Vice President Mike Pence Touts “Booming” American Economy During Detroit Visit

On Monday, Aug. 19, Vice President Mike Pence visited Detroit for his third speaking engagement with the Detroit Economic Club. The vice president spoke to regional business leaders about the administration’s commitment to supporting the middle class and continuing economic progress through tax reductions, strategic trade deals, and reduced government regulation.

The program began with an appearance and remarks from Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, who expressed excitement about the development happening in Detroit, noting that “Detroit’s story is the nation’s story.”

Pence then provided attendees with an update on the state of the American economy. In highlighting the strengths of the nation’s economy, he acknowledged Detroit’s workforce and major industries as key drivers of the success he reported has occurred under the current administration.

“The auto industry is roaring back here in Michigan and across the heartland,” Pence said.

Pence cited tax reductions, low unemployment, and the creation of opportunity zones across the country’s economically distressed communities, including 70 in Detroit, among the administration’s top accomplishments to date.

The vice president also emphasized the importance of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) for continued economic security.

“The USMCA is completed, and support is growing in Congress by the day,” Pence said. He continued by noting that the USMCA levels the playing field for American workers and can serve as a template for future trade deals.

In closing, Pence expressed his confidence in the stability and growth of America’s economy and promised to continue the work the administration’s been doing to ensure it.

“We’ll keep America thriving.”

Opinion: Restoring Pell Grants to prisoners benefits us all

August 16, 2019 

Detroit Free Press

By Greg Handel and Margaret diZerega

In 2017, Michigan recorded the lowest recidivism rates since the state began keeping track of the measure. Driving this is the growing realization that our society has not done a good job setting up formerly incarcerated people for success upon their release. When the announcement was made last year, Heidi Washington, director of the Michigan Department of Corrections, credited the decline to investments the state made in prison education, which makes perfect sense.

The ability to secure a job upon release contributes to increased public safety because people who are employed are far less likely to commit crimes than those who are not.

The state’s low unemployment rate has opened up more jobs opportunities for those who might have been overlooked in the past. But they will need the skills employers are seeking because virtually all jobs today require some form of postsecondary education.

It should come as little surprise then that people who receive some form of postsecondary education while in prison are far less likely to reoffend than those who don’t.

Unfortunately, there are state and federal barriers to postsecondary education in prison, such as the ban on Pell Grants for people in prison, set in place by Congress in 1994.

Today, an estimated 65% of the 1.5 million people in prison, are Pell Grant eligible but cannot access federal tuition assistance because of the Pell Grant ban, according a report by the Vera Institute called “Investing in Futures.” This barrier to access will stand in the way of making continued progress in reducing prison populations in Michigan and beyond.

Not only do accredited, postsecondary courses in prisons dramatically reduce recidivism rates, they also cut costly state prison expenditures. Right now, Michigan spends around $1.5 billion per year on its prisons. Vera’s report found reduced recidivism rates would save Michigan $10.7 million in decreased prison costs per year, while also providing employers with a larger pool of skilled workers to hire.

The report also found that expanding access to these courses also leads to safer and more prosperous communities for everyone by providing individuals with greater economic opportunity upon release from prison. For example, Vera estimates that lifting the ban would increase employment rates among formerly incarcerated students by an average of 10%, resulting in an increase in combined earnings among all formerly incarcerated people by $45.3 million during the first year of release alone.

This issue was part of an event that the Detroit Regional Chamber, the Vera Institute for Justice and Corrections to Colleges California co-hosted earlier this summer with support from Bank of America. Experts from Michigan’s business, higher education and corrections communities delved into the findings of Vera’s “Investing in Futures” and Corrections to Colleges California’s “Don’t Stop Now” reports. While the business community continues to rally in support of expanding access to postsecondary education, legislators from both sides of the aisle are mobilizing, too.

Just weeks ago, the Trump administration announced an expansion to the Second Chance Pell Experimental Sites Initiative, a U.S. Department of Education program that provides need-based tuition assistance to people in prison through a partnership with 65 colleges and universities in 27 states, including Michigan.

In addition, there are growing calls within Congress to repeal the Pell Grant ban either through the recent reintroduction of the REAL Act, or the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. We hope that Congress and the White House will seize the opportunity and make repealing the ban the next step in criminal justice reform.

Greg Handel is vice president of education and talent initiatives for the Detroit Regional Chamber. Margaret diZerega is project director at the Center for Sentencing and Corrections at the Vera Institute of Justice.

Read the original article here.

