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LTU wins first, third place in national competition for assistive design

Two teams from Lawrence Technological University took first and third place in the SourceAmerica Design Challenge, a national competition to design workplace products that improve the employability of people with disabilities.

An LTU team won first place for its Cube XL Assembly, which nearly doubled the assembly output of employees assembling equipment to fasten pipes to interior surfaces on buildings. The device allows people who have the use of only one hand to perform the task.

Finishing in third place was another LTU team’s Clip Assembly Device, which allows people with limited hand function to assemble a clip used in automotive headrests.

Lawrence Tech’s sophomore-year engineering design studio class has been working for two years to develop products like these for Services to Enhance Potential (STEP), a Dearborn-based charity that works to boost employment prospects for people with disabilities.

“It’s incredibly valuable to us,” Steve Slayton, STEP’s director of business development, said of LTU’s assistance. “Both of the designs this year made big impacts for our clients. The tools that the students create allow our clients to do jobs that they were not able to do before, and allow our clients to really increase their productivity.”

More than 120 teams of high school and college students in STEM programs across the country competed in the challenge. Three collegiate and five high school teams were selected for the finals competition, held in early April in Washington, D.C.

A member of the first place team, Bram Ligon, called the competition “a pretty eye opening experience.” The sophomore mechanical engineering major from Rochester Hills said it was “really awesome, getting to work with the various subject matter experts and hear their stories about how other teams have developed assistive technologies for people with disabilities.” Ligon said the teams made their presentations in a conference setting with about 150 people present, before a panel of judges that included current and former staffers with IBM, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the National Academy of Engineering.

A member of the third place team, Victoria Pellerito, a junior mechanical engineering major from Macomb Township, added: “Beginning to end, it was amazing. The moments leading up to the presentation were nerve-wracking, but once we got up there and started presenting, it was great. You knew everyone there genuinely cared.”

John Bowen, a member of the first-place team and a sophomore double major in biomedical engineering and molecular and cell biology from Williamston, said the event featured a packed schedule of workshops and discussions daily from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., “and then we’d practice our presentations until midnight.” The teams also met with staffers of U.S. Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow and U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell.

The faculty teaching the sophomore engineering design class said the SourceAmerica and STEP relationships have truly brought home design thinking concepts for the engineering students.

“The relationship with STEP has made all the difference in the level of student engagement and ownership within the design studio,” said Cristi Bell-Huff, director of LTU’s Studio for Entrepreneurial Engineering Design (SEED). “Having real customers to empathize with and really create value for has made a lasting impact on our students’ professional and personal development as engineers. Serving customers with disabilities in particular helps our students get outside the classroom and outside of their own perspectives in order to solve a real world problem that will make a big difference in someone's life. “

Added Heidi Morano, SEED project engineer: “The value of customer engagement is two-fold; first, the ability to ‘put yourself in someone else’s shoes’ is a critical skill for engineers in this day and age. Secondly, that the student teams are able to see directly the impact that their design can have on someone’s life really seems to resonate and leaves a lasting impression.”

SourceAmerica, a national nonprofit with a mission to create employment opportunities for people with disabilities, hosts the Design Challenge annually. The contest is designed to bring greater awareness of the need and the impact of assistive technology in the workplace and encourage upcoming generations to develop an inclusive mindset.

Pellerito said her hope is that more can be done to help millions of disabled Americans find jobs. Only 17.9 percent of Americans with disabilities were employed in 2016, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, compared to 65.3 percent of Americans without disabilities. She also said she hopes more colleges and universities can be convinced to compete in the SourceAmerica Design Challenge.

More on the competition at http://www.sourceamerica.org/design-challenge. Stories about individual finalists’ projects may be found at http://www.sourceamerica.org/news.

Pitch Club, for entrepreneurs and startups, will be hosted at University of Michigan Law School

Kyyba Innovations, Bodman PLC and TiE Detroit are hosting Pitch Club on Wednesday, April  18, 2018 at University of Michigan Law School. Pitch Club is a mentoring and funding program aimed at connecting the various ecosystems and smart zones throughout Michigan. Pitch Club has ongoing monthly events that provide entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn from seasoned entrepreneurs and investors. The events are meant to educate, network, inspire and provide valuable experiences for being investable. As part of the events, 3 lucky entrepreneurs will receive the opportunity to practice their pitch and discuss business plan with funding experts, giving them a better understanding the mindset of an investor. Events are hosted monthly on Wednesday evenings in Michigan cities including: Ann Arbor, Detroit, Lansing and Grand Rapids. 
 
