Fracassi joins Plunkett Cooney’s Transportation Law Practice Group

Roderick Fracassi, a 17-year veteran of the trucking and logistics industries, recently joined Plunkett Cooney, one of the Midwest’s oldest and largest law firms, as a senior attorney in its Transportation Law Practice Group.

Fracassi, a member of the firm’s Detroit office, formerly served as chief counsel and assistant secretary of a $3.8 billion, multinational, less-than-truckload division of an American transportation and logistics company. He will focus his practice primarily on servicing the transactional and regulatory needs of the firm’s clients.

“We are fortunate to have Rod as part of our team. His expertise provides an added dimension to the firm’s practice, particularly in the areas of regulatory and transactional law,” said Michael K. Sheehy, co-chair of Plunkett Cooney’s Transportation Law Practice Group Leader.

Fracassi has extensive experience handling commercial transactions, implementing corporate compliance programs, managing litigation and providing counsel on labor and employment issues. He routinely drafts, negotiates and enforces commercial transactions in a range of business capacities, including the areas of sales, licensing, vendor services and procurement. Fracassi has also collaborated with corporate decision-makers to identify and communicate legal risks associated with company transactions.

In addition, Fracassi has handled numerous matters involving mergers and acquisitions, real estate law, intellectual property, risk management and bankruptcy.

Fracassi is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the Transportation Lawyer’s Association and the American Trucking Association. In 1994, he simultaneously received his law degree from Michigan State University College of Law and his master’s degree from Wayne State University.

The members of Plunkett Cooney’s Transportation Law Practice Group have served the legal needs of clients in the transportation and trucking industries for decades. In addition to offering comprehensive regulatory and transactional support, the group is one of the Midwest’s most accomplished in the defense of transportation litigation.

Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney is a leading provider of transactional and litigation services to clients in the private and public sectors. The firm employs approximately 145 attorneys in nine Michigan cities, Chicago, Illinois, Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana. Plunkett Cooney has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, a leading, international directory of law firms.

For more information about Roderick Fracassi joining Plunkett Cooney’s Transportation Law Practice Group, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing & Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008 or jcornwell@plunkettcooney.com.

Mayor to launch Detroit Promise registration for tuition-free community college

Students who graduate from any Detroit high school are being offered four-year scholarships covering state-funded universities and community college tuition.

Mayor Mike Duggan officially launched the “Detroit Promise” registration process at 1:45 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 28 at Communication & Media Arts High School, 14771 Mansfield St.

More than 700 Detroit high school graduates from the class of 2016 are now attending community college or university after receiving the Detroit Promise funding, according to the mayor’s office.

The program will allow any Detroit high school student who graduates with a 3.0 GPA or higher, and scores over 21 on ACT or 1060 on SAT, the opportunity to earn a Bachelor’s degree tuition-free.

The Detroit Promise Zone Authority and Michigan Education Excellence Foundation oversee the program with funding through the Detroit Regional Chamber.

In 2013, the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation launched a narrower version of the plan, and in March 2016, Duggan launched the Detroit Promise Zone Authority, dedicating a portion of tax dollars generated by that entity to fund two-year scholarships.

Earlier this year, Duggan announced the creation of the Detroit Promise to guarantee the opportunity for two years of tuition-free college education at five local community colleges.

Since its launch, 2,000 Detroit students were provided with college or university access.

Kalamazoo Public Schools also shares a similar concept of offering free tuition, called the Kalamazoo Promise.

The deadline to register is Feb. 1, 2017 for universities and June 30, 2017 for community colleges.

Applications for the funding are available here.

View the original article here: http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2016/11/detroit_promise.html

Governor and Mayor announce pilot to expand Detroit Promise college scholarship program to four-year colleges & universities

Michigan Chronicle 

By AJ Williams 

November 28, 2016

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan today joined with students, educators and the Detroit Regional Chamber to announce the expansion of the Detroit Promise college scholarship program to include free tuition at four-year educational institutions.