Inc. Magazine Unveils Its Annual List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies—the Inc. 5000

For the 2nd Time, Fakhoury Global Immigration appears on the Inc. 5000, Ranking No. 4494 With Three-Year Revenue Growth of Over 66 Percent

NEW YORK, August 14, 2019 – Inc. magazine today revealed that Fakhoury Global Immigration (FGI) is No. 4494 on its annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses. Microsoft, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, Pandora, Timberland, LinkedIn, Yelp, Zillow, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees on the Inc. 5000. As Fakhoury Global Immigration’s founder and Managing Director, Rami D. Fakhoury states:

“The great distinction of making the Inc. 5000 list is a testament to our immigration team’s thought leadership and expertise, our ability to provide successful talent mobility strategies to our clients, and our commitment to continual improvement. All of these have enabled Fakhoury Global Immigration to achieve approval rates that are higher than the national average and have contributed to our impressive financial growth.”

Not only have the companies on the 2019 Inc. 5000 (which are listed online at Inc.com, with the top 500 companies featured in the September issue of Inc., available on newsstands August 20) been very competitive within their markets, but the list as a whole shows staggering growth compared with prior lists. The 2019 Inc. 5000 achieved an astounding three-year average growth of 454 percent, and a median rate of 157 percent. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue was $237.7 billion in 2018, accounting for 1,216,308 jobs over the past three years.

Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at www.inc.com/inc5000.

“The companies on this year’s Inc. 5000 have followed so many different paths to success,” says Inc. editor in chief James Ledbetter. “There’s no single course you can follow or investment you can take that will guarantee this kind of spectacular growth. But what they have in common is persistence and seizing opportunities.

The annual Inc. 5000 event honoring the companies on the list will be held October 10 to 12, 2019, at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Arizona. As always, speakers include some of the greatest innovators and business leaders of our generation.

About Fakhoury Global Immigration, USA PC

Fakhoury Global Immigration, USA PC (FGI) is the largest independent immigration law firm in Michigan and one of the largest in the United States. FGI’s team of over 150 immigration professionals, 30 of whom are US immigration attorneys, represent the immigration interests of the world’s leading and most innovative brands in the fields of automotive, architecture, engineering, health care, and information technology. In addition to our headquarters in Troy, Michigan, FGI has offices in California, New York, Miami, Toledo (Ohio), Dallas, Denver, and Mumbai. FGI’s thought leadership and proven strategies have enabled us to score approval ratings higher than the national average year after year.

CONTACT:

Melanie Mitchell, Executive Assistant to the Managing Director
Phone: 248-643-4900
melaniem@employmentimmigration.com

More about Inc. and the Inc. 5000

Methodology

The 2019 Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2015 and 2018. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2015. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2018. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2015 is $100,000; the minimum for 2018 is $2 million. As always, Inc. reserves the right to decline applicants for subjective reasons. Companies on the Inc. 500 are featured in Inc.’s September issue. They represent the top tier of the Inc. 5000, which can be found at http://www.inc.com/inc5000.

About Inc. Media

Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures, Inc. is the only major brand dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies, with the aim to deliver real solutions for today’s innovative company builders. Inc. took home the National Magazine Award for General Excellence in both 2014 and 2012. The total monthly audience reach for the brand has been growing significantly, from 2,000,000 in 2010 to more than 20,000,000 today. For more information, visit www.inc.com.

The Inc. 5000 is a list of the fastest-growing private companies in the nation. Started in 1982, this prestigious list has become the hallmark of entrepreneurial success. The Inc. 5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony is an annual event that celebrates the remarkable achievements of these companies. The event also offers informative workshops, celebrated keynote speakers, and evening functions.

For more information on Inc. and the Inc. 5000 Conference, visit http://conference.inc.com/.

GLMCC Supports Passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement

DETROIT, Aug. 13, 2019 – The Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition (GLMCC) calls for passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), after careful vetting with coalition members.

The USMCA essentially modernizes NAFTA to be more compatible with the economic environment of the present. It is especially crucial for the Great Lakes region that North American countries maintain strong trade relationships. Eight U.S. states and two Canadian provinces make up the region and are responsible for 50 percent of the goods transported across the northern border, making it a $6 trillion economy.

The Great Lakes region has considerable impact on North American trade with the rest of the world,” said Dottie Gallagher, president and CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. “Free and balanced trade with Canada and Mexico is an essential component to building strong economies in the communities throughout the Great Lakes region.”

