Snyder leads 8-day trade mission in Europe

April 20, 2018

Crain’s Detroit Business

By: Kurt Nagl

Gov. Rick Snyder is in Vienna, Austria, on Thursday for the first part of an eight-day trade mission in Europe focused on spurring investment in manufacturing, mobility and tourism.

The governor will attend a large technology trade fair in Germany and meet with dozens of business owners and government leaders in Austria, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. The mission trip began Wednesday and runs through next Wednesday, according to a news release from the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

From Vienna, Snyder will travel to the U.K., where he will visit mobility plants and attend the British Motor Museum to tout Michigan’s automobile culture and build awareness of the state as a travel destination. The museum will feature an exhibit on the life of auto pioneer Henry Ford.

Snyder will travel from Britain to Germany for the Hannover Messe — the world’s largest technology trade fair — where he will meet executives from global auto suppliers and manufacturers. The mission to Hannover starts Saturday and continues through April 27. It is sponsored by Automation Alley, a nonprofit tech and manufacturing association based in Troy.

During the Hannover Messe floor walk, the governor will visit about 30 companies’ booths, including KUKA, ZF Friedrichshafen AG, ABB Group, Faurecia, Andritz AG and Dassault Systems. “He will also meet with the 2018 partner country of Hannover Messe, Mexico, to solidify our relationship,” MEDC spokeswoman Kathleen Achtenberg said in an email.

Other company meetings and tours will be with Millbrook Group, Aston Martin and Austrian companies with a Michigan presence at a networking event in Austria, she said.

During the Germany leg of the trip, Snyder is joined by executives of companies including Duggan Manufacturing LLC, based in Shelby Township; LHP Engineering Studios, based in Pontiac; OPS Systems, based in Wixom; Managed Programs LLC, based in Auburn Hills; Material Handling Systems Inc., based in Rochester Hills; and Zero Gravity Filters Inc., based in Brighton. They will take part in the MEDC’s booth at the Hannover trade fair.

Business partners pay their own way for the trip and it is arranged by Automation Alley, said Lisa Lasser, international business services manager at the nonprofit.

OPS Systems is participating in the German trade fair for the first time since opening an office in Prague earlier this month, Bill Coe, vice president of regional sales for OPS Systems, said in an email.

“(OPS) will introduce our expanded presence while developing deeper relationships with our growing European customer base and look to develop additional opportunities,” he said.

The following MEDC officials are also participating in the trip: CEO Jeff Mason, auto sector Senior Vice President Kevin Kerrigan and Travel Michigan Vice President Dave Lorenz.

Others joining include Alan Weber, economic development director for the city of Novi; Rochelle Freeman, business and economic development director for the city of Southfield; Will Butler, business development representative of the Detroit Regional Chamber; Jack Johns, project coordinator for the Macomb County Planning and Economic Development department; and John Wolf-Meyer, business development manager for the Oakland County Economic Development department.

The local partners pay their own way, and their trip is not arranged by the MEDC or Automation Alley, Lasser said.

The MEDC news release cited four recent investments in Michigan from European companies as an example of the trade mission’s purpose: Infineon Technologies Americas Corp., NAVYA Inc., Siliconature Corp. and HP Pelzer Automotive Systems Inc.

Snyder and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley have traveled to France, Ireland, Italy, Canada, China, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Columbia, Israel, Switzerland and India on trade missions.

 

View the original post from Crain’s Detroit Business here.

Trying Not to Become Another Statistic

By Vanessa Yates

I have been writing and telling stories my whole life. I have always had a quirky personality, and at 20 years old, I now cherish who I am. That wasn’t always the case. My family had very little money growing up. My torn clothes and “annoying” enthusiasm quickly turned me into a target for bullying. Today, I’m more confident in who I am, but I still fight against the odds for my education and well-being.

