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Innovation & Job News

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Innovation Encounter engineering competition at LTU headed into ninth year

A design competition for engineering students invented at Lawrence Technological University is entering its ninth year with enthusiastic support from industry.

Initial financial support for Innovation Encounter came from the Kern Family Foundation. The Wisconsin-based foundation, founded by the family behind Generac generators, seeks to boost the level of entrepreneurship education in the nation’s engineering schools. Innovation Encounter is now self-sustaining through its sponsors. The competition itself was created by Donald Reimer, college professor of engineering at LTU, based on an innovation event that LTU attended at the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2007.

Since the first Innovation Encounter in 2010, more than a dozen universities from coast to coast have participated. Most have been members of a group of schools called KEEN, the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network, universities that have had grant support from the Kern Foundation. Industry sponsors over the years have included ElringKlinger Automotive Manufacturing Inc., Faurecia, Ford Motor Co., Masco Corp., Microsoft Corp., Sundberg-Ferar Inc., and Visteon Corp.

Lawrence Tech won the event in 2015, placed second in 2014 and third in 2016.

“Innovation Encounter continues to engage students and industry in solving real-world engineering problems,” Reimer said. “Lawrence Tech is proud to host this event as an example of the university’s longtime motto, ‘Theory and Practice.’”

In this year’s competition, held Oct. 20-21 on the LTU campus, Marquette University placed first, Ohio Northern University second and Worcester Polytechnic Institute third.

In Innovation Encounter, student teams are given a real-world engineering challenge developed by the event’s sponsor. This year, the sponsor was Dürr Systems Inc., the Southfield-based subsidiary of the German mechanical and plant engineering firm Dürr AG. Three Dürr engineers served as the event’s judges.

The problem statement presented by Dürr focused on infrastructure upgrades of an existing automated industrial paint shop. The teams were challenged with doubling the production output, while not increasing the length or footprint of a coating systems production line.

Although Innovation Encounter is an engineering challenge, by the very nature of the competition, students with non-engineering majors also add needed diversity to the teams. “It was interesting to watch the students’ thought process as they tackled the challenge problem,” said Tim Devries, Dürr project manager. Designs and calculations were not enough to bring home the win. The teams also needed to show confidence as they presented their challenge solutions and answered the questions asked by the Dürr judges.

“Innovation Encounter is an excellent opportunity for students to obtain practical experience with a real world engineering issue,” said Gina Zasadny, entrepreneurial coordinator at LTU. “This provides a terrific platform to stretch technical, creative, and business skills that will transfer to the workplace. Ultimately, this type of experience makes the student stand out among their collegiate peers.”

Michigan US China Exchange Center launches in Troy

Excerpt: 

A new industry trade group, the Michigan US China Exchange Center in Troy, has launched and hosted a delegation from the China Wuxi Die and Mould Trade Association on Nov. 8 at the Iroquois Club in Bloomfield Hills.

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LG Electronics manufacturing coming to Hazel Park, job fair next week

Excerpt: 

New green jobs are coming to Hazel Park and city officials are urging residents to apply at an upcoming job fair. 

City Manager Ed Klobucher said LG Electronics is getting ready to take space in a facility inside the massive Tri-County Commerce Center building at 1400 E. 10 Mile Road that opened this summer.

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Beaumont Health acquires Southfield building for shared services

Beaumont Health has purchased the First Center building in Southfield to consolidate shared services employees currently working in 16 owned or leased buildings in three counties across Metro Detroit.

“This consolidation of our business services that support patient care is a major step forward in advancing our commitment to being the employer of choice,” said Carolyn Wilson, chief operating officer, Beaumont Health. “It will allow teams in separate locations to work together in an updated, collaborative space with amenities our employees want, promoting teamwork, while enhancing efficiency and reducing cost. It will also help free up much-needed space on our hospital campuses for patient care, by pulling business and administrative professionals out of our inpatient settings.”

Beaumont evaluated 45 properties in Metro Detroit before deciding to purchase the First Center building on Northwestern Highway near Lahser Road. The 686,000-square-foot multi-tenant building was built in 1984 and sits on 31 acres of land.

Beaumont will initially occupy 360,000-square-feet in the building. Existing tenant leases will remain and will be evaluated going forward. The building will be renamed and branded as a Beaumont facility along with existing tenant signage.

About 2,500-3,000 Beaumont employees will be relocated to the building in phases by the end of 2018. Beaumont’s financial services team will lead the way, relocating in early 2018, once building renovations are complete.