The pilot program will allow any Detroit high school student who graduates with a 3.0 GPA or better, and scores over 21 on ACT or 1060 on SAT, the opportunity to earn a Bachelor’s degree tuition-free. In the current academic year, over 700 are receiving two-year or four-year, last-dollar scholarships – funding that covers any shortfall after other financial aid such as Pell Grants have been applied.

Registration is open to seniors who live in Detroit and attend any Detroit high school. The final date for registration is February 1 for Universities, and June 30 for Community Colleges.

The expansion of the program has been introduced as a pilot for two cohorts of four-year students that began this fall and will include a second cohort that starts next fall. The additional funding is coming from private funds raised by the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation (MEEF), and the Promise partners are now developing options for the further extension of the program.

“The Detroit Promise is opening wide the doors of higher education opportunity to the young people of Detroit,” said Gov. Rick Snyder.  “Michigan’s largest city is now also the largest city in the United States to guarantee all its young people the opportunity to earn a college degree tuition-free.”

Earlier this year, Mayor Duggan announced the creation of the Detroit Promise to guarantee that in future every Detroit high school graduate will have the opportunity for two years of tuition-free college education at five local community colleges, whether they graduate from a public, private or charter school.  This commitment was made possible through the Detroit Promise Zone, an authority Mayor Duggan and the Detroit City Council created last fall to dedicate a portion of tax dollars to permanently fund two-year scholarships.

Since the program launch, this partnership between the Mayor’s office, Detroit Regional Chamber and the MEEF has provided College or University access to over 2000 Detroit high-school graduates.

For Detroit Promise students attending Community Colleges, a new program, the Detroit Promise Path, will see intensive success coaching made available to new students. The success coaching is modeled on an approach piloted in New York Community Colleges which has resulted in graduation rates doubling among low-income, first-generation Community College students.

“The Detroit Promise is changing lives,” said Mayor Mike Duggan.  “This program is one of the most significant ways we are removing barriers to opportunity for young Detroiters so they can realize their full potential in life without the burden of student debt.”

Registration is now open for high school seniors who will be graduating in summer 2017.  Detroit Promise staff are visiting Detroit high schools to explain the program, and interested students can talk to counselors or advisers to get more information. Students can also visit the Detroit Regional Chamber website for information on eligibility and to register.

“In order for Detroit to compete and win in the 21st century global economy, the city needs world-class talent” said Sandy Baruah, President and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “We’re pleased to partner with Governor Snyder, Mayor Duggan, education partners and the funders to fulfil the Detroit Promise, and see post-secondary degrees increase in the city of Detroit.”

About the Promise

The Promise Zone legislation requires a private organization to fund two years of scholarships before any taxes can be captured. In 2013, the Detroit Regional Chamber and the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation (MEEF) took on that challenge and created the Detroit Scholarship Fund. Over the past three years, this has allowed the Detroit Promise to help nearly 2,000 Detroit high school graduates attend community college, tuition-free.

The MEEF and the Detroit Regional Chamber will continue to fund the scholarships for the next three years until the Detroit Promise Zone tax capture is permitted in 2018.

For high-school graduates who want to attend community colleges, the Detroit Promise Zone authority was created in March 2016 by Mayor Mike Duggan to dedicate a portion of tax dollars raised by the authority to permanently fund two-year scholarships. As a result, Detroit is now the largest city in the nation to guarantee all its high-school graduates a tuition-free path to a college degree.

View the original article here: http://michronicleonline.com/2016/11/28/governor-and-mayor-announce-pilot-to-expand-detroit-promise-college-scholarship-program-to-four-year-colleges-universities/

Students benefit from Detroit Promise program

The Detroit News 

By Christine Ferretti

November 28, 2016

As he prepared to graduate from Cass Technical High School last school year, Malik Stroughter wasn’t sure college was in the cards.

But the 18-year-old found opportunity in the Detroit Promise, a scholarship program that’s providing free two and four-year degrees to qualifying Detroit high school graduates who attend school and live in the city.