My name is Vanessa Yates. I am in my second semester at Wayne County Community College District (WCCCD) but I hope to transfer to a university soon. My interest in storytelling is the main reason I’m excited to write for Detroit Drives Degrees. Through this opportunity, I can share students’ experiences that tell the story behind the education data in Southeast Michigan. These stories will be shared with the goal to inspire students, business leaders and the greater community to prioritize education in our region. I am truly fascinated by the stories I hear every day from my peers and believe they deserve to be heard.

Goal to Graduate

I was 12 when I moved to Detroit and started middle school at Phoenix Academy in Southwest Detroit, which closed a few years after the state’s Education Achievement Authority took over. I was smart but made mediocre grades because it was hard for me to concentrate at school with bullying and having a shy personality.

At home, I spent afternoons driving to nicer neighborhoods with my mom and sister to look through garbage and find scrap metal. We junked the metal to feed my family; it is how we made ends meet.

My situation at home and bullying in school took its toll on my confidence until I did not feel like myself. This continued through high school, where I attended Western International High School. While at Western, I battled depression for the whole four years of my attendance. Most of my teachers saw potential in me, but my grades went up and down along with my emotions. I almost thought I would not graduate.

Finally, senior year came and I started to pull my grades up because I was determined to graduate and even attend college, I just had no idea how I was going to pull it off. Things were going great until halfway through the year my dad had a heart attack and lost his job. This left my family in a dire financial situation, but I still graduated on time in 2016.

My father’s recovery prevented me from starting college right away and I went to work full-time at a plastics factory to support my family. When my father finally recovered, I moved out, filled out my FAFSA and started college in fall of 2017.

Living Against the Odds

Today, I work 35 hours a week at Chipotle Mexican Grill and take four classes at WCCCD. I’m able to manage my bouts of depression and in between my classes, I walk the campus trying to spark conversations and collect stories.

I live with my sister, her boyfriend, their daughter, my best friend, and my girlfriend. We share one car and work around each other’s separate schedules for work, school, cheerleading practice, grocery shopping, doctor appointments, and other errands.

When I have free time, I either sit on the couch watching animation or explore Michigan’s natural parks. Lately, I have not had as much free time because my girlfriend is sick and we are constantly in and out of the hospital and missing classes because she is in pain. Life is tough so it is good that we have a house full of people to support us.

I’m determined to transfer to a four-year university and graduate with a bachelor’s degree, but I know I’m going against the odds. At Western University, only 6 percent of the 2011 high school graduates earned a four-year degree six years after graduation. I’m committed to being part of that six percent and I hope that efforts through Detroit Drives Degree and others can help increase that number. I’m really only beginning my college journey and I have a long way to go before I’m successful. Doing well in my classes is the easy part; it is the rest I am still trying to figure out.

When my friends and I left home, we built this support system and, in a way we built our own family. I did not have much support when I was younger and I made it through. I’m confident that my experience overcoming challenges and my new support will help me through this phase of my journey.

Life can sometimes feel like a beaver dam. As much as you want your river to flow easy, sometimes things can block your path and pressure can build. When the pressure is too much on me, I rely on the bonds of family and friends; sometimes just laughing and being there for each other is enough to get me through another week.

Butzel Long immigration attorney to discuss ‘Fact Checking the Immigration Process’ on April 22 in Troy

Butzel Long attorney and shareholder, Bushra Malik, will co-present a program titled, “Fact Checking the Immigration Process,” from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday, April 22 at St. Thomas More Church in Troy.

The other presenter is Rebecca Robichaud, assistant (clinical) professor, assistant director of externships, Wayne State University Law School. The program is sponsored by the South Oakland Vicariate Justice & Peace Committee and Neighbors in Faith.

Malik practices in the area of immigration law, focusing on the representation of multinational and domestic clients’ inbound and global migration needs. Her experience includes Employment-based (Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Researcher, Multinational Manager, and PERMs) and Family based Permanent Residence Petitions Non-Immigrant Petitions (H-1B/Specialty Occupation, J-1/ Exchange Visitor, L-1/Intracompany Transfers, O-1/Extraordinary Ability, TN/ NAFTA); Employer Compliance (I-9 Audits and H-1B Public Access File Audits); J-1 waivers; Compliance under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiate (WHTI); U.S. Passports; complex naturalization matters; and currency seizures.

