”

“While skilled trades and manufacturing may use the greatest number of apprentices, we’re also seeing significant interest and the launch of apprenticeship programs across other industries, including health care and information technology,” Patterson said. “This panel will discuss what resources are available to businesses through the county’s Michigan Works! offices and OCC, the latest trends in apprenticeships and workforce development.”

The joint Oakland County Michigan Works! and OCC event is part of National Apprenticeship Week. This nationwide celebration highlights the benefits of apprenticeships in preparing a highly skilled workforce to meet the talent needs of employers across a broad range of industries. More than 200,000 people are expected to attend nearly 2,000 events in all 50 states during the week.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Registered Apprenticeships, Michigan has more than 18,500 active apprentices working in nearly 1,300 apprenticeship programs. Nationwide, there are more than 500,000 apprentices. Over the past four years, U.S. companies have added 125,000 new registered apprenticeship programs.

The “Apprenticeships Works” panel will include representatives from OCC, Oakland County Michigan Works!, the Workforce Intelligence Network and Henry Ford Health System, which launched a successful medical assistant apprenticeship program earlier this year in partnership with OCC and Henry Ford College. The apprenticeship program is addressing the significant shortage of medical assistants in Oakland County and across the region.

“With the employment forecast, this apprenticeship program enables Henry Ford Medical Group to train new medical assistants and instill the Henry Ford Health System culture that focuses on each patient first,” said Dawn Robiadek, manager of clinical care services.

Current medical apprentice Rita DeVault said the program benefits her career growth.

“The apprenticeship gives me hands-on training and the opportunity to put my skills into practice while building confidence in a working environment, while earning compensation,” she said. “All this with no student loans or tuition fees.”

Deputy County Executive Timothy Meyer said state data indicates nearly 90 percent of apprentices in various industries are employed after completion of their program with an average annual starting wage of $60,000.

From an employer’s perspective, there are other advantages to launching a registered apprenticeship program, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Among them:
  • Recruitment and development of a highly skilled workforce
  • Improvement in productivity, profitability and a company’s bottom line
  • Creation of flexible, customized training options
  • Standardized training so all workers receive the same national, industry-endorsed training
  • Reduced turnover and liability costs
  • Receipt of tax credits and employee tuition benefits in participating states
“Apprenticeships pay off,” Meyer said. “On average, apprentices earn $300,000 more over the course of their career than other workers. On the flip side, for every dollar spent on an apprenticeship program, employers get back an average of $1.47 in increased productivity.”

Nino Salvaggio looking to fill 200 positions in Bloomfield Township


Nino Salvaggio International Marketplace is looking to fill 200 positions at their new store in Bloomfield Township.

The store at 6592 Telegraph Road has openings for full and part-time jobs. It's also hiring for seasonal positions. 

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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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At Scrubbers, dogs and cats are groovin' to the grooming


Just off the corner of Webster and Woodward in Royal Oak, a steady parade of customers is streaming into Scrubbers, fur babies in tow, all of the latter in need of a good bath.

Dennielle McIver, a Royal Oak MS LPC (Master of Science, Licensed Professional Counselor) just popped in with Happy, an adorable Pomsky puppy that she is training to be an emotional support dog. The Pomeranian/Husky mix, hugging McIver like a baby, is a ball of thick black fur. Today is his first grooming.

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Dentists all smiles over merger


Scott Meldrum, D.D.S., was looking to slow down.

Glen Maylath, D.D.S., wasn’t actively looking to merge his practice with someone else.

But in June, the long-time friends and colleagues combined their dental practices creating Total Dental Fitness, and so far, it’s working beautifully.

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Troy's Laser Eye Institute the first in Michigan to perform SMILE with astigmatism surgery


Michigan’s first SMILE with astigmatism laser corrective eye surgery was scheduled at the Laser Eye Institute in Troy. 

Zeiss, a global manufacturer of optical systems and creators of the Laser Eye Institute’s technology, announced on Oct. 5 that SMILE with astigmatism was approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The company also announced the successful completion of 1.5 million procedures globally.

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Two high-tech companies move operations, jobs to Oakland County

More than 150 new jobs and nearly $6 million in capital investments are coming to the cities of Auburn Hills and Southfield.

Alpine Electronics of America, Inc. has been making car stereos for decades. Now the Torrance, California-headquartered company is moving closer to the automobile industry.

The manufacturer of high-performance mobile electronics Alpine is moving its headquarters to Auburn Hills. The move puts the company closer to the autonomous vehicle industry, allowing it to develop technology and products for the automakers jointly.

The move will create 100 jobs for the city and generate a total capital investment of $5.1 million. As a result, the state has awarded the company a $650,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Auburn Hills is offering a 50 percent property tax abatement, too.

"This new investment will allow Alpine to continue developing technologies for work in the autonomous vehicle industry," says Auburn Hills Mayor Kevin McDaniel.

"Our City Council and staff have worked diligently to support this exciting project, and we are looking forward to their continued success."

Also in the news is Danish company Configit, which makes configuration technology for leading manufacturing companies. With offices all over the world, the company is opening an office in Southfield for its U.S.-based software product development team.

The move will create 51 high-tech and administrative jobs and generate a total capital investment of $803,000. As a result, Configit has been awarded a $365,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant, and the city of Southfield plans to expedite the permit process.

"We’re pleased Configit has chosen Southfield as the location for its software product development team in the United States," says Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson.

"Oakland County is connecting many of its 2,000+ IT companies operating here through our Tech248 initiative and a global company such as Configit fits perfectly into the strategy."

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

Out of state circuit court celebrates going paperless thanks to local company

Southfield-based ImageSoft, Inc. is celebrating the five-year anniversary of one of its earliest circuit court customers adopting the company’s custom paperless caseflow software.

ImageSoft provides paperless document and process management solutions to a variety of industries, though its focus is on the courts.

Virginia’s Arlington County Circuit Court was one of the first circuit courts in the nation to go paperless, digitally transmitting case files to higher courts. The court has been enthusiastic in its adoption of ImageSoft’s paperless technology over the years, wearing shirts and putting up banners promoting the practice.

To celebrate five years, Arlington County held a public raffle and commissioned four sheet cakes with phrases in frosting like, "Project Paperless: Where Less Is Really More!" and "Forests are green, oceans are blue, we went paperless for the earth, me and you!"

"ImageSoft is really excited to have been a part of Arlington County’s transformative five years," says Scott Bade, ImageSoft President.

The Clerk’s office in Arlington had great vision and courage in undertaking this initiative, and we’re proud of everything they’ve accomplished, ultimately providing improved service to Arlington County residents."

According to ImageSoft, there has been a roughly 20 percent increase in filings at Arlington County Circuit Court since adopting the paperless system.

The circuit court has also announced that it will further its paperless mission by adopting ImageSoft’s CaseShare, a cloud-based Appeals Automation solution. CaseShare functions include assembling the digital appellate records, automatically merge PDF files, create tables of content and bookmarks, and apply optical character recognition for full-text search capability, among others.

Clerk of the Arlington County Circuit Court Paul Ferguson says that going paperless has increased efficiency for court users and staff.

"Our goal was to provide the easiest access to court records while maintaining robust security, and ImageSoft’s solution and support has achieved this."

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

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.

Bloomfield Hills' Karamba Security introduces automotive cybersecurity protection platform


Bloomfield Hills’ Karamba Security, a provider of end-to-end automotive cybersecurity prevention solutions, has announced ThreatHive, which provides automobile OEMs and Tier-1 suppliers a view of actual, online attacks on their engine control units (ECU) during development.

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1454 Articles | Page: | Show All
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