“I had no clue how I was going to get to college. I had no money saved up,” said Stroughter, who is now majoring in business at Macomb Community College and hopes to transition to Wayne State University. “Once I finally got the promise, it was really a weight off my shoulders. I could go to sleep easy at night.”

Stroughter shared his story Monday during a news conference at Detroit’s Communication & Media Arts High School alongside Gov. Rick Snyder, Mayor Mike Duggan, educators and Detroit Regional Chamber officials.

Officials touted expansion of the Detroit Promise and a recently launched pilot program that’s allowing any Detroit high school student who graduates with a 3.0 grade point average or better, and scores more than 21 on the ACT or 1,060 on SAT, the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree tuition-free.

In the current academic year, more than 700 are receiving the two-year or four-year, “last-dollar” scholarships, which cover tuition and other mandatory fees not covered by federal or state grant sources.

Registration is currently open for Detroit high school seniors slated to graduate in 2017. The final date to register for universities is Feb. 1 and June 30 for community colleges, officials said.

The four-year pilot program began with its first group of students this fall. A second group will take part next fall. The effort is paid for with funds raised by the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation, which has launched a campaign in hopes of raising $25 million over the next seven years.

Duggan said 584 students, including Stroughter, received one of the two-year scholarships this fall.

“People who weren’t sure what they were going to do with their lives. That’s how important this is,” Duggan said. “With the governor and the rest of the contribution now, you’re going to have young people choose four years.”

Snyder on Monday said the city’s comeback has been exceptional in recent years. He’s hopeful the scholarships will keep families in the city and grow its workforce.

“It’s important we give opportunities to the people of Detroit, our young people,” he said. “This is a journey. This is not an end point today. We’ve got to continue this work.”

Detroit Promise is a partnership between the Detroit Promise Zone Authority and the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation and is administered by the Detroit Regional Chamber.

In 2011, Snyder announced his intention to provide Detroit high school graduates with a tuition-free path to an associate degree or technical certificate. The Detroit Regional Chamber has administered Detroit Promise since 2013.

In March, Duggan launched the Detroit Promise Zone Authority to permanently dedicate a portion of tax dollars generated by that entity to funding two-year scholarships for all future Detroit high school graduates.

Detroit high school graduates can attend one of five community colleges — Henry Ford, Wayne, Oakland, Macomb or Schoolcraft College — to obtain a two-year degree. The scholarship covers tuition and fees for up to three years, or the time required to earn an associate degree, whichever is less.

It’s been life-changing for Portia Anderson, 18, who is now a freshman at the University of Michigan in Dearborn, pursuing a major in computer science and a minor in biology.

“This helped push away any boundaries I may have had in paying for my education,” said Anderson, who struggled to qualify for funding assistance elsewhere.

Students can visit the Detroit Regional Chamber website for information on eligibility and to register.

View the original article: http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/detroit-city/2016/11/28/detroit-promise/94569868/

Free tuition for Detroiters to add 4-year universities

Detroit Free Press

By Ann Zaniewski

November 28, 2016

A program that provides two years of free college tuition for Detroit residents has been expanded to cover four years of education for students with good grades.

Officials said today that the Detroit Promise program has grown to make the city the largest in the U.S. to give all its students a chance to earn a college degree tuition-free.

“The Detroit Promise is changing lives,” Mayor Mike Duggan said in a news release. “This program is one of the most significant ways we are removing barriers to opportunity for young Detroiters so they can realize their full potential in life without the burden of student debt.”

Detroit Promise pays for tuition costs not covered by grants and other scholarships students receive.

Duggan, Gov. Rick Snyder and other officials touted the expansion at a news conference the same day that registration began for students who will graduate from high school in 2017.

How It Works

To be eligible for two years of free tuition at a community college, students must live in Detroit and have spent their junior and senior years at a high school — whether traditional public, private or charter — in the city. They have to register for the program by June 30. No minimum G.P.A. is required.