The April 18th event at University of Michigan Law School will include 3 startup presentations, a pool of judges, and a special guest “Founder & CEO” keynote speaker. 
 
Registration and application can be found at: www.PitchClubMI.com

Keynote
Hannan Lis , CEO, Lis Ventures
 
Judges
Sridhar Lakshmanan, Educator, Entrepreneur, Mentor, University of Michigan, Dearborn
Robi Mitra, CEO, K&A Resource Group
Jim Tenzillo, Senior Associate, Invest Michigan
Lorne Zalesin, Vice President Sales and Marketing, DroneView Technologies LLC
Michael Godwin, Founder/Managing Director, Resonant Venture Partners
Dave Feidner, President, Crestone Summits, LLC
 
Agenda
5:00pm – 5:25pm Registration
5:25pm – 5:30 pm Opening Remarks
5:30pm-6:30pm Company Presentations
6:30pm-6:35pm – Introduction of Keynote
6:35pm-6:55pm –Keynote
6:55pm – 7:10 pm – Q&A with Audience
7:10 pm – 7:30 pm Networking
 
Thank you to our sponsorsCheck out the entire calendar and get registerd here: http://kyybaxcelerator.com/calendar-registration.php
 
The select pool of the companies chosen to pitch at the monthly Pitch Club events will be provided investment opportunities in the form of presenting to the investment team of Kyyba Innovations and TiE Detroit Angels during their quarterly Angels meeting. Investment opportunities will range from $25,000 to $100,000. TiE Detroit Angels funded companies, if qualifications are met, also could have the chance to present to the TiE Global Angel Alliance (TGAA). TGAA is a global platform for funding that exposes startups to a broader investment pool and opportunities to raise additional funds much larger than any single TiE Chapter or local Angel Group. TGAA recently invested $395,000 in Zeto, and $450,000 for Hemex Health from the TiE Global network.

Testimonials
 
“Pitch Club provides a tremendous opportunity for cross-pollination and increased deal flow across Michigan, something that currently is not at the level it should be. This program will be very valuable for both the startup entrepreneurs and investors and will hopefully create a meaningful dialogue, as well as a technological and economic impact for the entire region,” said Tel Ganesan, Managing Director, Kyyba Innovations“In order to make this initiative even more successful, I encourage seasoned entrepreneurs in each of these areas to join us by serving as a mentor.”
 
“From the elevator pitch to the public pitch to the investor pitch, the more successful entrepreneurs are pitching, the more integral this will become to their success. We are pleased to partner with Kyyba Innovations to help entrepreneurs to gain exposure, insights and support that will help them truly move the needle,” said Paul Riser, Director of Technology-Based Entrepreneurship at TechTown Detroit.

"Access to investors and the opportunities to pitch without having to travel are signs of a healthy startup ecosystem,” said Paul Krutko, president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK. "We are excited to have the Ann Arbor region included in Pitch Club; this new avenue for connecting startups and potential funders is a terrific addition to the existing ways entrepreneurs are able to attract capital as well as the investors already interested in what's happening here."

About Kyyba Innovations:
Kyyba Innovations is a global accelerator and collaboration eco-system that provides innovators and entrepreneurs the environment to enable their ideas to become reality. We provide services that allow startups to scale to the next level. We do this by investing in businesses and leveraging our network to empower your organization to accelerate your mission forward. 
 
About Bodman PLC:
With more than 150 attorneys in offices throughout Michigan, Bodman PLC has delivered extraordinary results to our clients for more than 85 years. Our attorneys provide savvy business counsel to some of the region's most successful companies and individuals on a broad range of issues, and we provide clients with the personal attention of a small firm with the talent and skill expected of the nation’s leading law firms.
 
About TiE:
The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), was founded in 1992 in Silicon Valley by a group of successful entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and senior professionals with roots in the Indus region. There are currently 13,000 members, including over 2,500 charter members in 61 chapters across 18 countries. TiE’s mission is to foster entrepreneurship globally through mentoring, networking, education, incubating, and funding. Dedicated to the virtuous cycle of wealth creation and giving back to the community, TiE’s focus is on generating and nurturing our next generation of entrepreneurs.

