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4 things to know about the state of Oakland County

L. Brooks Patterson talks advanced vehicle tech, millennials, Pontiac, and bringing back shop class.

Farmers market to offer winter produce cooking demonstrations and recipes

Many people may not associate the icy chill of Michigan winters with fresh produce, but Oakland County is working to change that.

Metro Detroit's independent local news outlets making the best of a bad time in journalism

For the area's unconventional news outlets, 2016 was actually a good yearfor some, their best yet.

8 ways to get out and enjoy Metro Detroit this holiday break

Don't spend the whole week staring at your phone.

Q&A: Victoria Byrd Olivier on Detroit Future City and green infrastructure

How does green infrastructure fit into the work of Detroit Future City? 

How Metro Detroit's car-oriented suburbs are implementing a 'new American dream'

Is the auto-dominated, cul-de-sac, sprawl suburb permanently losing its hold on the American imagination? Sterling Heights, Troy and Southfield are planning on it.

Oakland County joins PACE program to promote energy efficiency for businesses

PACE offsets the upfront costs of energy efficiency upgrades through a special property tax assessment.

Skateboard shop opens up in Clawson

It's all thanks to a nine-year-old boy.

Advanced manufacturing workforce training center opening in Madison Heights

A new training center designed to address the advanced manufacturing skills gap throughout the region is opening in Madison Heights. The Michigan Advanced Manufacturing Collaboration is now accepting applications for its first cohort in CNC mill certification training, which it anticipates will start this December. Officials say the first two or three groups to take the class will do so free of charge, a $3,000 to $3,500 value.

As MAMC grows, it will also offer welding and industrial maintenance programs. The cohorts will be available to adults -- especially veterans, officials say -- and will eventually expand to include high school students.

"We want what we're teaching to be life-changing for our students," says Dan Gilbertson, MAMC Director of Innovative Educational Programs and Strategic Partnerships. "These are good careers, good paying jobs."

MAMC got its start at Madison High School in Madison Heights. Gilbertson is a former principal at the high school. He and his partners anticipated an industry demand for a local advanced manufacturing workforce; a suspicion that has since been confirmed, he says.

FANUC, one of the world's largest robotics companies with its North American headquarters in Rochester Hills, brought robotic equipment to the high school to get students interested in careers in advanced manufacturing. MAMC will use equipment from FANUC, along with Rockwell Automation, Lincoln Electric, and Parker Hannifin, to teach its courses.

The MAMC facility is located in the same building as Wilkinson Middle School, having converted 12,000 sq. ft. into instruction space. Gilbertson says large areas are necessary for these types of programs.

While many manufacturing jobs have left the region, Gilbertson says that there is once again a demand for a skilled advanced manufacturing workforce. They are good jobs, he says, and much safer and cleaner than the manufacturing jobs associated with the twentieth century.

Michigan Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative is located 26524 John R Rd. in Madison Heights. People are encouraged to apply online.

Oakland County's CISO captures top IT award

Oakland County’s Chief Information Security Officer Chris Burrows is Michigan’s IT Professional of the Year, County Executive L. Brooks Patterson announced today. That’s according to Michigan Government Management Information Sciences (MI-GMIS) who bestowed the award on Burrows. The award recognizes outstanding individuals who advance and support the use of technology within government to improve efficiency and customer service.

“Oakland County is consistently ranked among the most digitally-advanced counties in America by the Center for Digital Government,” Patterson said. “Chris is an integral part of the team that has helped Oakland County stay on the leading edge of developments in IT. He truly deserves this award.”

Burrows joined Oakland County in 2013 bringing more than a quarter century of experience from the private sector including in risk management, information security, and IT operations. In a few short years, he has created Oakland County’s first IT risk and security program. Plus, he helped implement CySAFE, a free IT risk assessment tool Oakland County makes available to other governments and businesses in the cloud. CySAFE has been downloaded in all 50 states.

Burrows also has provided leadership and guidance as a security advocate for other Michigan counties seeking to build or enhance their IT security including Washtenaw, Wayne, Macomb, Livingston and Monroe. He is working with local universities including Oakland University and Walsh College to help them identify relevant content for their cyber security programs. In addition, he is creating his own course called “Current Issues in Cyber Security” which he will begin teaching at Walsh College.

“Chris is an outstanding addition to our IT Department at Oakland County,” said Deputy County Executive and CIO Phil Bertolini. “His innovative thinking, leadership, and willingness to help all those in the government, university and business communities make him worthy of this award.”

Burrows, 45, lives in Commerce Township with his wife Heather and two children. He holds a MBA from Lawrence Technological University, BSBA from Central Michigan University, along with numerous technical certifications including a CISSP (Certified Information System Security Professional).