The participating community colleges are Henry Ford College, Macomb Community College, Oakland Community College, Schoolcraft College and Wayne County Community College District.

To be eligible for funding at a four-year university or college, Detroit residents must have attended all four years of high school in the city and have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 by Feb. 1 of their senior year, which is also the deadline to register. They need a minimum score of 21 on the ACT or 1060 on the SAT.

Eastern Michigan University, Michigan State University, University of Michigan (all campuses), Wayne State University and Western Michigan University have an unlimited number of scholarships available for Detroit Promise students.

Other participating schools have a limited number of scholarships or different entry requirements for students, such as a different minimum G.P.A. They are Central Michigan University, Marygrove College, Michigan Technological University, Northern Michigan University, Oakland University, Saginaw Valley State University and University of Detroit Mercy, according to the Detroit Regional Chamber’s website.

More than 700 Class of 2016 graduates are attending higher education institutions this fall through Detroit Promise.

Four-year scholarships began this fall and will continue at least through next fall — and likely beyond.

“Our intention is to make this a permanent fixture in the Detroit education landscape,” Sandy Baruah, CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber, said.  The chamber administers the program.

Detroit Promise grew out of an effort in 2013 by the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation and the Detroit Regional Chamber, which created and raised funds for the Detroit Scholarship Fund. The fund has helped more than 2,000 Detroit students attend community college tuition-free.

Detroit Promise is based on a program former Gov. Jennifer Granholm initiated in 2009, creating 10 Promise Zone communities in cities with high poverty rates. Detroit and school districts in Pontiac, Hazel Park, Saginaw, Lansing, Jackson, Benton Harbor, Baldwin and Battle Creek were eligible.

The Promise Zone legislation requires a private organization to fund two years of scholarships before any taxes can be captured. Officials said the MEEF and the Detroit Regional Chamber will continue to fund the scholarships until the Detroit Promise Zone tax capture is permitted in 2018.

Under state rules, the first two years of Promise Zones must be funded through philanthropy. Officials have said that beginning in 2018, Detroit Promise will be funded by increases in property tax revenue based on the 6 mills of the State Education Tax; the program will capture half of any increase in property tax revenue from the education tax.

View the original article here: http://www.freep.com/story/news/education/2016/11/28/detroit-promise-tuition-universities/94553894

Tuition-free, four year college now available to Detroit high school students

Daily Detroit 

By Daily Detroit Staff

November 28, 2016

One of the challenges Detroit faces is education. Not just when it comes to local schools, but the low level of college graduates in the city of Detroit. And nowadays, you most likely need more than a high school education (whether it college or specialized training) to get a good job.

Just 13.1 percent of city residents, per the latest U.S. Census, have a college degree. That compares to 26.4 percent in the state of Michigan, and 29.3 percent nationally.

Detroit Promise, launched in March of this year, is a program that started with funding the two-year education of students. More than 700 class of 2016 high school students from the city of Detroit will be attending community college or university this fall thanks to Detroit Promise.

Detroit Promise is designed to guarantee that in the future every Detroit high school graduate will have the opportunity for two years of tuition-free college education at five local community colleges, whether they graduate from a public, private or charter school.

This commitment was made possible through the Detroit Promise Zone, an authority Mayor Duggan and the Detroit City Council created last fall to dedicate a portion of tax dollars to permanently fund two-year scholarships.

Until the promise zone authority kicks in in 2018, funding is being provided by the Detroit Regional Chamber and the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation (MEEF) as well as other private partners.

“The Detroit Promise is changing lives,” said city of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “This program is one of the most significant ways we are removing barriers to opportunity for young Detroiters so they can realize their full potential in life without the burden of student debt.”

To be clear, the program now offers both two year and four year options.

So how does you or your student qualify?

The pilot program, according to the city and state, will allow any Detroit high school student who graduates with a 3.0 GPA or better, and scores over 21 on ACT or 1060 on SAT, the opportunity to earn a Bachelor’s degree tuition-free. You must be a Detroit resident and attend a Detroit high school for at least two years.