North American trade supports 12 million U.S. jobs, and the GLMCC recognizes the absolute necessity of preserving those positions. GLMCC has long held a “do no harm” position on any trade policy. In this case, upholding that policy prompts urging the Trump Administration and Congress to approve the USMCA.

“Facilitating secure and mutually beneficial trading between the U.S., Canada and Mexico continues to be a priority for our region,” said Joe Roman, president and CEO of Greater Cleveland Partnership, “Passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement is essential to maintain strong relationships with both countries.”

The legislatures of all three countries involved in the USMCA must approve the changes before it can be implemented. Mexico was the first do so in June 2019. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made efforts to have discussions with President Trump concerning the deal. The Trump Administration is set on passing the USMCA with Congress this year.

The most prominent features of the USMCA include higher thresholds for automotive rules of origin and exemption from steel and aluminum tariffs for Mexico and Canada. A new “sunset” mechanism also is proposed, meaning the USMCA would have a 16-year term and be reviewed for renewal every six years.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, please contact Sarah Johnson at sjohnson@gcpartnership.com or 216-592-2283, or visit www.greatlakesmetrochambers.com.

ABOUT THE GLMCC: The Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition is a collective of chambers of commerce across the Great Lakes region that jointly advocates on core policy issues, including water quality, immigration reform, trade, transportation, and infrastructure. Since its founding in 2008, the coalition has become a leading and effective voice on federal policy impacting the Great Lakes region.

 

Van Hyfte joins Plunkett Cooney’s Commercial Litigation Practice Group

Associate attorney Laura A. Van Hyfte recently joined Plunkett Cooney, one of the oldest and largest law firms in the Midwest, as the newest member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Practice Group.

Van Hyfte has particular expertise in the areas of real property, contract disputes and resort-area land use and development. A member of the firm’s Bloomfield Hills office, Van Hyfte also has experience handling issues involving downtown development authorities, municipal planning and TIF funding.

Admitted to practice before the state and federal courts in Michigan and before the tribal courts of Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Van Hyfte received both her law and undergraduate degrees from the University of Michigan.

Plunkett Cooney’s Commercial Litigation Practice Group represents a broad range of clients in litigation, arbitration and other forms of alternative dispute resolution concerning matters that arise while conducting business. Practice group members have extensive experience in matters involving contract disputes, business torts, real estate disputes, business ownership conflicts, bankruptcy, antitrust claims, corporate compliance issues, tax and finance issues, commercial collections, commercial landlord tenant, civil RICO, ERISA, intellectual property claims and many other areas.

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 140 attorneys in eight 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. The firm was also recently selected by Crain’s Detroit Business as its inaugural Law Firm of the Year.

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

####

LIFT Opens Doors to Advanced Manufacturing Learning Lab in Corktown

Detroit-based LIFT – Lightweight innovations For Tomorrow has opened the doors on its 6,500 SF immersive Learning Lab, located in the LIFT Manufacturing Innovation Institute in Corktown.

Eight unique labs are equipped to prepare incoming students for the most in-demand manufacturing careers, with K-12, community and technical college, and university programs.
CNC Operations and Welding Technician Training Centers, maker spaces for hands-on fabrication, as well as labs to learn Smart Factory basics and explore materials science and metrology are available to partnering organizations.

Detroit’s University Prep Science and Math High School (UPrep) will be utilizing the Fundamental Skills Development and Project Fabrication labs during the 2019-2020 school year. UPrep Schools will roll out the “IGNITE: Mastering Manufacturing” curriculum to students in the Learning Lab to produce the “multi-skilled technician” needed in today’s workplace.

Looking ahead, additional schools, organizations and businesses are invited to partner with LIFT to provide education in a real, working advanced manufacturing setting.

For more information, please visit https://lift.technology or contact LIFT Communications Director, Joe Steele at c: 734-233-4567, jsteele@almmii.org.

About LIFT – Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow
LIFT is a Detroit-based, public-private partnership committed to the development and deployment of advanced lightweight materials 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.