Lawrence Tech receives $75,000 from Siemens to bolster industrial engineering programs

Lawrence Technological University and its industrial engineering programs are celebrating a $75,000 gift from Siemens Corporation, the United States subsidiary of the German industrial automation giant Siemens AG. The $75,000 is being awarded in the form of cash, hardware, and software.

According to Raj Batra, president of Siemens Digital Factory, U.S., the donation is intended to address growing workforce skills gaps in the industrial engineering and high-tech manufacturing sectors. The investment in LTU is also designed to help forge new pathways to the middle class for manufacturing workers.

Batra is an LTU alumnus, graduating from Lawrence Tech with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1990.

"Siemens’ donations will help establish an industrial engineering and manufacturing lab at LTU’s campus, and help establish a semi-automated mini assembly line using Siemens Digital Factory tools," Ahad Ali, associate professor and director of LTU’s Bachelor and Master of Science in Industrial Engineering programs, said in a statement. "It will be a great learning experience for our students, and help prepare a skilled workforce in the industrial and manufacturing sectors."

This is not the first time Siemens has contributed to the Southfield-based technological university. Siemens has awarded LTU two in-kind software grants since 2013. The Siemens PLM software, which includes NX, Teamcenter, Technomatrix, and Solid Eagle, is commercially valued at more than $200 million.

LTU is recognizing the $75,000 donation from Siemens at two events: A March 13 event on the Lawrence Tech campus, and a formal presentation at the Manufacturing in America conference and exhibition at Ford Field in Detroit on March 14. The conference and exhibition is a forum designed to get students interested in careers in high-tech manufacturing.

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

By supporting FIRST, Bosch helps build the mobility workforce


This feature is courtesy of Driven, the story of how the Detroit region is leading the world in next-generation mobility.

The way Charlie Ackerman sees it, government, industry, and educators must work together toward a common goal to build a supply line of talent. As senior vice president of human resources, North America, at Robert Bosch L.L.C., Ackerman has witnessed the power of supporting science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) initiatives in preparing young people to succeed in the technical workforce.

For the majority of his 23 years with Bosch, Ackerman has been a staunch supporter of FIRST, the international team robotics club for students. When Detroit was deep in the Great Recession, Ackerman recognized the significant impact FIRST could have as the the region recovered economically.

With more than 400 teams, Michigan is the largest FIRST state in the country, and Detroit will host the FIRST Championship at Cobo Center April 25-28.

“The FIRST concept is all about balancing the attention of our society around education and the development of people,” says Ackerman. He questions how society can replicate the energy dedicated to college and professional sports toward education, given the percentage of student athletes who succeed in pro sports versus those who aspire to STEM careers.

“Every associate that participates in FIRST gets a job. There is no loss,” he says.

Skills learned through FIRST, and other STEM education initiatives like SAE’s K-grade 8 AWIM, including collaboration, project management, leadership, business planning, fundraising, and account management are valuable to Bosch. That’s why they have 72 formal mentors representing Bosch in 21 FIRST teams in the U.S., impacting 1,000 students each year in communities where Bosch has a presence, including Charleston, Charlotte, Palo Alto, and cities in Illinois and Michigan.

“We literally put our leaders inside these teams and they build the talent and develop relationships,” says Ackerman. “We involve them in internship programs, we track them and put them into our targeted colleges through scholarships.”

As many as 1,000 students intern yearly with Bosch, with up to 350 placed between Farmington Hills and Plymouth. More than half eventually become Bosch employees. While Bosch focuses on strategic workforce development from the high school level, kids can participate in age-appropriate FIRST activities as early as age six.

And Ackerman says this strategy is working.

“If you look at computer software development in Detroit, and start thinking of skilled workers in this space, there is no unemployment. So if you can’t buy the talent, you have to build it.”

Trainee first responders learn to save lives through mobility


This feature is courtesy of Driven, the story of how the Detroit region is leading the world in next-generation mobility.

When first responders are on their way to an emergency, nothing is more important than information, because data learned in advance can save time and lives.

Critical information can tell first reponders if the the road ahead is clear, the size of the building on fire, if people are inside, and what kind of fire suppression system exists in the building.

With smart infrastructure enabling the new world of smart mobility, EMTs could have access to this information, and much more. They’ll also need to be trained to use new tools to gather this potentially life-saving data. That's why a number of companies, including Lear Corp., have helped install an array of new sensor technology into the Combined Regional Emergency Services Training (CREST) mini-city at Oakland Community College.

