Destination Detroit’s Economic Development Partners Attract $2.03 Billion, 3,271 New Jobs to Southeast Michigan in Third Quarter of 2016

During the third quarter of 2016, Destination Detroit’s economic development partners directly assisted with the creation of 3,271 new jobs and $2.03 billion in new investment.

The bulk of the new investment during this time was generated by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA US), who in July revealed plans to spend $1.49 billion retooling its Sterling Heights Assembly Plant to accommodate production of the next-generation Ram 1500 pickup truck.

FCA’s announcement isn’t the only recent investment of $1 billion or more for Macomb County. In 2015, General Motors Co. made the decision to commit $1 billion into its historic Warren Technical Center and

Learn more about a few of the projects that helped drive economic growth in the Detroit region from July through September of 2016:

Quarter 3 Project Highlights

Company: FCA US LLC

Location: Sterling Heights

Partner Lead: Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development

New Jobs: 700

New Investment: $1.49 billion

Description: FCA will move production of its next-generation Ram 1500 pickup truck to the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant, committing $1.49 billion to modernize the facility. FCA’s decision, which is now the largest one-time corporate investment in the city of Sterling Height’s history, creates 700 new jobs and secures the future of a plant that had been previously listed for closure during the company’s 2009 bankruptcy. FCA chose Sterling Heights over a number of competing locations across North America.

Company: Fuyao Glass

Location: Plymouth

Partner Lead: Wayne County Department of Economic Development

New Jobs: 533 new jobs, 400 jobs retained

New Investment: $66 million

Description: Fuyao Glass, the world’s largest automotive glass manufacturer, will significantly expand its presence in the Detroit region, investing $66 million in a new logistics and factory facility in Plymouth. Fuyao originally entered the North American market in 2008 with an establishment in Oakland County’s Orion Township. The latest move will consolidate existing operations into one location, but add an additional 533 jobs for a new business unit that will finish the glass before shipping to automakers.

Company: iSource

Location: Flint

Partner Lead: Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce

New Jobs: 45 initial, up to 100 over the next two years

New Investment: $625,000

Description: iSource is a rapidly growing software company that developed a cloud-based web-to-print service. After reaching capacity at its Fenton headquarters, iSource made the decision to relocate to the recently renovated, historic Dryden Building in downtown Flint. The move will initially create 45 new jobs, with the possibility of reaching 100 total personnel over the next two years. The plans are part of the company’s larger vision to create a “tech town” in Flint and play a significant part of the city’s revitalization.

Company: Strongback Properties

Location: Adrian

Partner Lead: Lenawee Now

New Jobs: 0

New Investment: $4.35 million

Description: Strongback Properties is a Michigan-based real estate development firm founded by business partners Steve Hickman and Doug Kapnick. The company is currently renovating three historic, yet blighted buildings in downtown Adrian. Once completed, the project will add 17 new apartments as well as office and retail space to one of the city’s main corridors.

About Destination Detroit

Representing the 11 counties that make up Southeastern Michigan, Destination Detroit is a collaborative business attraction effort led by the Detroit Regional Chamber in partnership with the region’s principal economic development agencies. Each quarter, Destination Detroit aggregates and promotes the investment and job creation results for projects directly impacted by these organizations.

Michigan Hot Jobs! Expo Sizzles with Job Opportunities

The month of March is sizzling with local job opportunities around the Metro Detroit area. Hiring employers are preparing to meet with potential applicants at the Michigan Hot Jobs! Expo happening on March 30.