Sean C. Griffin Elected to Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel Board of Directors

Detroit – August 6, 2019 — Dykema, a leading national law firm, is proud to announce that Sean C. Griffin, a Member in Dykema’s Washington, D.C., office, was named to the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel’s (FDCC) Board of Directors. The FDCC named Griffin as a director on August 3 during its annual meeting.
The FDCC is composed of recognized leaders in the legal community who have achieved professional distinction, and are dedicated to promoting knowledge, fellowship, and professionalism of its members as they pursue the course of a balanced justice system and represent those in need of a defense in civil lawsuits.
Griffin focuses his practice on commercial litigation and specializes in cases involving allegations of breach of contract or fraud. His experience includes litigating cases in federal and state courts and arbitration panels around the country. Griffin also responds to subpoenas investigating violations of federal or state laws, including the False Claims Act, the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and securities laws. Additionally, he assists clients with data security and responding to data breaches and is an IAPP Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US).
After graduating from Columbia University School of Law, Sean clerked for the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. After his clerkship, he worked as a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, where he handled commercial litigation trials and appeals as well as government contract and construction litigation.
About Dykema
Dykema serves business entities worldwide on a wide range of complex legal issues. Dykema lawyers and other professionals in 13 U.S. offices work in close partnership with clients – from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies – to deliver outstanding results, unparalleled service and exceptional value in every engagement.
###

Walsh and Washtenaw Community College Sign Articulation and Reverse Transfer Agreement

TROY, Mich., Aug. 6, 2019 — Walsh and Washtenaw Community College (WCC) have signed an additional articulation agreement solidifying both institutions’ longstanding commitment to provide a clear and accessible pathway to higher education. The agreement offers more flexibility because it applies to any student meeting the minimum requirements for a bachelor of accountancy, bachelor of business administration, or bachelor of science in information technology degree at Walsh, rather than requiring specific degree to degree transfers. The agreement is effective until March 2022 and subject to review for continuation at that time.

Under the agreement, students may continue to transfer up to 82 semester credits, which has been the case at Walsh for many years. Students also have the ability to concurrently enroll in both schools and transfer credits from Walsh back to WCC to earn their associate degree while pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Financial aid eligible students who are enrolled at both schools in the same semester should contact Walsh to inquire about setting up an individual consortium agreement. Additionally, all community college students who transfer with a grade point average of 3.5 or higher are eligible to receive the Community College Excellence Award Scholarship from Walsh.

“This articulation agreement continues our longstanding partnership with Washtenaw Community College and demonstrates our mutual commitment to providing options for students to obtain high quality education and pathways to career success,” said Marsha Kelliher, President and CEO, Walsh.

“We are excited to continue our relationship with Walsh through this comprehensive agreement that covers our accounting, business and information technology programs as well as a reverse transfer option for students who transfer prior to completing an associate degree,” said Dr. Kimberly Hurns, Vice President of Instruction, WCC. “This agreement allows students to save more money by completing 82 hours at Washtenaw and then transferring to an excellent institution that combines theory with real-world application. The synergy between the approaches to learning of both WCC and Walsh make this a great path for many of our students.”

For more information about Walsh, visit www.walshcollege.edu/future-students

For more information about Washtenaw Community College, visit www.wccnet.edu/for/future-students

# # #

ABOUT WALSH
Walsh is an all-business, private, independent, not-for-profit, fully accredited college offering undergraduate and graduate business and technology degrees, as well as certificate programs. Founded in 1922, Walsh is one of Southeast Michigan’s largest graduate business schools, offering classes in several locations and online. Our nationally-ranked programs integrate theory and application to prepare graduates for successful careers. Walsh degree programs include accounting, finance, information technology, human resources, management, marketing, taxation and other fields. For more information, please visit www.walshcollege.edu.

Walsh is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (www.hlcommission.org) and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (www.acbsp.org).

About Washtenaw Community College
Washtenaw Community College (WCC) has made education accessible and affordable for the local community for more than 50 years. Located in Ann Arbor, MI, the College offers over 120 degrees and certificates, an open door admission policy and affordable tuition rates. WCC is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, the regional accrediting organization recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Butzel Long attorney Rebecca S. Davies featured during NAAAHR State of Michigan Conference August 26 and 27 in Novi

DETROIT, Mich. – Butzel Long attorney and shareholder Rebecca S. Davies is a featured speaker during the 2019 National Association of African Americans in Human Resources (NAAAHR) State of Michigan Conference August 26 and 27 in Novi. Her presentation is titled, “Wage and Hour Update.”

Davies concentrates her practice primarily in the areas of employment law and commercial litigation. She represents employers in federal and state court litigation and before state and federal administrative agencies.
She has represented both the private and public sectors for nearly 20 years including companies with two to 20,000 employees. In the public sector, she has represented numerous municipalities, libraries, counties and government authorities.