Registration is now open to seniors who live in Detroit and attend any Detroit high school. The final date for registration is February 1 for universities, and June 30 for community colleges.

Detroit Promise staff are also visiting Detroit high schools to explain the program, and interested students can talk to counselors or advisers to get more information.

The Detroit Regional Chamber website has more information on eligibility and to register.

View the original article here: http://www.dailydetroit.com/2016/11/28/tuition-free-four-year-college-now-available-detroit-high-school-students/

Michigan Cements Mobility Leadership with American Center for Mobility Groundbreaking

One of the 2016 “To-Do” list items from the Mackinac Policy Conference is to support the establishment of the American Center for Mobility at Willow Run. A special event, held on Monday, Nov. 21, makes achieving that goal, well on its way.

Gov. Rick Snyder, U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn, John Maddox, president and CEO, American Center for Mobility, and Steve Arwood, CEO, MEDC, as well as some of the state’s top automotive technology leaders were on hand to celebrate the official groundbreaking of the $80-million project in Ypsilanti Township.

“This is a significant day for Michigan,” said Glenn Stevens, executive director of MICHauto at the Detroit Regional Chamber. “We put the world on wheels and now we are leading the world in bringing autonomous vehicles to the world.”

As one of the founding partners of the Michigan Mobility Initiative, MICHauto worked tirelessly to keep the Center’s opening a focus for the state.

Stevens, who sits on the Center’s Land Services Board, has been instrumental in helping establish the legal and financial operating parameters for the testing site.

The Center, located on 335 acres at the existing Willow Run site, is designed to test new and emerging technologies and will play an integral role in positioning Michigan to lead in the race for the connected and autonomous vehicle development.

The Center will be available for use by private industry, government, academia, among others and will serve as a technology hub, allowing companies to lease office space, garages and other amenities.

Construction is scheduled to begin next spring with the Center being open for business by December 2017.

More information on the American Center for Mobility can be found at www.acmwillowrun.org. To learn more about the future of mobility and its importance to Michigan’s ongoing economic resurgence, visit www.planetm.com.

Campbell Joins Plunkett Cooney’s Medical Liability Practice Group

Attorney Joseph A. Campbell recently joined Plunkett Cooney, one of the Midwest’s oldest and largest law firms, as a member of its Medical Liability Practice Group.

A member of the firm’s Detroit office, Campbell focuses his practice primarily in the area of medical malpractice defense. He represents physicians, health systems and hospitals in claims of alleged professional liability and commercial litigation.

“Joe will be a tremendous asset to our medical liability group,” said D. Jennifer Andreou who is co-leader of Plunkett Cooney’s Medical Liability Practice Group. “His experience in the courtroom, plus his ability to resolve complex matters makes him a valuable member of our litigation defense team.”

Campbell also provides corporate legal services to his healthcare industry clients in the areas of business transactions, compliance and fraud, HIPAA compliance, licensing issues, among others.

Admitted to practice in Michigan’s state and federal courts, Campbell received his law degree from Michigan State University College of Law in 2011 and his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado in 2005.

Plunkett Cooney’s Medical Liability Practice Group is comprised of experienced trial attorneys who are dedicated to the rigorous defense of all types of medical malpractice lawsuits. The group’s clients include doctors, pharmacists, chiropractors, dentists, podiatrists, psychologists, psychiatrists, hospitals, medical clinics, mental health facilities and extended care facilities.

In addition to defending medical liability cases, Plunkett Cooney’s attorneys represent their clients before state professional licensing boards to resolve disputes when they arise. They also work with their clients to mitigate risk related to regulatory requirements in the areas of cyber security, HIPAA and numerous other federal laws. Additional healthcare industry services include acquisitions/sales, employment law, estate planning, tax law, real estate and more.

Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney is a leading provider of transactional and litigation services to clients in the private and public sectors. The firm employs approximately 145 attorneys in nine Michigan cities, Chicago, Illinois, Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana. Plunkett Cooney has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, a leading, international directory of law firms.

