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Innovation & Job News

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Automation Alley Swiss tenant company APAG Cosyst opens office in Madison Heights

With assistance from Automation Alley, Michigan’s leading technology and manufacturing business association, another international company is setting up shop in Southeast Michigan. APAG Cosyst of Switzerland has moved out of Automation Alley’s International Business Center in Troy, Mich. and into a facility in Madison Heights, Mich. The company is expected to hire 13 employees for the new location, which will serve as a customer support office. In addition to the Madison Heights office, the company is also seeking a location for a manufacturing site that will eventually house 150 employees.
“We are pleased to see another one of our international tenant companies find a home in Southeast Michigan,” said Noel Nevshehir, Automation Alley’s director of International Business Services. “By attracting foreign companies to our region, introducing them to potential business partners and assisting in site selection, we are driving local economic growth and helping to create new jobs in our region.”
APAG Cosyst, manufacturers and designers of electronic applications for Tier 1 and industrial customers worldwide, came to Automation Alley looking to grow their business in North America, specifically in Michigan.
“We were recently awarded a design program with a major automotive company and saw an opportunity to grow our U.S. design team quickly, which will require more people and space to accommodate them,” said Dan McGregor, APAG Cosyst vice president of sales. “APAG CoSyst LLC is extraordinarily thankful for all the support from the Automation Alley team and specifically from the International Business Center. We have enjoyed, and will continue to enjoy, all the perks of being an Automaton Alley member."
Automation Alley’s International Business Center, located inside Automation Alley Headquarters in Troy, Mich. provides up to 90 days of soft landing space for international companies to use as a home base while exploring opportunities to do business in Southeast Michigan.
Since 2011, Automation Alley has assisted 20 foreign companies in establishing their operations in Southeast Michigan, which has created 694 well-paying, high-value jobs for the region.
Automation Alley’s 3,200-square-foot International Business Center includes three meeting rooms with communications technology, three private offices, an open office area and convenient access to Automation Alley’s International Business Services staff.
In addition to temporary office space, tenants of the International Business Center receive assistance with site selection and introductions to potential business partners, clients and employees to jump-start their business. 
For more information about Automation Alley’s International Business Center, contact Automation Alley at 800-427-5100 or info@automationalley.com.

Highland Raw, what a deal


How did a former Radio City Music Hall Rockette and a theatrical prop master find themselves starting a business in Highland, making a very special dog food? It’s complicated, but a growing family and a German Shepherd named Sascha are important to their story.

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Gonna need more thread: Downtown Pontiac sewing factory expands to bigger building

Detroit Sewn, the full-service sewing factory in downtown Pontiac, is growing. As the company recently celebrated its two-year anniversary, this summer it also achieved another significant milestone: A move from its original location to a larger facility.

The 5,000 sq. ft. space at 67 N. Saginaw St. affords Detroit Sewn the ability to meet the growing sewing and production needs of the region, giving the company room for more machines and more services. Originally offering services like product development, pattern and sample making, and cutting and sewing, Detroit Sewn has expanded to offer spot and full dye sublimation, direct-to-garment printing, and blank apparel orders.

The former editor of the StyleLine magazine, Detroit Sewn owner Karen Buscemi has spent more than 20 years in the fashion industry. She founded the non-profit Detroit Garment Group in 2012 and is helping to establish Detroit's Garment District.

Buscemi started Detroit Sewn as a response to inquiries made by metro Detroit's fashion community. She wanted to build something locally and see if was sustainable.

And sustain it she has.

"There's been a lot more need for this type of business than I ever imagined," says Buscemi. "I thought I had a handle on the size of our community, but it's way bigger than I thought."

The company receives inquiries every day, she says, and mostly from in-state residents -- a good sign for Michigan's fashion industry. "It's exciting to see that many people following their passion."

And it's not only the fashion industry that requires Buscemi's services. Just this week, Detroit Sewn sent out an order for another local company, Rochester's Seatsational, a maker of seat covers for theaters, sports venues, airplanes, and more.

Where there's a need, there's an opportunity.

"We need to show that this kind of manufacturing can be done here and be successful here if we ever want manufacturers to come from other states," Buscemi says.