In addition to Lear’s roadside unit (RSU) sensors, HAAS Alert provided consumer alert applications, Mobile Data Holdings provided real-time video, and TracksUS provided in-vehicle diagnostics.

Running the show is Elaina Farnsworth, thought leader in the autonomous and intelligent transportation industry, and Mobile Comply CEO, says the sensors should be in place by this spring, allowing first responder trainees to test them in a real-world environment. Some of the connections will run through traffic lights, and some radios will be equipped with DSRC (dedicated short-range communication) devices to see if the safety messaging channel can be more effective.

"It really allows us to be very clear and targeted around new technologies that could aid and help these emergency responders in a controlled environment," Farnsworth says.

Mobile Comply was founded in 2010 to provide education and certification work for professionals who wanted to get into connected technology. She says the CREST project is the perfect next step in both educating the next generation of first responders and testing the sensors.

"We started talking about how nice it would be if we could have a conglomerate of different companies that would contribute something to be able to start training our emergency responders how to use some of these connected vehicle technologies," she says. "How can it make their jobs easier? How can it make saving lives faster?

Eventually, she hopes to incorporate drone technology, too, into the array of sensors getting real-time data from the scene of an emergency.

Douglas Smith, executive director for workforce development at Oakland Community College, says Lear has placed the sensors in the buildings and testing will wait until the weather clears up in the springtime. From there, they'll develop training modules for emergency workers.

TEALS growth in Michigan

Computer science is a vital driver in today’s global innovation economy, but most U.S. high schools are unable to offer rigorous CS courses. Without CS in high schools, our students are missing out on essential computational skills that will help them succeed in any career they wish to pursue, and professional skills that could lead to an economically secure future. The TEALS program seeks to change that reality.

Our volunteers work directly with classroom teachers to help them build and grow their CS teaching capacity through yearlong support and training to inspire the next generation of computer scientists.

If you’re interested in the opportunity to help shape students’ career opportunities – all while having fun – TEALS is the right fit for you.

Applications are open now at tealsk12.org/volunteers.

Together, we can help build CS programs at high schools across the U.S. to empower the next generation of innovators. Here are a few ways you can sign up to volunteer with TEALS today and help change lives:If you have more questions, please contact me us at http://tealsk12.org/contact/ for more information. We’re eager to have more volunteers and happy to answer any remaining questions you may have!

TEALS has had 15 schools apply for our program in the Detroit area and 26 schools state. 

Contact:
Andrew Spiece, Regional Manager
(810) 813-0363

OCC K-9 program prepares handlers and dogs for partnerships that protect public

To protect and serve is a phrase made famous with officers in training. For the more than 200 canines and their handlers who have graduated through Oakland Community College’s (OCC) K-9 program, it is the aim and purpose of their training and profession. Whether seeking out narcotics, locating missing people, or finding crime scene evidence, these highly trained teams work in seamless partnership fighting crime and protecting our community.

OCC’s academy-structured program is the first of its kind in Michigan and, this year, proudly celebrating twenty years of specialized training and service. Its unique advantage is the hands-on immersive experience provided by veteran police canine trainers and handlers for members of police agencies.

Robert Loken oversees the College’s K-9 program. Prior to joining OCC’s nationally-recognized public service training programs, he was a handler for the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office for 13 years where he had three canine partners on the job: Kaiser (German Shepherd), Eiko (Dutch Shepherd), and Lex (Dutch Shepherd). Loken currently has an eight month-old Chocolate Labrador Retriever who is in training for narcotic detection.

Several local police departments utilize OCC’s program to train their K-9 partners. After retiring their last K-9s in 2016, the Waterford Police Department reactivated their program in 2017, adding Diesel, a Dutch Shepard, and Zorza to the staff. The two new recruits, along with their handlers, attended OCC’s program and are actively serving the community. The cost to obtain and train the dogs, was funded with drug forfeiture money.

According to Loken, the success in training a new K-9 and K-9 handler, through weeks of Police K-9 training, comes when their success is accomplished on the streets they patrol. In addition to his work in this region, Loken is also a master trainer with the National Association of Police Canine Handlers and serves on their executive board.

In partnership with their human handlers, the four-legged OCC program trainees participate in seven intensive weeks of training covering all aspects of specialized training including K-9 handling, a K-9 first aid class and classroom work including legal updates. Handlers most often represent police or security agencies. The College’s program trains approximately 10 canines each year, most often working with German Shepherds, Dutch Shepherds, Belgian Malinois and Labrador Retrievers, whose temperaments are well suited for the work.