For more information about Joseph A. Campbell joining Plunkett Cooney, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing and Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008; jcornwell@plunkettcooney.com.

Detroit’s Next Opportunity: A Premier Destination for Health Care Innovation, Investment

With high-quality hospitals, world-renowned programs and nationally recognized research universities and medical schools, the Detroit region is a premier location for innovators, investors and entrepreneurs who want to lead the health care industry. But unfortunately, it remains a hidden jewel.

Promoting that message to industry leaders across the state and country has been a key focus of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s HealthForward initiative this year.

“Despite Southeast Michigan’s robust health care ecosystem, it has not achieved recognition as a national destination for health or a hub of health care innovation and jobs,” said Roy Lamphier, the Chamber’s vice president of health care and business solutions.

Changing that narrative, Lamphier said, builds on the Chamber’s Forward Detroit economic development strategy to sustain Southeast Michigan as one of the fastest growing regions in the country.

“It’s about getting the message out there among professional health care players — hospitals, suppliers, insurers and providers — as well as entrepreneurs — about why Detroit can be a player in the new health economy,” Lamphier said. “Subsequently, that will help attract more talent, investment and jobs for the region.”

To do that, Lamphier said the Chamber has already begun meeting with health care stakeholders to craft the region’s story. He said plans are also underway to convene regional CEOs and C-suite leaders to define the health care story.

“The Chamber is in a position where we touch a large cross-section of the health care industry. Bringing these key players together to think about the future and craft the message we want to tell the rest of the world is in our collective interest,” Lamphier said.

But it is only one piece of the puzzle.

Detroit also ranks at the bottom 20th percentile nationwide in the overall health and wellbeing of its workforce, impacting the competitiveness of the region.

Building on its longtime effort to educate employers on ways to lower costs on care, the Chamber is going a step further by working with business and health leaders to craft a placemaking strategy focused on projects, programs and policies to support healthy communities.

“We’re not focused on creating capacity and adding cost to the system,” Lamphier said. “We want to determine the business agenda on health and tie that agenda to leadership action,” Lamphier said.

Recently, the Chamber partnered with Crain’s Detroit Business for a Health Care Leaders Dinner (pictured) featuring 40 academic, government, health and civic leaders to identify areas where the business community can make an impact on a recurring basis.

“Our end goal is to help businesses make investments that raise the health and well-being of the region’s workforce,” Lamphier said. “The more money we pour into treating sickness is money that could have gone into wages and investment. We need to start investing upstream to get ahead of the curve.”

By both marketing the region’s health care assets and taking steps toward creating a healthy workforce, Lamphier said  Southeast Michigan can craft a vibrant health ecosystem attractive to investment and talent in the 21st century.

For more information on how to get involved with HealthForward, contact Roy Lamphier at rlamphie@detroitchamber.com, or 313.596.0381. For more information on Forward Detroit, contact Marnita Hamilton at mhamilton@detroitchamber.com, or 313.596.0310. To view a full list of investors and past Investor Exclusive content, visit our Investor Resources page.

City of Dearborn 2016 Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and Sing-Along

The City of Dearborn’s 2016 Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and Sing-Along at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center
Monday, December 5, 2016
6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Program Schedule of Events

6:00 p.m.
Dearborn Youth Symphony String Quartet
(Michael A. Guido Theater Lobby)

6:40 p.m.
Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony with Mayor John B. O’Reilly, Jr.
(Theater Circular Drive)

6:50 p.m.
Everyone enters the Michael A. Guido Theater

7:00 p.m.
Dearborn High School Orchestra Performance

7:20 p.m.
Holiday-themed performance featuring the Dearborn Public
Schools Elementary & Secondary Honors Choirs

7:40 p.m.
Christmas Sing-Along with Mayor John B. O’Reilly, Jr.

8:00 p.m.
Visit with Santa Claus in Studio A. Refreshments in the Main Lobby