She has extensive experience in securing work and residence permits for numerous countries around the globe, including: China, India, Canada, Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, Malaysia, Hungary, Poland, Italy, and Belgium. Malik routinely represents clients at U.S. Ports of Entry, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services District Office, U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad, various Foreign Embassies and Consulates.

Prior to joining Butzel Long, Malik was a Vice Consul for the United States Foreign Service, Department of State in Seoul, South Korea. She also worked with the Executive Office of Immigration Review at the Chicago Immigration Court and had externships with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in New Delhi, India, and the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service, Office of the General Counsel in Washington, DC.

Malik is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the American Bar Association, the South Asian Bar Association, the Michigan Muslim Bar Association, and the Japanese Business Society of Detroit.

Malik is currently serving as a member of the Steering Committee of AILA’s Global Migration Section (GMS). She also currently serves on the Executive Committee for the Michigan Chapter of AILA as the Vice Chair, and previously served on the Executive Committee for the Michigan Chapter of AILA as the Treasurer and the Secretary. Malik previously served on the AILA Department of State National Liaison Committee; AILA Customs and Border Protection National Liaison Committee; Program Chair of the 2015 AILA Global Immigration Forum; and has presented at numerous AILA National, AILA GMS and AILA Rome District conferences. She also previously served as the Chair of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service Liaison Committee for the Michigan Chapter of AILA. Malik speaks Hindi, Japanese and Urdu.

Malik is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School (J.D., 1998) and Michigan State University’s James Madison College (B.A. in International Relations with High Honors, 1996 and an additional major in Japanese and Certificate of Asian Studies). She is listed in The Best Lawyers in America (Immigration Law) and was named one of DBusiness magazine’s Top Lawyers in the field of immigration 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

American Society of Employers (ASE) Welcomes 16 New Members

The American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations providing people-management information and services to Michigan employers for 115 years, announces 16 organizations joined ASE as members during the first quarter of 2018. The organizations are:

• CAN Council Great Lakes Bay Region, a leader in children’s’ advocacy, located in Saginaw and Bay City, MI, working to address children’s and families’ needs and create a better community for children.

• City of Mount Pleasant, a city in central Michigan with over 26,000 residents and home to Central Michigan University.

• Flint Cultural Center Corporation, a nonprofit organization committed to making sure the Flint Cultural Center continues to be a vibrant and comfortable gathering place.

• Gerdau Special Steel, a manufacturer of engineered steel bars located in Jackson, MI.

• GNS – Merit Technologies Worldwide, a full-service supplier of metal formed parts and assemblies located in Canton, MI.

• Hollingsworth, a lead logistics provider to the manufacturing and distribution communities that is headquartered in Dearborn, MI.

• Hosco Holdings, a manufacturer and global marketer of smooth bore, “cavity-free” stainless steel fittings and accessories designed specifically for the use in manual or automated paint circulating and application finishing systems located in Wixom, MI.

• Ideal Contracting, a certified minority (MBE) General Contractor/Construction Manager headquartered in Detroit, MI.

• John N. Santeiu & Son, Inc., a family owned and operated full service funeral home in Garden City, MI.

• MacDermid Enthone, a division of MacDermid Performance Solutions that provides chemical process solutions and materials that enhance the products people use every day. They are located in Ferndale, MI.

• MidMichigan Community Health Services, a federally qualified rural community health center (FQHC) based in Houghton Lake, MI.

• Morpace Inc, a top 50 international, full-service market research and consulting firm located in Farmington Hills, MI.

• North American Interconnect, a designer and manufacturer of integrated connectivity solutions for Industrial Technology, Medical, Telecom and Data industries located in Troy, MI.

• Presbyterian Villages of Michigan – Southfield, a premier senior living provider located in Southfield, MI.

• SER Metro Detroit, a multi-service, multi-state corporation that serves as a direct link to gainful employment of diverse populations. They are located in Detroit, MI.

• Transtar Autobody Technologies, a provider of body shop solutions in the automotive aftermarket located in Brighton, MI.