For handlers who received training before their canine partners, OCC provides uniquely qualified dogs for law enforcement officers enrolled in the Narcotic and Patrol Dog academies. The College’s program also trains handlers who have already been assigned canine partners by their employers.

A recent graduate of the program, Joe Miller from the West Bloomfield Township Police Department, attended the academy with his partner, Lonzo, from October to December 2017, after Lonzo joined the force in June.

“My dog was able to ride along with me before the academy, which really helped with our bonding,” Miller said. “The training allowed both of us to gel and mold into a team that could be effectively deployed on patrol duties.”

Lonzo is one of five explosive-detecting K-9s in Oakland County. He and Miller are now able to deploy immediately in cases of threats, suspicious packages, and more.

The OCC Academy was just the start for Miller and Lonzo. The two train every Wednesday with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and Miller is currently undergoing additional explosives training. “The OCC K-9 Program holds the teams it trains to a high standard,” observed Miller. “They challenge not only the dogs, but also the handler.”

For more information on the OCC K-9 program, which is part of the College’s Police Academy, visit https://www.oaklandcc.edu/crest/police/k9.aspx

About OCC

With five campuses throughout Oakland County, OCC offers degrees and certificates in approximately 100 career fields as well as university transfer degrees in business, science and liberal arts. The College provides academic and developmental experiences allowing each student to reach their full potential and enhance the communities they serve.  More than 45,000 students annually attend OCC; more than a million students have enrolled in the College since it opened in 1965. Learn more at oaklandcc.edu.


Troy High School auto lab receives $200K in improvements

David Easterbrook was walking the halls of Troy High School when he saw the sign for the school's auto lab. He had just finished giving a speech on behalf of Ashley's Dream, the foundation he started to combat the threat of drunk driving. It's a subject he knows all too well; his own daughter, Ashely, was killed by a drunk driver nearly 20 years ago.

Seeing the sign for the auto lab, Easterbrook decided to pop his head in the room. Cars are also something that he knows well, having founded the automotive company AME Vertical in 2001.

Easterbrook says he saw an auto lab that could use an upgrade. So he put the wheels in motion to do just that. Drawing on his own company and its clients, as well as his foundation, Easterbrook successfully raised $200,000 to improve the Troy High School auto lab, an accomplishment that was celebrated earlier this week.

"My daughter would always say, how can we make life better for people," says Easterbrook. "I think this does that."

The money raised was used to gut the old auto lab and parts room. The old carpet is gone, and the floors were ground down and polished. Walls were painted. New parts shelving and racking were installed. And new computer stations and desks were delivered for the students.

With his experience in the auto industry, Easterbrook says there's a real need for automotive and mechanical education. Gone are the days of mechanics only knowing how to do oil changes and tire rotations. Today's high-tech automobiles require more education and technological know-how.

There is a dearth in the workforce, he says. It's a good living, and an industry that could use the investment in young talent.

"The mechanics today are working on computers as much as they are cars. This is high-tech stuff and these are smart kids," says Easterbrook. "We need to encourage people to go into these fields."

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

Southfield debuts online toolbox to increase odds of success for small business

A healthy small business community is vital to any city's success. With the announcement of a new online interactive toolbox for small business owners and entrepreneurs, the city of Southfield hopes that its newest investment in small business will further nurture along existing businesses while also help to attract new ones.

It's called the Business Catalyst, and it provides local business owners and would-be entrepreneurs with several data sets to help them inform their decision-making and succeed. Data includes information on business climate, industry trends, customers, competition, local opportunities, zoning controls, workforce, and available properties.

According to Southfield’s business and economic development director Rochelle Freeman, the Business Catalyst is a resource designed to help business owners thrive in Southfield. The online toolbox will be kept up-to-date and easily accessible.

"It can be challenging for new businesses and entrepreneurs to find the correct resources and information they need to create effective business plans," Southfield Mayor Kenson Siver said in a statement. "The Southfield Business Catalyst will address these challenges by providing the most current data available in one convenient place. We’re excited to offer this toolbox and want entrepreneurs to know that Southfield is open for business!"

The Business Catalyst website also serves as a promotional tool for the city itself. The online portal touts the benefits of Southfield's infrastructure, access to high-speed fiber optics, broadband, and satellite services, as well as its central location within the metro Detroit region.