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

At Home opens third Detroit-area home decor superstore in Wixom

At Home Group Inc. (NYSE: HOME), one of the fastest-growing retailers in the nation, opens its newest location in Wixom, Michigan, today at 10800 Assembly Park Drive. The new store is the third in the Detroit area and the eighth in the state, with other locations in Saginaw, Kalamazoo, Ann Arbor, Jenison, Utica, Dearborn and Bloomfield Hills.
The new 100,000-square-foot store offers more than 50,000 home décor items from furniture, mirrors, rugs, art and housewares to tabletop, patio and seasonal, including more than 100 different artificial Christmas tree varieties.  
“At Home has the widest selection of home décor items to fit any budget or style, from modern to farmhouse, boho to elegant,” said At Home Store Director Rachel Carrillo. “We welcome everyone to come in, explore our newest store and find decorating inspiration to turn any house into a home.”
Shoppers will find style ideas throughout the store, with room vignettes that are continually updated to showcase the latest trends and seasonal items. More than 400 new products are brought in each week to provide fresh inspiration.
Opening events include a ribbon-cutting at 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 22, with the Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, followed by a grand opening celebration Saturday, Sept. 23, beginning at 9 a.m., with mystery gift card giveaways valued at $20-$200 for the first 50 people in line.
The Wixom At Home is one of more than 25 new store openings across the U.S. this year for the home décor chain and will bring 25 jobs to the area.
At Home (NYSE: HOME), the home décor superstore, offers more than 50,000 on-trend home products to fit any budget or style, from sofas, dining sets, mattresses and patio furniture to lamps, pillows, kitchenware, rugs and more, plus seasonal décor that includes yard displays, lights and Christmas trees. At Home is headquartered in Plano, Texas, and currently operates 141 stores in 33 states. For more information, visit the company online http://www.athome.com or find us on Facebook (AtHomeStores), Instagram (AtHomeStores) or Pinterest (AtHomeStores).

Farmington Hills manufacturer teams with OU to turn water into electricity

A Farmington Hills-based company believes it has a developed a game-changing product for the clean energy industry. And a unique partnership with Oakland University has helped convince them and many others that they've done just that.

It's called the Oscillo Drive, a device developed and patented by Wave Water Works, LLC. Basically, the Oscillo Drive is placed in water and uses the motion of waves to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. The device produces energy, which is then moved to a generator, converting that energy into electrical energy. It is quiet, renewable, and sheds no pollution.

"And the amazing thing is, the damn thing works," says Wave Water Works project director and general manager Chuck Keys.

Another seemingly amazing part of the story is that the Oscillo Drive had been sitting on the shelf for three decades before its inventor, Phil Padula, president and CEO of Wave Water Works, hired Keys in 2013 to bring the product to market. Keys has been talking to interested parties as near as Macomb County and as far as Israel and India.

The Oscillo Drive is going into production this winter and the company will have projects in the water the following spring.

The company enrolled in the Oakland University INC business incubator program last year, gaining access to important equipment and help from engineering faculty and 43 students. Keys estimates that Wave Water Works received $1.5 million in professional engineering services as a result of the partnership.

"We needed to be able to test the device," he says. "We knew it worked but we needed to be able to measure it. At OU, we were able to run it through a battery of tests."

Wave Water Works is also readying an Oscillo Drive that works in rivers. A desalination device is also nearing production.

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

Free or low-cost business classes in September/October 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 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.

September/October Workshops:
Starting a Business
Sept. 7 | 9-11:30 a.m.
Oct. 5 | 9-11:30 a.m.
This workshop is designed for those who want to start 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

CEED Lending Small Business Loan Orientation
Sept. 13 | 9-11 a.m.
Oct. 11 | 9-11 a.m.
Have a need for alternative financing for your business and it’s located in Oakland County? Consider learning more about the CEED Lending Small Business Loan Program. Discover how 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

Women’s Business Enterprise Certification Orientation (WBE)
Sept. 21 | 9-11 a.m.
Attention Women Entrepreneurs: Consider becoming a Certified Women Owned Business. Learn the benefits of joining the Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE). WBE certification benefits include accessing procurement opportunities with national companies looking to do business with women- and minority-owned companies. If you are ready to take your women-owned business to the next level, this workshop is for you.
Cost: $25 per person | Registration Required