There is a growing need to hire experienced professionals, college alumni, military veterans and entry-level workers to fill over 500 positions; resumes are being accepted for positions in Engineering, Information Technology, Skilled Trades, Seasonal, Manufacturing, Production, Industrial, General Labor, Customer Services, Retail, Management, Restaurant, Accounting, Banking, Office Support, Clerical, Data Entry, Call Center, Installation, Technical, Machining, Electrical, Mortgage, Financial Planning, Insurance, Education, Truck Driving, Real Estate, Nursing, Rehabilitation, Human Services, and other career fields. will host the Michigan Hot Jobs! Expo to be held on Thursday, March 30, 2017 at the Marriott Hotel located at 3600 Centerpointe Parkway in Pontiac, Michigan from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. We have collaborated with the top employers and recruiters in search for the best candidates. The upcoming event will feature over 500 immediate job openings; including several union skilled trades electrician and boiler operator positions with Fiat Chrysler, armed hospital security positions with Teachout Security Solutions, CDL truck driver positions with  North Star Ranch and caregiver and nursing positions with  Life Center Inc. Participating companies include Global Information Technology, Quicken Loans, The Dako Group, HTC Global Services, Sani-Vac Service, Special Tree Rehabilitation, Mass Mutual of Michigan Metro and many other employers.

Information regarding the upcoming job expo is available on the company website at or by calling 734-956-4550.

Walsh’s Stephanie Bergeron Receives President Emerita Honor

As Walsh College President and CEO Stephanie Bergeron prepares to leave Walsh College in the spring of this year, those who have worked closest with her during her decade at the helm continue to offer their support and show their gratitude for her commitment to the College.

Most recently, Bergeron was notified that Walsh College’s Board of Trustees had voted to bestow upon her the title of President Emerita, which means that even in retirement, Bergeron will hold the title of president of Walsh College.

Board chairman Edward Gwilt informed Bergeron of the decision during a celebration of her career at the College on Jan. 26, and he made it public during Walsh College’s 108th Commencement on Jan. 28.

“We think the world of Stephanie’s leadership and business skills. In our minds and hearts, she will always be a Walsh College president,” Gwilt said. “Her contributions to the College, and to the business community as whole, are lasting, and now so is her title of College president.”

Bergeron joins Jeffery W. Barry as the only two to hold the prestigious title of President Emeritus in Walsh College’s long and storied history.

“I am honored and humbled to receive this title of distinction. I am proud to have served this institution for over 20 years as trustee and then as president and chief executive officer. I have had the opportunity to see the dedication and determination of our students as they pursue earning their degrees,” Bergeron said. “I have seen the impact our 27,000 alumni have in this region – in personal and business leadership roles. I deeply respect and am proud of the faculty and staff and volunteer leaders who make this institution an extraordinary and unique jewel. I close my time in the leadership role in the way that it was started, by acknowledging that this is the ‘best job in Michigan.’”

Earlier this year, College trustees, foundation directors, alumni, and other friends of the College established the Stephanie W. Bergeron Endowed Scholarship. The initial gift that created the scholarship and propelled the tribute campaign was from College trustee William C. Roney and his wife, Joanne.

Fred Upton

Headshot 2012Congressman Fred Upton (MI-06) is proud to represent the commonsense values of Southwest Michigan. In 2010, Upton was selected by his House colleagues to serve as chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, which has jurisdiction over matters concerning energy, health care, the environment, telecommunications, commerce, manufacturing, and trade, as well as oversight and investigations.

Prior to his election to Congress, Upton worked for President Ronald Reagan in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). While at OMB, he learned from President Reagan’s example that it does not matter who gets the credit, as long as the job gets done.

Upton’s top priorities are job creation and economic growth in Southwest Michigan. Upton strongly supports an “all of the above” energy strategy that puts a greater emphasis on domestic energy production, the advancement of breakthrough technologies, and the development of safe nuclear power.

Upton values our constitutional system of government checks and balances. He is focused on ensuring the federal government remains limited, transparent, and accountable, as our Founding Fathers intended. As Energy and Commerce Chairman, Upton has led the over-year-long investigation of Solyndra, the now-bankrupt solar company that was the recipient of a half-billion dollar Department of Energy loan guarantee.

Detroit Regional Chamber Recognizes Local High Schools for FAFSA Completion Improvements with “Race to the FAFSA Line” Challenge

As part of the Detroit Drives Degrees (D3) initiative, which aims to improve regional post-secondary outcomes, the Detroit Regional Chamber today announced winners of its Student Aid Challenge for Southeast Michigan, “Race to the FAFSA Line,” at the Talent Outlook D3 breakfast at the Detroit Athletic Club.