Interested entrepreneurs and businesses can access the Southfield Business Catalyst online.

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

Thousands of high school students from five-county region to explore in-demand jobs this fall

As many as 10,000 students from area Michigan high schools will be exposed to opportunities in America’s hottest job sectors this fall at the inaugural MiCareerQuest Southeast, the region’s largest hands-on career exploration experience.

Set for Nov. 28 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, the event aims to connect students from Oakland, Livingston, Macomb, Wayne and Washtenaw counties with working professionals from nearly 100 companies from throughout the region. The students will take part in hands-on, interactive demonstrations and conversations that highlight in-demand jobs in advanced manufacturing, construction, health sciences and information technology.

The event is being organized by the Oakland County Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs and Michigan Works! agencies throughout southeast Michigan. The Michigan Talent Investment Agency is the presenting sponsor.

“Our goal is to help thousands of students connect classroom learning with the real-world jobs in greatest demand today,” County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “MiCareerQuest Southeast promises to be very interactive, giving the students opportunities to touch, feel and work with actual workplace equipment, tools and technology, plus ask working professionals questions about what they do and how to get there. And of course, we want to show students these jobs are right here in their own backyards.”

MiCareerQuest Southeast is an offshoot of a program created by the West Michigan Works! Agency, which hosted the inaugural MiCareerQuest event in Grand Rapids in 2015. Since then, it has become a hugely popular event for schools and employers alike, with available spots filling up in hours. In 2017, more than 9,000 students attended MiCareerQuest in Grand Rapids.

Schools can sign up to participate on a first-come, first-serve basis. There are approximately 10,000 student spots available. Starting March 1, high schools will have the option of signing up for one of three time slots, each lasting two hours: 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.; 10 a.m. to noon; and noon to 2 p.m.

“This will be a fast-paced, high-energy event, with groups of students working their way through the four separate career quadrants,” said Jennifer Llewellyn, manager of Oakland County Michigan Works! “Working professionals will be sharing their enthusiasm for what they do through engaging, hands-on demonstrations. Students should be prepared to get involved. They’re going to be busy during their two-hour visit.”

The success of MiCareerQuest Southeast will rely on financial support and involvement of sponsors and employers who will staff the career quadrants, Llewellyn said.

There are event sponsorship opportunities available, with varying degrees of exposure. Organizations that purchase a platinum, gold or silver sponsorship will have a seat on a career quadrant steering committee and reserved space on the show floor to showcase their technology or vocation. Interested companies may also participate as a quadrant exhibitor and engage students directly, share career expertise and advice.

“This is a win for everyone involved,” Llewellyn said. “The sponsors and employers will have the opportunity to connect with the students and start building a talent pipeline for the future, while the students will be exposed to many job possibilities that are expected to be in hot demand for many years to come.”

Organizations or school representatives interested in participating in MiCareerQuest Southeast should attend a special kick-off meeting Thursday, March 1, from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m., at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. Register at AdvantageOakland.Eventbrite.com.

For more information, visit OakGov.com/MiCareerQuestSE or call Oakland County Michigan Works!, 248-858-5520.

IoT TechConnect conference in Troy to increase awareness of opportunities, threats posed by Internet

Excerpt

The Internet of Things (IoT) TechConnect conference, to be held on April 4 at the Troy Marriott, will provide attendees with a greater understanding of the opportunities and threats posed by IoT. As more devices connect to the internet, there are more opportunities for hackers to get into computer systems. The event will focus on IoT companies, experts, and training in Michigan.

Read more

Criminal Justice Department offers OCC's first complete online degree program

Oakland Community College (OCC) has expanded its reach and is now offering its first fully-accredited, completely online degree program in Criminal Justice.

The Criminal Justice-Generalist Associate of Applied Science degree was chosen for online delivery based on the versatility of the degree. The degree can be applied to a four-year university transfer or to those students electing to obtain a two-year degree and become a police officer. Students who endeavor to become a police officer in the State of Michigan need to have an associate degree for admission to a police academy if they will be self-sponsored while attending the academy, explains Ken Aud, OCC Criminal Justice Faculty and Department Chair. 

“With family or work obligations, many of our students want the convenience of accomplishing their academic and career goals with a personalized schedule. These students want to obtain a degree, but the traditional face-to-face classes often do not work with their many demands outside of the classroom or for those who are challenged by transportation issues or simply geography,” says Aud. “This online program allows us the ability to offer quality educational experiences and competencies to a diverse population and fill a growing need for public service and public safety professionals in our community.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of protective service occupations (such as police, corrections, and security) is projected to grow 5 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations, which will result in about 158,200 new jobs.