Avoiding Costly Real Estate Mistakes
Sept. 21 | 9-10:30 a.m.
Did you know your lease for commercial space could be time bomb waiting to explode?
When looking for commercial space most people focus on the base rent, not realizing terms in the lease could cost them even more. Many people don’t realize that office, industrial and retail leases typically have different ways of charging for expenses. Are you signing a pure gross lease or not?
Do you have a relocation clause in your lease? Should you care?
Lynn Drake, president and founder of Compass Commercial, leads the discussion.
Cost: $25 per person | Registration Required

October Workshops
Five Steps to Networking Mastery
Oct. 4 | 9-11:30 a.m.
We have all heard it’s 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 the preferred choice for business referrals.
You will learn…
  • Why networking works
  • How to be ready to network anywhere anytime 
  • 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; or have a new position and want to increase your pipeline. The better we are at networking, the better our networking will be. Speaker: Terry Bean, founder of Networked Inc. and Motor City Connect
Cost: $40 per person | 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 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

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, then 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

Walk-in Start Up Thursdays in Waterford and Novi
WalkIn-StartUp Small Business Counseling
Sept. 7 | 9:30 a.m. – Noon | 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 5 | 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 provide confidential small business counseling, one-on-one advice from an experienced business consultant. No appointment necessary. Consultants answer questions about startups, suggest next steps and provide guidance on business planning tools. These no-cost sessions are limited to 15 minutes and first-come, first-served.

Delphi Partners with Innoviz Technologies on advanced LiDAR solutions for autonomous vehicles


Delphi Automotive, a global technology company that operates its North American headquarters in Troy, has announced a commercial partnership agreement with Innoviz Technologies, an Israeli company developing LiDAR technology for the mass commercialization of autonomous vehicles.

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Hobby Lobby opens for business, Ulta before year's end


Hobby Lobby, a privately held national retail chain of craft and home décor stores, officially opened for business in White Lake.

An announcement from Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. states the store opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony and official grand opening celebration at 9 a.m. on Monday, August 21.

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LG Electronics to establish U.S. factory for electric vehicle components in Michigan

LG Electronics Inc. announced plans to establish a U.S. factory for advanced electric vehicle (EV) components in Michigan. The 250,000-square-foot facility, in the Detroit suburb of Hazel Park, Mich., will produce EV components starting in 2018. The project will mean at least 292 new Michigan jobs, including factory workers in Hazel Park and engineers at the expanded LG R&D Center in Troy, Mich.
Representing an LG investment of about $25 million, the project is supported by a $2.9 million capital grant under the Michigan Business Development Program over the next four years, as announced today by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. LG also will receive hiring and training assistance from the state, including MI Works support in cooperation with local community colleges, and from the cities of Hazel Park and Troy.
“When leading global companies like LG invest in Michigan and create hundreds of good, high-paying jobs here, it speaks volumes about the strong business and mobility climate in the state today,” Governor Rick Snyder said. “LG’s great technological advancements and our outstanding workforce will help pave the way for the vehicles of the future right here in Michigan.”
Ken Chang, LG Electronics USA senior vice president and head of the LG Vehicle Components North American Business Center, said, “LG’s initiative to develop and produce world-class EV components in the United States represents a key pillar of our strategy to be the best technology partner to U.S. automakers.”

Vehicle components represent the fastest-growing business of global technology leader LG Electronics. LG’s first-half 2017 global revenues for vehicle components were more than $1.5 billion, a 43 percent increase from the same period last year, thanks in large part to the successful collaboration with General Motors on the popular Chevrolet Bolt EV. Honored by GM as a global supplier of the year, LG Electronics received the coveted 2017 GM Innovation Award.

LG’s jobs and investment commitment in Michigan coincides with two other major LG projects in the United States. The company will soon begin construction on the world’s most advanced production plant for washing machines in Clarksville, Tenn. This $250-million factory will create 600 new U.S jobs by 2019. In addition, construction is under way on the new LG North American Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., a $300-million project that is expected to increase LG’s local employment there from 500 today to more than 1,000 by 2019. 

Baker College receives NSF grant to boost Michigan's photonics education

Baker College has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant of nearly $512,000 to advance photonics and laser education at Baker College and in Michigan through June 2020.