Despite the hard work of school counselors and local college access networks last year, Michigan students left over $90 million of federal aid on the table by not filling out the FAFSA. According to the National College Access Network, high school graduates who complete FAFSA are 63 percent more likely to enroll in college.

The goal of the Challenge was to increase FAFSA completion among high school seniors in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties to 60 percent by July 1, 2017. This year, the Challenge and a variety of other efforts boosted regional FAFSA completion to 48 percent through March 3, compared to 38 percent through the same date one year ago.

The Student Aid Challenge was a collaborative effort involving partners such as the Michigan College Access Network, Detroit College Access Network, Emagine Entertainment, Oakland Schools, Wayne RESA and several local college access networks.

More than 85 schools throughout Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties registered for the competition. 2017 winners included:

  • Grand Prize Winner: Overall Most Improved FAFSA Completion: Trillium Academy – 37 percent improvement since 2016 (Taylor)
  • Most Improved FAFSA Completion for Medium Schools: South Lake High School – 8 percent improvement since 2016 (Saint Clare Shores)
  • Most Improved FAFSA Completion for Large Schools: Western International High School – 8 percent improvement since 2016 (Detroit)
  • Most Innovative FAFSA Completion Strategy: Cornerstone Health & Technology High School – 20 percent improvement since 2016 (Detroit)
  • Highest Overall FAFSA Completion Rate: University High School Academy – 91 percent FAFSA completion rate (Southfield)

As grand prize winner, Trillium Academy will be awarded an all-night senior class party and the four other winners will receive VIP movie screenings, courtesy of Emagine Entertainment.

About the Detroit College Access Network

The Detroit College Access Network (DCAN) is the coordinating body of cross-sector leaders and organizations in Detroit working together to ensure all Detroit students have the opportunity to attend college. Specifically, DCAN serves as the citywide coordinating body for the college access and enrollment strategy at Excellent Schools Detroit. It is a network of organizations – bigger than any one program or initiative – leveraging a collective impact model to align and connect existing programs, schools, businesses and community resources to improve college enrollment and graduation rates for all Detroit students.

About Detroit Drives Degrees

Detroit Drives Degrees (D3) is a catalyst for post-secondary degree attainment in the Detroit region, which is critical to achieving economic prosperity. The goals are to increase access to post-secondary education, improve post-secondary graduation success rates, and retain and attract graduate talent in the region.

About Emagine Entertainment, Inc

Emagine Entertainment’s affiliates own and operate luxury theatres in Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota. Emagine operates theatres with a combined 30,000 seats and 217 screens. Emagine has led the way in bringing luxury theatres to the metropolitan Detroit market with 76 of its 94 auditoriums already converted to power recliner seats. Emagine enjoys the honor and distinction of being named “Best Movie Theatre” for several years running by the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit News, and WDIV television. Emagine is a recognized innovator in the theatrical exhibition industry having been the first theatre chain in the world to convert to 100% digital projection.

About the Michigan College Access Network

The Michigan College Access Network’s mission is to increase college readiness, participation and completion in Michigan, particularly among low-income, first-generation college going students, and students of color. They are a member of the National College Access Network.

Truscott Rossman CEO Named Top Women Owned Business Leader


Truscott Rossman majority owner and CEO, Kelly Rossman-McKinney, received the Grand Rapids Business Journal’s Top Women Owned Business award on March 15. The award recognizes entrepreneurship and business success of women executives leading companies in West Michigan.

Rossman-McKinney won in the category of companies grossing $1.5 million and over annually.

During her remarks, Rossman-McKinney recognized her fellow nominees for their leadership and thanked the women of Grand Rapids for their support and guidance when Truscott Rossman opened its Grand Rapids office in 2011.

“I am truly honored by this recognition. The women of Grand Rapids are very special to me – so many of them offered support and helped open doors when we entered this market,” said Rossman-McKinney. “I encourage women throughout the state to continue to push business boundaries and grow as leaders in their industries.”