Details of what other departments will move and when are still being worked out, but could include functions such as compliance, legal affairs, information technology, human resources and others.

“This is another important step in pulling Beaumont Health together as one high performance organization providing the highest quality patient care and demonstrating best practices in all patient care support areas,” said John Fox, CEO, Beaumont Health. “With 38,000 employees and 5,000 physicians, we are in a great position to positively impact the overall health status in Southeast Michigan.”

The building’s open floor plan office design will include meeting rooms, shared amenity areas and collaborative spaces. Work teams will have input in customizing their work areas. The building will also include a first-floor conference center for large Beaumont business meetings.

“We will be creating an open, collaborative and flexible work environment based on the latest research around workplace design,” said Wilson. “This new work environment will optimize employee productivity and outcomes which will ultimately benefit the patients and families we serve.”

Neumann/Smith of Southfield is the architectural and design firm working with Beaumont on the design and renovation of office space.

Beaumont began its search for a shared services location in mid-2015 after looking at where its shared services employees live and identifying Southfield as a central location that would minimize additional drive time for many employees affected by the move.

Michigan universities push ahead on autonomous vehicles

Excerpt: 

On the small campus of Lawrence Technological University, a few students are on the cusp of programming one of the nation’s first autonomous vehicles as a class project.

Already, the two-seat electric vehicle — the size of a golf cart — won an international competition last spring for the software the students developed, taking first place in a new division of the Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition at Oakland University.

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Vectorform's Vazzano talks VR, AI, IoT and digital transformation

Excerpt: 

Vectorform co-founder Jason Vazzano talks about his digital transformation company in Royal Oak that works with Amazon, Walt Disney and other big players to help them innovate, another of the Tech248 Member interviews conducted by Irene Spanos with Oakland County government.

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Beaumont Health tests Michigan's first 3D whole breast ultrasound for cancer detection

Excerpt

Beaumont Hospital in Dearborn is one of eight centers nationwide participating in research to improve the detection of breast cancer in women by using SoftVue three-dimensional ultrasound technology on women with dense breast tissue.

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New store mixes fun merchandise with charitable giving

Excerpt

Shoppers support charity with every item they buy from Tenacity Boutique, a new clothing and gift store in downtown Milford. 

“Our M.O. is supporting charities that are dear to us. We wanted to give back on a lot of levels,” said Genise Horsley, who owns the shop with her husband Eric. The couple also owns the adjacent women’s apparel shop, The Clothing Cove.

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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.

Free or low-cost business classes offered In November/December

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

November/December Workshops:
CEED Lending Small Business Loan Orientation
Nov. 8 | 9-11 a.m.
Dec. 13 | 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: Free | Registration Required

Social Media for Business Growth
Nov. 15 | 9-11:30 a.m.
Business Power Tools – An overview for using LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to grow any business.
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. Terry will cover:
  • • 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 2-3 Platforms Should Are Best for You
Cost: $40 per person | Registration Required

Starting a Business
Nov. 16 | 9-11:30 a.m.
Dec. 14 | 9-11:30 a.m.
Thinking about starting a business? This workshop is designed for individuals who are just starting a business. It 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: Free | Registration Required

December Workshops

Market Research Basics
Dec. 5 | 9-11:30 a.m.
Ready to grow your business? 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: Free | Registration Required

Walk-in Start Up Thursdays in Waterford and Novi
WalkIn-StartUp Small Business Counseling
Nov. 2 | 9:30 a.m. – Noon | 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Dec. 7 | 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.

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.

Farmington Hills-based S2 Equipment creates Solar Briefcase and PowerPack for remote energy apps

Excerpt

S2 Equipment in Farmington Hills, which operates The Invention Shop, announced the debut of the Hans PowerPack and the Solar BriefCase 60, which can charge mobile devices during a power outage or provide electrical power during a trip off the grid, at a tailgate party, or at other events.

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Emissions Analytics in Pontiac creates consumer-oriented vehicle EQUA Index

Excerpt

Emissions Analytics, a Pontiac-based provider of Portable Emissions Measurements Systems (PEMS), announced the creation of the EQUA Index, designed for the North American vehicle-buying marketplace.

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Free or low-cost business classes offered in October/November at 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 the experts at the 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.