The goal, according to Anca Sala, Ph.D., Baker College dean of the College of Engineering, is to educate more students to become qualified photonics, laser and fiber optics technicians to meet industry need – in southeast Michigan and nationally.

The NSF grant supports development of curricula for educational institutions, expands Baker College’s photonics laboratory at the Flint Township campus, establishes laboratories at Baker College campuses in Auburn Hills and Jackson, and enables multiple information sharing events that involve educators, manufacturers and employers. 

"We are working to get photonics – the science and technology of light – into the mainstream of science and technical education at all levels,” Sala said. “This will draw more young people into the field early on. The Baker College photonics and laser technology associate program allows students to enter the rapidly growing and well-paid field of photonics with low education expenses.”

Starting salaries for graduates of two-year photonics programs range from $40,000 to $50,000, according to OP-TEC, The National Center for Optics and Photonics Education. It’s not unusual for recent graduates to have multiple job offers. OP-TEC, funded by the NSF, works to increase the number of qualified photonics technicians in the U.S. by building and strengthening two-year photonics programs.

“Scientists discover, engineers design, and technicians are the geniuses in the laboratory and masters of the equipment,” is how Dan Hull, OP-TEC executive director, relates the job of a photonics technician to others in the field.

Photonics education expansion in Michigan
The NSF grant allows Baker College to add the photonics and laser technology program to rosters at the Auburn Hills and Jackson campuses. It’s now offered at the Flint Township campus. New course modules will focus on photonics applications in emerging areas such as autonomous driving, integrated photonics and high-power lasers in manufacturing.

Photonics curriculum will be shared with other higher education institutions and K-12 educators as well as NSF Advanced Technological Education Centers located throughout the country. Important goals of the grant are to introduce photonics as a field of study in Michigan Career and Technical Education programs, develop pathways from high school to two- and four-year degree programs, and showcase available career opportunities.

Annual photonics symposiums are on tap, beginning early 2018, as well as workshops to introduce photonics to K-12 teachers and faculty at higher education institutions.

Sala said information sharing is extremely important, especially for students, parents, teachers and career guidance counselors, and groups such as veterans and displaced workers with industry and business potential.

“When those who are considering careers realize photonics are in numerous everyday technologies like cellular networks, flat-screen TVs and fiber-optic communications, I believe interest in these degrees will increase,” Sala said.

Photonics Phridays
To introduce middle and high school students, teachers and parents to the new science of photonics and lasers, Sala will be holding ‘Photonics Phriday’ events at Baker College’s Flint Township campus throughout the academic year. They will include a lab tour, age-appropriate demonstrations, simple experiments and fun, hands-on activities that illustrate the magic of photonics.

Strong demand for photonics technicians
Baker College received a previous NSF grant of approximately $200,000 in 2013 to help establish the photonics and laser technology associate program at the Flint Township campus. The program was the first in the state and one of a handful in the country. All graduates of the program have found rewarding employment with photonics companies in the state, and the companies are looking for more graduates to hire.

The Baker College program was in response to the urgent need for trained photonics technicians by employers. There were jobs in southeast Michigan that went unfilled. The need is still great. A 2016 Department of Labor O*NET report estimates 17,100 photonics, laser and fiber optics technicians will be needed between 2014 and 2024. That’s 1,710 per year, yet today two-year programs produce fewer than 400 qualified graduates annually, according to OP-TEC.

“Expanding photonics education is critical to Michigan’s manufacturing as well as health care, national security and defense, and other sectors,” Sala said. “Photonics and lasers are literally the cutting edge of science and technology in most everything.”

Sala encourages anyone interested in the associate degree program or about upcoming photonics and laser events to contact her, at 810.766.4111 or anca.sala@baker.edu, or contact Nicole Chirco in the admissions office at nicole.chirco@baker.edu or 248.340.0600. Information about the photonics and laser technology program is as www.baker.edu.