While this is a fully online degree program, many Criminal Justice-Generalist courses are cross-listed with the College’s other three Criminal Justice degree options, including Corrections, Law Enforcement, and Police Evidence and Technology. Students who enroll in one of these other degree programs can also take advantage of these accredited online classes.

Students interested in online learning at OCC must successfully complete a free, one-time, mandatory Online Learning Readiness Course. The three-hour course offers students a hands-on experience of the online learning tool and addresses topics such as time management and technology skills designed to ensure students are prepared for both the rigor and flexibility of online learning.

For more information on online learning and the Criminal Justice programs, visit www.oaklandcc.edu/programs/crj.

About OCC

With five campuses throughout Oakland County, OCC offers degrees and certificates in approximately 100 career fields as well as university transfer degrees in business, science and liberal arts. The College provides academic and developmental experiences allowing each student to reach their full potential and enhance the communities they serve.  More than 45,000 students annually attend OCC; more than a million students have enrolled in the College since it opened in 1965. Learn more at oaklandcc.edu.


Southfield debuts online toolbox to increase odds of success for small business

A healthy small business community is vital to any city's success. With the announcement of a new online interactive toolbox for small business owners and entrepreneurs, the city of Southfield hopes that its newest investment in small business will further nurture along existing businesses while also help to attract new ones.

It's called the Business Catalyst, and it provides local business owners and would-be entrepreneurs with several data sets to help them inform their decision-making and succeed. Data includes information on business climate, industry trends, customers, competition, local opportunities, zoning controls, workforce, and available properties.

According to Southfield’s business and economic development director Rochelle Freeman, the Business Catalyst is a resource designed to help business owners thrive in Southfield. The online toolbox will be kept up-to-date and easily accessible.

"It can be challenging for new businesses and entrepreneurs to find the correct resources and information they need to create effective business plans," Southfield Mayor Kenson Siver said in a statement. "The Southfield Business Catalyst will address these challenges by providing the most current data available in one convenient place. We’re excited to offer this toolbox and want entrepreneurs to know that Southfield is open for business!"

The Business Catalyst website also serves as a promotional tool for the city itself. The online portal touts the benefits of Southfield's infrastructure, access to high-speed fiber optics, broadband, and satellite services, as well as its central location within the metro Detroit region.

Interested entrepreneurs and businesses can access the Southfield Business Catalyst online.

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

The University Center: An International Education Destination

Excerpt

The University Center (UC), located in Downtown Auburn Hills at 3350 Auburn Road, is a local public-private partnership that has blossomed into something greater, even worldwide in recent years.

Read more

Meet LTU life sciences talent at second annual Science & Technology Showcase April 4

Lawrence Technological University will host its second annual Science & Technology Showcase of student talent for area employers Wednesday, April 4, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the A. Alfred Taubman Engineering, Architecture and Life Sciences Complex, 21000 W. 10 Mile Road, Southfield (see www.ltu.edu/map). 

The event is being organized by the Oakland County Department of Economic Development and Community Affairs. Participating will be two of the department’s business networks – Medical Main Street for life science businesses, and Tech248 for technology-based businesses. 

The networking event will allow the region’s employers to network with LTU faculty and students studying science, technology, telehealth, robotics, and more. Employers will be able to introduce their companies and share the skills they are seeking with future talent. They’ll also get a first-hand look at student research projects and presentations, get updates from faculty on the curriculum, and network with other innovative companies from the Medical Main Street and Tech248 networks. 

The event will begin at 3 p.m. with a welcome from LTU President Virinder Moudgil. It will continue with updates from:
  • Jeffrey Morrissette, assistant professor of natural sciences and LTU’s pre-medicine advisor
  • Yawen Li, associate professor of biomedical engineering
  • Margaret “Peg” Pierce, LTU director of career services
  • Sibrina Collins, executive director, LTU Marburger STEM Center
  • Chelsea Schutz, program manager, Medical Main Street
The event will continue with an employer panel discussion at 3:30 p.m., followed by student and employer exhibits and a reception. 

The event is free, but registration is required. For further information, contact Schutz at schutzc@oakgov.com or call her at (248) 858-0789. To register, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/tech248-lawrence-technological-university-showcase-registration-42438260981
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