For more information about MI-GMIS and the IT Professional of the Year award, go to MI-GMIS.org.
 

Q3: Automation Alley announces key hires, invests in tech startups

Automation Alley, Michigan’s leading technology business association, today announced its Q3 activities and results, which included attracting an international company to Southeast Michigan and two new investments to support growing technology startups in the region. In addition, Automation Alley saw major staff changes in Q3, including a new executive director and chief operating officer, as well as other key hires and promotions to support its shift towards helping companies navigate the changes involved with Industry 4.0.

Automation Alley international tenant company Cosworth Group, of Northampton, U.K., announced it is investing $30 million in a Shelby Township facility. The high-performance engine technologies firm recently moved on from Automation Alley’s International Business Center. The center, located inside Automation Alley Headquarters in Troy, Mich., provides 90 days of soft-landing space for foreign companies to use as a home base while exploring opportunities to do business in Southeast Michigan. Since 2011, Automation Alley has attracted 18 international companies to the region.

On the entrepreneurship front, Automation Alley made two significant investments in Q3, including $5,000 in TSP Enterprises, the Farmington Hills-based creator of a portable cargo management system, and $32,000 in Blackbourne Worldwide, a Sterling Heights-based hacking intelligence company. To date, Automation Alley has invested $9.09 million in 58 local high-tech companies. Now managing these investments will be Dom Holmes, who was recently promoted to manager of entrepreneurship and innovation. In addition to overseeing Automation Alley’s investment portfolio, Holmes is responsible for managing Automation Alley’s 7Cs™ program.

Automation Alley’s 7Cs™ is open to Southeast Michigan early-stage or second-stage advanced manufacturing companies seeking accelerated commercialization of their products, services or technologies. The program guides entrepreneurs through a customized seven-step process that includes intense coaching and a firm commitment from Automation Alley to invest resources and capital, taking companies from concept to commercialization.

Other key Q3 staff changes include the promotion of Tom Kelly from COO to executive director, replacing Automation Alley’s longtime leader Ken Rogers. Pavan Muzumdar was named as the organization’s new COO. Both moves are in line with the organization’s strategy to help local companies navigate Industry 4.0 technologies. Industry 4.0, also known as the fourth industrial revolution, represents the convergence of digital and physical technologies currently disrupting the manufacturing industry, such as the Industrial Internet of Things, autonomous robotics, additive manufacturing, big data, cybersecurity, cloud computing and modeling, simulation and visualization, among others.

To begin that process, Automation Alley is launching a new committee structure, comprised of
members and regional thought leaders who will develop a strategy to help small and medium-sized manufacturers adopt these technologies.

“By joining one of our Industry 4.0 committees, individuals will have the opportunity to influence our programs, position their companies alongside other key players in our region and potentially shape the future of technology and manufacturing,” Kelly said.

Industry 4.0 and the changes ahead will be the focal point of Automation Alley’s 16th Annual Awards Gala, to be held Oct. 14 at the Detroit Yacht Club. Sheryl Connelly, Global Trends and Futuring, Ford Motor Company, will keynote the event. To register, visit automationalley.com/awardsgala.

Also coming up is Automation Alley’s trade mission to Mexico, Oct. 16-21. Following that mission, Automation Alley will be seeking company participants for its trade mission to the Paris Air Show in June of 2017. For more information or to register, visit automationalley.com or call International Business Services Manager Lisa Lasser at 248-457-3283 or email lasserl@automationalley.com.

About Automation Alley
Automation Alley is Michigan’s leading technology business association, connecting businesses with talent, resources and funding to accelerate innovation and fuel Southeast Michigan’s economy. Since its founding in 1999, the nonprofit has grown to include nearly 1,000 tech-focused members in businesses, education and government. Automation Alley focuses its efforts in five areas: advanced manufacturing, defense, entrepreneurship, international business and talent development. For more information, visit automationalley.com.  

Advanced manufacturing workforce training center opening in Madison Heights

The Michigan Advanced Manufacturing Collaboration is now accepting applications for its first cohort.

Innovation news roundup, September 1, 2016

China invests in Michigan, a Troy-based auto company buys German, two new data facilities rise in Southfield and more in this week's innovation news roundup.

Automation Alley makes investments, adds firms to 7Cs program

The portfolio includes companies that help hospitals collaborate pre-surgery, provide analytics for gyms, offer R&D tools and more.

Bank of Ann Arbor expands to Oakland County with merger

The banks will continue on under the Bank of Ann Arbor brand.
153 Troy Articles | Page: | Show All
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