The largest private college in Michigan, Baker College is a not-for-profit higher education institution accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Founded in 1911, Baker College grants doctoral, master’s, bachelor’s and associate degrees, as well as certificates in diverse academic fields including applied technology, business, education, engineering, health science, information technology and social science. Baker College has on-ground campuses throughout Michigan and offers online programs that can be completed 100 percent online without ever visiting a campus. In 2016, the Online Learning Consortium recognized Baker College Online with the OLC Quality Scorecard Exemplary Endorsement, the highest ranking for online higher education programs. For information, visit www.baker.edu or follow Baker College on Twitter, @bakercollege, or on Facebook, www.facebook.com/bakercollege.

Apprenticeships could help fill vacant tech jobs for employers

Tech employers who struggle to fill vacant information technology positions could get some insight into solving their employment challenges Aug. 23 at a Tech248 meetup.

IT Apprenticeships is the focus of the gathering at Goldner Walsh Garden and Home, 559 Orchard Lake Road in Pontiac. It runs from 2-4 p.m. There is no charge to attend but advanced registration is required at AdvantageOakland.EventBrite.com.

“Oakland County has more than 2,000 tech companies and Tech248 is connecting half of them,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “Many of them face staffing challenges, trying to find qualified workers to fill job vacancies. This meetup provides creative ways for these companies to help fill their employment needs.”

The meetup features presentations from U.S. Department of Labor, Michigan Works! and Oakland County Workforce Development experts as well as local educators who will discuss apprenticeships and how to find talent. Copies of the county’s 2017 Apprenticeship Guide will be available. The guide contains job descriptions, job opening forecasts for particular vocations, contact information and average salaries for 60 different apprenticeship opportunities in the area ranging from auto body repair and bricklayer to various health care and technology professions.

More than 4,000 copies of the guide have been distributed to K-12 schools, community colleges and Oakland County Michigan Works! centers as well as other agencies throughout the state.

The guide can be found at the county’s website, www.AdvantageOakland.com, by clicking on the icon labeled, “Apprenticeship Directory.” Hard copies are also available by contacting Oakland County Workforce Development at 248-858-5520.

Tech248 is a networking initiative for the county’s 2,000 tech companies. It focuses on talent, connectivity and branding. Meetups are held monthly. More information is available at Tech248.com or by calling 248-858-0734.

OU professor awarded $210,829 NSF grant for research on new terahertz generator

Dr. Andrei Slavin, a distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Physics at Oakland University, has been awarded a $210,829 grant from the National Science Foundation as part of a collaborative research project which seeks to develop a new type of terahertz generator that can be used in a variety of fields, including communication, medical imaging and security.
“Existing generators of terahertz radiation either work at temperatures below room temperature or are based on expensive and bulky laser systems,” Slavin said. “These significant deficiencies severely limit their usefulness. The goal of this project is to create a new type of terahertz generator that is compact, inexpensive and works at room temperature.”
According to Slavin, terahertz radiation falls between infrared radiation and microwave radiation on the electromagnetic spectrum. It can pass through clothing, paper, cardboard, wood, masonry, plastic and ceramics, which makes it ideal for detecting concealed weapons and explosive materials.
Terahertz radiation can also detect differences in density of a tissue, which could allow for effective detection of skin and surface cancer. Some frequencies of terahertz radiation can also be used for 3D imaging of teeth and may be more accurate than conventional X-ray imaging.
In addition, terahertz waves, which operate at a much higher frequency than microwaves, could one day be used to deliver data up to 100 times faster than today’s cellular or Wi-Fi networks.
“We believe that communication technology will go further with increased frequencies,” Slavin said. “So the next generation of 5G communication will probably use frequencies that are higher than current frequencies.”
According to Slavin, the research project is a collaborative effort between a team of experts in magnetic device fabrication at the University of California, Irvine, and leading theorists in the field of magnetic devices at Oakland University.
“As a result of this three-year research effort, we expect the result will be a terahertz generator that will be micro-sized – approximately 10 microns in diameter and less than 1 micron in thickness,” Slavin said, noting that 10 microns is approximately twice the size of a human blood cell.
“With this device, we will be able to generate approximately 1 microwatt of power at a frequency of about one-half terahertz,” he added. “You might think one microwatt isn’t a lot, but one microwatt is sufficient power for many applications, especially communication applications.”
The new generators will be based on readily available antiferromagnetic materials, such as iron oxide and nickel oxide, and will operate via conversion of magnetic oscillation in these materials into terahertz electromagnetic waves.
“Our invention is an example of trying to tap into the naturally existing internal magnetic field in the antiferromagnetic material using the fact that current propagating in the heavy metal creates a perpendicular current of spins,” Slavin said.
The NSF grant is for a three-year period.
“The grant allows us to concentrate more and intensively collaborate with our experimental counterparts at the University of California, Irvine, and creates a possibly to check our theoretical ideas experimentally,” Slavin said. “We’re very grateful to the NSF. Nobody knows whether it will work or not, but we will try to do our best to bring them an experimental prototype within three years. “
More information about the NSF grant can be found online at nsf.gov.