Kelly was a trail blazer in her hometown of Lansing becoming CEO of the first woman-owned statewide public relations (PR) firm and first woman-owned PR firm in Lansing 1988. She partnered with John Truscott to open Truscott Rossman in 2011. Since then, the public relations and strategic communications firm has expanded to three offices including Grand Rapids, Lansing and Detroit with over 30 employees. The team works with clients across the state providing a full spectrum of communications services.

Truscott Rossman co-owner and President, John Truscott, applauded Rossman-McKinney’s win. “Kelly’s leadership, strength and creativity are just a few of her traits that set Truscott Rossman apart.” said Truscott. “This is a much-deserved award, and I’m honored to be her business partner, supporter and fan.”

At every step of her career, Rossman-McKinney has been a self-proclaimed “collector of cool chicks,” mentoring, partnering with and supporting the women she meets. She has mentored hundreds of women and inspired countless careers in public relations through her commitment to a strong internship program and mentoring young professionals.

Comau LLC Unveils LIFT Lightweighting Research Lab in Southfield

Comau and LIFT – Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow, opened the doors today to a new LIFT Lab inside the Comau Innovation Center in Southfield. The 1,000-sq. ft. facility will serve as an extension of LIFT’s Corktown research center providing additional collaborative space for LIFT members and partners to conduct lightweighting research along with access to Comau equipment and resources– including a fully equipped metallurgical lab, advanced laser welding lab and a machine shop.

The resource expansion follows the recent announcement by LIFT and IACMI – The Composites Institute, of nearly $50 million in advanced manufacturing equipment and upgrades to their Corktown facility.

LIFT, one of the founding Manufacturing USA institutes, and a part of the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation program, is a Detroit-based public-private partnership dedicated to developing and deploying advanced lightweight metal manufacturing technologies, and implementing education and training programs to better prepare the workforce today and in the future. Comau is one of LIFT’s conveners and inaugural partners.

“Comau has been a proponent of LIFT’s mission since the very beginning,” said Martin Kinsella, Comau LLC and chairman of the LIFT Executive Advisory Council on Education and Workforce Development. “This new lab provides an ideal environment for idea-sharing and partnering among LIFT members and our staff to advance the world of lightweighting.”

“We truly are a network of innovators in the advanced manufacturing industry and we could not be happier with the support Comau has provided from the beginning on our technology projects as well as our workforce development initiatives,” said Lawrence E. Brown, executive director, LIFT. “Expanding our network to facilities like the Comau Innovation Center will allow our members to do more research and help the industry bring more lightweight solutions to market.”

About LIFT

LIFT is a Detroit-based, public-private partnership committed to the development and deployment of advanced lightweight metal manufacturing technologies, and implementing education and training initiatives to better prepare the workforce today and in the future. LIFT is one of the founding institutes of Manufacturing USA, and is funded in part by the Department of Defense with management through the Office of Naval Research.

Visit to learn more.

About Comau

Comau, a member of the FCA Group, is a worldwide leader in delivering advanced industrial automation solutions that integrate products, technologies and services to help companies of all sizes increase plant efficiency while lowering operating costs and optimizing returns. Headquartered in Turin, Italy, Comau has over 40 years of factory-proven experience, and an international network of 34 locations, 15 manufacturing plants and 5 innovation centers that span 17 countries and employ more than 9,000 people. With a strong focus on innovation, Comau is committed to developing competency through the formation of individuals and groups as part of its open automation approach. Comau is driving the future of production automation by engineering lean and sustainable solutions and products. Its modular, flexible and highly-configurable products can be tailored to meet the needs of each individual customer. Through the continuous development of products and services, Comau is able to lead the automation industry in every phase of a project – from design, implementation and installation, to production start-up and maintenance services. Its comprehensive offering includes manufacturing and assembly solutions, powertrain machining, robotics and asset maintenance services for a wide range of industrial sectors.

Visit to learn more.