October/November Workshops:
Five Steps to Networking Mastery
Oct. 4: 9-11:30 a.m.
We have all heard that it is not what you know but whom you know. BARNACLES! It's all about how you are known. This brief, impactful training will teach you how to become an individual to whom people want to refer more business.
You will learn…
  • Why networking works
  • How to be ready to network anywhere
  • Which online sites are worth your time
  • How to identify your ideal referral partners
  • The components of a solid ask
Consider attending if you:
  • Are frustrated with the results of your current networking
  • Uncomfortable networking but know you need to do it more
  • Have a new position and want to increase your pipeline
The better we all get at networking, the better all of our networking will be. Speaker: Terry Bean, founder of Networked Inc. and Motor City Connect.

Cost: $40 per person | Registration Required

Starting a Business
Oct. 5: 9-11:30 a.m.
Nov. 16: 9-11:30 a.m.
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: Free | Registration Required

Market Research Basics
Oct. 10: 9-11:30 a.m.
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: Free | Registration Required

CEED Lending Small Business Loan Orientation
Oct. 11: 9-11 a.m.
Nov. 8: 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: Free | Registration Required

Team SBA Financing Roundtable                                             
Oct. 31 | 9 a.m.-noon

Need the inside scoop on how to obtain a business loan? Attend the Team SBA Financing Roundtable to find out how banks evaluate your application. Learn how to improve your chances for a business loan and how SBA loan guarantee programs can help you get financing. This workshop is best suited to those with good credit, a solid business idea and funds of their own to invest in the business. If you want to improve your chances of obtaining a business loan this workshop is for you.

Note: Because the SBA does not provide loan guarantees to real estate investment firms, including purchasing and rehabbing houses for resale, this type of financing is not discussed at the roundtable.

Cost: Free | Registration Required


November Workshops
Social Media for Business Growth
Nov. 15: 9-11:30 a.m.
Business Power Tools – An overview for using LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to grow any business now.
Whether you call it social media or social networking or 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?”
The simple answer is “Yes.”

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. We will cover:
  • Three things you MUST do to find success on each platform
  • How to use status updates that gain attention
  • Managing priorities so you’re not stuck in an endless loop
  • How to make posting simpler
  • The fastest way to grow your audience
  • Which 2-3 platforms are best for you
Cost: $40 per person | Registration Required

Walk-in Start Up Thursdays in Waterford and Novi
WalkIn-StartUp Small Business Counseling
Oct. 5: 9:30 a.m. – Noon | 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Nov. 2: 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.

Harness the power of leadership

Most employee development courses include: (1) Bribe people into a conference room with coffee and bagels; (2) Have someone stand in front of the room all day while telling the group things they should be doing; (3) Break into discussion groups to make things “interactive;” (4) Go home wondering what was learned. 
 
This cycle of employee development falls short in effectiveness, value and practicality. This is why Leader Dogs for the Blind developed Harness the Power of Leadership (HPL), a leadership, management and team-building workshop unlike anything in the industry. The one-day workshop is held on the Leader Dog campus in Rochester Hills or at the attending organization’s facilities. The workshop accommodates up to 24 participants (but can be adapted to varying class sizes) and teaches fundamental leadership and management concepts using guide dogs as tools to exemplify the material. 
 
Under blindfold, attendees work hands-on with guide dogs to learn concepts of effective leadership. The course is led by a person who is blind who shows how the working relationship between a Leader Dog and its handler provides valuable lessons that lead to success when applied to business.
 
“I do not consider my blindness to be a disability,” commented Leader Dog presenter Richard “Buss” Brauer.  “It certainly is an inconvenience. But the lessons Leader Dog taught me about leadership, communication and decision-making are what allowed me to achieve such a high degree of business and personal success.  People are simply blown away by how applicable this model is in the professional world.”
 
Lessons learned in many employee development courses are often forgotten and just not used. HPL is an effective program because attendees learn through personal experience so they readily remember the lessons and subsequently implement them in their daily work.

“We all know employees react negatively when they are being ‘preached to’ or face hours of lecture,” says Dani Landolt, Leader Dog’s chief marketing officer. “HPL’s value is in its unique delivery of leadership concepts and team empowerment in a truly interactive and interesting way.”
 
Leader Dog will be hosting a session of Harness the Power of Leadership open to individual attendees on October 4, 2017. This is a great opportunity to experience HPL yourself and learn how it can benefit your organization. The session will be held at Leader Dogs for the Blind, 1039 S. Rochester Road, Rochester Hills, Michigan, from 8:30-4:30 p.m. The cost for this full-day leadership experience is $375.00 per person.
 
To learn more about this valuable leadership experience, contact David Bann at Leader Dogs for the Blind by calling 248.218.6318 or emailing dave.bann@leaderdog.org.
1416 Articles | Page: | Show All
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