LTU researching autonomous taxi with gifts from MOBIS, Dataspeed, SoarTech, Realtime Technologies

Lawrence Technological University has begun the research and development of an autonomous campus taxi thanks to donations from several corporate partners.

Hyundai MOBIS, the parts and service division of the Korean automaker, donated $15,000 for the purchase of a Polaris GEM e2 two-seat electric vehicle. Dataspeed Inc., a Rochester Hills engineering firm specializing in mobile robotics and autonomous vehicle technology, converted the vehicle to an autonomous drive-by-wire system. 

Also donating to the effort were a pair of Ann Arbor high-tech firms – Soar Technology Inc. provided a LIDAR (laser-based radar) unit to help the vehicle find its way, while Realtime Technologies Inc., a simulation technology firm, provided a cash donation.

Hyundai MOBIS formally turned the keys of the vehicle over to LTU Provost Maria Vaz and C.J. Chung, professor of computer science, in a ceremony on the LTU campus last week. Vaz thanked the sponsors for providing a great learning and research opportunity. David Agnew, director of advanced engineering at MOBIS, made the presentation.

LTU computer science students have already won an international award with the vehicle. They developed software to make the car operate autonomously – well enough that it took first place in the new Spec 2 division of the Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition, held at Oakland University in June. The Spec 2 competition required multiple self-driving vehicle functions such as lane following, lane change, traffic sign detection, obstacle avoidance, and left turns.

After winning at IGVC, team members began reprogramming the vehicle to serve as an autonomous taxi on the LTU campus. It’s been rechristened ACT, an acronym for Autonomous Campus Transport/Taxi, in a naming contest won by Nick Paul, one of the team members. Chung said the university is planning to introduce Level 3 autonomy with the vehicle – allowing both hands and eyes off the road – by August 2018.

A video of the car in competition at the IGVC is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSzxPp66vxk&feature=youtu.be

Registration now open for HR certification prep courses at Walsh College's Novi and Troy campuses

Learning new skills and adding certification credentials sets you apart from your colleagues and establishes you as an expert in your field.

For a career path that includes Society of Human Resource Management certification, passing the SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP®) or SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP®) exam is required.

Like any advanced certification test, preparation is the key to success. Walsh College’s SHRM Human Resources certification prep class is designed to provide that preparation, and registration is now open. Classes at the Novi campus meet weekly on Wednesdays from 6 to 10 p.m. and run from Sept. 13 through Nov. 15. Classes at the Troy campus meet weekly on Thursdays from 6 to 10 p.m. and run from Sept. 14 through Nov. 16.

The curriculum is designed by global subject matter experts and covers the entire SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge™ (SHRM BoCK™). The course is designed to help students learn and retain the material effectively and efficiently by combining the best exam preparation system with expert instruction and peer discussion.

As part of the course, students will receive the 2017 SHRM Learning System for SHRM-CP® and SHRM-SCP®. Comprised of comprehensive learning modules in print and e-reader formats, these study materials streamline study time, accelerate learning, and build confidence for passing the exams.

“In order to keep your career moving in the right direction, it is essential to add skills and credentials to your résumé, and certification is the best way to do that,” said Michael Rinkus, DBA, executive vice president and chief academic officer, Walsh College. “This prep course guides HR professionals to success on the SHRM exams, and puts that knowledge to work through critical thinking and application in their everyday work life.”

Walsh offers small class sizes led by experienced, certified instructors, including Rebecca Davies, LL.M, SHRM-SCP, Tina Marie Wohlfield, SHRM-SCP, and Colleen Schmerheim, SHRM-CP. Davies and Wohlfield will teach the course at the Novi campus, and Schmerheim will teach at the Troy campus.