Walsh College names Dr. Jen O’Meara, Ph.D., to full-time Business Communications faculty

Walsh College has named Jennifer O’Meara, Ph.D., to its full-time faculty as an associate professor in the Business Communications Department.

Dr. O’Meara has served as an adjunct associate professor at Walsh since 2014 in the Business Communications and Information Technology departments. She was previously the chief innovation officer at an internet start-up, where she also served as the information officer, project manager, and social media specialist facilitating internal and external communications, documenting programming requirements, performing quality tests, and creating blog and social media content. She has also served as the chief information officer for a Detroit area medial billing service.

Dr. O’Meara earned her Ph.D. in English Language and Literature, specializing in 16th and 17th century British literature with a focus on 17th century texts related to natural philosophy and natural philosophers, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is also a writer, web developer, and social media strategist, publishing whatever.odt in 2012 and launching her MicroPress in 2014 writing custom children’s books.

She is a board member and the webmaster of the Racquetball Association of Michigan, holds numerous state, regional, and national racquetball titles, and is also a level 1 rider with the Redford Unicycle club.

Spring registration is now in progress and classes begin March 31. Learn more at

Alexandra Bahou

Digital Reporter and Web Producer, WXYZ-TV 7
Alexandra BahouAlexandra Bahou is a digital reporter and web producer for WXYZ-TV 7. Bahou joined the 7 Action News team in 2012 and reports on technology and the internet. She previously served as a digital reporter at the Detroit Free Press where she was nominated for a Michigan Emmy award. Bahou is a graduate of Michigan State University and serves on the board for the Society of Professional Journalists in Detroit.

Plunkett Cooney elects officers to lead board of directors

At a recent meeting of the board of directors of Plunkett Cooney, one of the Midwest’s oldest and largest law firms, partners Michael S. Bogren and Michael P. Ashcraft, Jr. were re-elected as board officers.

Bogren and Ashcraft, both long-time members of the board, were re-elected to serve one-year terms as chairman and secretary/treasurer, respectively.

Bogren is the managing partner of Plunkett Cooney’s Kalamazoo office and has been a member of the board since 2003, serving as chair since 2012. He is a member of the firm’s Governmental Law Practice Group and focuses his practice in the areas of municipal law, civil rights and labor and employment law.

A 1982 cum laude graduate of University of Detroit School of Law, Bogren has extensive experience representing municipalities in both state and federal court claims involving police liability, due process matters, First Amendment issues, alleged violations of the Michigan Open Meetings and Freedom of Information acts, zoning disputes and employment law.

Bogren is a member of several professional organizations, including the Kalamazoo County Bar Association, State Bar of Michigan (Public Corporations and Real Property sections), American Bar Association and International Municipal Lawyers Association.

Ashcraft is a partner in the firm’s Bloomfield Hills office. In addition to his duties as a member of the board, he serves as Plunkett Cooney’s Professional Liability Practice Group Leader and as general counsel to the firm.

One of the state’s leading professional liability attorneys, Ashcraft concentrates his practice primarily on the defense of attorneys and accountants in malpractice claims. He also represents insurance brokers and agents, securities brokers, real estate brokers and agents, investment advisors, officers and directors, and notaries public in professional liability cases in state and federal courts.

Admitted to state and federal courts in Michigan and Nebraska, Ashcraft graduated, cum laude, from Michigan State University College of Law in 1992. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in 1987. Ashcraft is a member of the Oakland County Bar Association’s Negligence Section, the State Bar of Michigan’s Professional Ethics Committee and the American Bar Association’s Committee on Professional Responsibility and Liability.

Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney is a leading provider of business and litigation services to clients in the private and public sectors. The firm employs approximately 150 attorneys in nine Michigan cities, Columbus, Ohio; Chicago, Illinois and Indianapolis, Indiana.

Plunkett Cooney has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, a leading, international directory of law firms, and it was named by American Lawyer Media’s as a “go-to” law firm in 2016. The firm has also received several awards naming it among the top workplaces in the legal industry.

For more information about Plunkett Cooney’s recent board officer election, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing & Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008 or via email at