Davies has had repeated success both in and out of the courtroom. In federal court, she has received no cause verdicts in the defense of employment and commercial jury trials. In state court, she has obtained numerous dismissals and favorable settlements in a wide range of employment disputes, including harassment, wrongful termination, employment discrimination and wage claims.

She also has repeatedly obtained dismissals of charges before federal and state administrative agencies. Her greatest successes, however, may be her efforts to prevent litigation. She has regularly counseled employers regarding compliance under federal and state employment laws (including FLSA, FMLA, ADA and Title VII), drafted employment policies, and advised on preventative strategies.

In 2018, Davies was named a 2018 “Best of MichBusiness Awards” recipient. She also facilitates two monthly affinity groups of human resource professionals for MichiBusiness. She also was named a “2017 Honoree for Michigan Women in the Law” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. In addition, she is a frequent author and lecturer, not only for client in-house trainings and publications, but also outside organizations including Walsh College, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Automation Alley and the American Society of Employers.

At the same time, Davies is an adjunct faculty member at Walsh College, where she teaches the SHRM-CP/SCP certification courses as well as general business law courses. Davies is active in national and local legal associations and regularly volunteers in her community.
Davies is a regular contributor to the annual supplement for the American Bar Association’s The Fair Labor Standards published by BNA. She also serves on the Board and was the past Chair of the North American Transportation Employee Relations Association (NATERA). She is a member and previously served as the Chair for the Labor and Employment Section for the Oakland County Bar Association. She serves on the Workforce and Education Committee for Oakland County.

Davies earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan at Dearborn and a juris doctorate, magna cum laude, from the Detroit College of Law in 1995. She completed her master’s degree in 2010 from Wayne State University Law School by obtaining her L.L.M. with a GPA of 3.79 in Labor and Employment Law.

About Butzel Long

Butzel Long is one of the leading law firms in Michigan and the United States. It was founded in Detroit in 1854 and has provided trusted client service for more than 160 years. Butzel’s full-service law offices are located in Detroit, Bloomfield Hills, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, NY; and, Washington, D.C., as well as alliance offices in Beijing and Shanghai. It is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Learn more by visiting www.butzel.com or follow Butzel Long on Twitter: https://twitter.com/butzel_long

Michiganders Aren’t Polarized, They Want to Talk Kitchen Table Issues

By Brad Williams

Detroit made national headlines last week as the second round of Democratic presidential debates took place in the city’s own historic Fox Theatre. From immigration and climate change to foreign policy and health care, candidates outlined and defended their respective plans to lead the nation. Ahead of the debates, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer spoke to CNN’s Jake Tapper and to the attendees and shared some advice for the 20 presidential hopefuls as they prepared to address Michiganders and the country: “Stay focused on the fundamentals.”

She talked about the “kitchen table issues” like fixing roads and clean drinking water, which she championed during her campaign. Whitmer advised the candidates to attach bigger ideas and topics, like health care and climate change, to the daily lives of people.

What are the fundamentals important to Michiganders? The week before the debates, the Detroit Regional Chamber shared results from a statewide survey gauging what’s on the minds of Michigan voters. From immigration to trade, constituents are in consensus over most national issues. Results reflect a political center, not polarization. In other words, voters are not nearly as divided as Twitter or cable news would lead one to believe.

For example, a clear majority of Michigan voters believe immigrants are good for the state’s economy. 93.7% believe it’s important to receive a postsecondary education or certificate. An overwhelming majority of Michigan voters support fixing the Soo Locks. The only exception to a consensus on issues was health care. Michigan voters are split on health care, with 51.5% opposing the elimination of private insurance in favor of a “Medicare for All” plan.

During the debates, we saw candidates like Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders defend Medicare for All while former vice president Joe Biden and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg offered a more middle ground approach, retaining private insurance while still providing Medicare.

The candidates — not all of them, but a good chunk — spoke to a Michigan general election audience in a way that we’ve not seen in this campaign so far. Whoever wins the election next November almost certainly is going to need to win Michigan. We saw an awareness of that from the candidates.

Although the poll doesn’t reflect what’s on the minds of all Americans, results are comparable to what is happening throughout the Midwest. And the Midwest is going to determine how this election goes. There is a common sensibility among Midwesterners.

There may be some individuals on the fringes of issues in Michigan, both left and right, but most Michiganders live in the center. There isn’t a great divide. As the survey illustrates, Michigan voters are going to be attracted to candidates with concrete solutions to solve real problems.

Read results from the survey here.

Brad Williams is vice president of government relations for the Detroit Regional Chamber.