Davies is a shareholder based in Butzel Long’s Detroit office. She is a human resources management and employment litigation attorney, and obtained her LL.M. in Labor and Employment Law from Wayne State University Law School.

Wohlfield is a senior HR consultant at Amerisure Insurance. She earned her MBA with a specialization in HR Management from Walsh College. Along with her responsibilities with the exam prep certification course, she is also a co-chair of the annual HR Summit Conference at Walsh College.

Schmerheim, who earned her MBA at Walsh College with a specialization in HR, is a regional human resources manager at Paragon Technologies, Inc. She is also the point of contact for elected officials and their staffs in Michigan’s 9th Congressional District, helping to ensure federal and state policymakers understand the vital role that HR plays in today’s workforce.

The course fee is $1,495. For Walsh students and alumni, and SHRM members, the cost is $1,295. Those who register before Aug. 25 and use the “early-bird” code will also receive the discounted rate. Working HR 

professionals should check with their employer, as they may reimburse the cost of the class. For more information, contact Cindy Rush at crush@walshcollege.edu.

Walsh College offers three different types of certification prep courses. In addition to SHRM-CP/SHRM-SCP, Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) and Certified Management Accountant (CMA) are also available.

Walsh also offers a business certificate program in Human Resource Management. This is a for-credit program consisting of four to five classes and is available to those holding bachelor’s or master’s degrees. This certificate program is helpful for human resources professionals seeking to stay relevant in their field, to expand their skills, or to enhance their previous degree. The certificate is offered on campus, online, or a combination of both.

A Master of Science in Management (MSM) with a specialization in HR Management is also available at Walsh. The graduate degree can be completed 100 percent online.

DASI Solutions celebrates inaugural graduation

DASI Solutions is elated to announce the graduation of its first cohort to participate in the recently launched Pre-Apprenticeship program on August 24. In addition to the Industrial Design Technician Apprenticeship Program, DASI Solutions has now launched a Pre-Apprenticeship program in response to the skilled trades gap that has been effecting both the manufacturing and engineering industries across the region. This program is designed to enhance general skills & knowledge of its participants in order to prepare them for jobs in the engineering and manufacturing industries.

This program was rolled out to Metro Detroit area individuals who are eager to start a career in the growing & rewarding field of 3D CAD Design, and all training classes are being held at Focus: HOPE in Detroit. Structured as a bootcamp style, this program offers not only CAD training, but also other life skills, education & OSHA training. In addition to the internationally recognized SOLIDWORKS Certifications, participants of the program will have the ability to obtain other certifications, including:
  • NIMS (National Institute of Metalworking Skills)
  • Customer Service
  • OSHA Hazardous Situation – MIOSHA
The program runs for a total of 6 weeks, whereas the students will attend classes Monday – Friday for a total of 192 hours. In suit with DASI’s Industrial Design Technician Apprenticeship Program, this program is grant funded for all individuals, falling under the American Apprenticeship Initiative Grant. 

Following graduation day, on August 25, there will be employer interviews held at FOCUS: Hope, where the graduates will be hoping to find permanent employment. Interviews will be held in 2 hour increments and will be structured on an individual basis for each employer.

"This pre-apprenticeship program is a key component to help the supply and demand ratio for designers. We've been increasing demand for years; we needed an increase in supply” stated Adam Majkowski, Apprenticeship Specialist at DASI Solutions.

For more information about DASI’s upcoming cohorts of the pre-apprenticeship program, or if you are interested in participating in one of the employer interviews, please contact Annette Norris at annette@dasi-solutions.com

About DASI Solutions: Founded in 1995, DASI Solutions assists Emerging Sector companies in the implementation of 3D CAD and other collaborative technologies used in the product development process by the Designing Engineer. DASI Solutions offers sales, technical support and training for the SOLIDWORKS software product portfolio, as well as 3D Printing services for additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping. The company, which has its headquarters in Pontiac, MI, has facilities throughout Michigan, Indiana, Arizona and California. For more information on the company, visit www.dasisolutions.com, or contact Richard or David Darbyshire, brothers and Co-Owners, at 248-333-2996. 
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