ASE president & CEO, Mary E. Corrado, made the announcement and stated, “ASE welcomes our newest members in this first quarter of 2018. We look forward to working with them and providing services and information to help them be the best employers they can be.”


About the American Society of Employers (ASE) – a Centennial Organization
Celebrating 115 years, the American Society of Employers (ASE) is a not-for-profit trade association providing people-management information and services to Michigan employers. Since 1902, member organizations have relied on ASE to be their single, cost-effective source for information and support, helping to grow their bottom line by enhancing the effectiveness of their people. Learn more about ASE at www.aseonline.org.

 

Media Contact: Heather Nezich, Manager, Communications, ASE, 248.223.8040, hnezich@aseonline.org

Rehmann honored as Vault Accounting 50 best accounting firms to work for

Rehmann, a fully integrated financial services firm of CPAs and consultants, wealth advisors and corporate investigators, ranked 24th overall— among other honors — in the latest Vault Accounting 50 rankings.

The Vault Accounting 50 report highlights the best accounting firms to work for. Rehmann landed among the best in the following additional categories:

• #13 in Work-Life Balance
• #16 in Hours
• #16 in Diversity for Women
• #20 in Firm Leadership
• #21 in Client Interaction
• #21 in Culture

“I strongly believe that employee satisfaction is one of the most critical factors for successful, stable growth.” said Katie Strehler, Rehmann’s chief human resources officer. “Rehmann would not be where it is today without the hard work and commitment of our associates. We are honored to be recognized by Vault for building and sustaining a positive company culture.”

The Vault Accounting 50 data is compiled using a weighted formula that reflects the primary issues that accounting professionals care most about, including quality of life rankings such as culture, satisfaction, work-life balance, and compensation in combination with overall firm prestige. The ranking is based on the following criteria: 35 percent prestige, 20 percent firm culture, 10 percent work-life balance, 10 percent compensation, 10 percent overall job satisfaction, 5 percent business outlook, and 5 percent formal training and 5 percent informal training.


About Rehmann
Rehmann is a fully integrated financial services firm of CPAs & consultants, wealth advisors and corporate investigators dedicated to providing clients proactive ideas and solutions to help them prosper professionally and personally. The firm offers a cross-functional team approach that gives clients direct access to a professional in any available service. Rehmann has over 800 associates in Michigan, Ohio and Florida. Rehmann is an independent member of Nexia International, offering clients a global approach. Find us online at rehmann.com.

One of Automotive’s Leading Mobility Experts to Kick Off the 2018 Mackinac Policy Conference

Don Butler, executive director of Connected Vehicle Platform and Product for Ford Mobility, a division of Ford Motor Company, will kick off the 2018 Mackinac Policy Conference on Wednesday, May 30 with a keynote address on Michigan’s mobility industry.

Butler has served on the front lines of the automotive industry’s transformation at Ford and General Motors (GM). He will discuss how the state can remain competitive in the era of connected and automated vehicle testing and development. Butler’s keynote session is sponsored by Ford Motor Company.

In his current position, Butler is responsible for Ford’s global integrated connectivity vision and strategy. He leads long-term planning and development to implement Ford’s vision of “smart vehicles for a smart world.” Butler previously held leadership roles at GM, where he is credited with reinventing the Cadillac brand among African-Americans, and the creation of GM’s Turn-by-Turn Navigation and Onstar Vehicle Diagnostics System.

Lights! Camera! Action! OCC Students Showcase Work at Annual Student Film Festival

Filmgoers and the community are invited to the 8th annual Oakland Community College Student Film Festival featuring the works of OCC student filmmakers. Students will screen their short films to the public on May 24, 2018 at the college’s Smith Theatre in Farmington Hills.

“OCC’s Student Film Festival is a juried event showcasing a diverse and outstanding selection of short films created by OCC students,” said Jack Cronin, OCC Cinematic Arts faculty member.

According to Cronin, the jury is made-up of a three-person panel including former cinematic arts students, industry professionals and faculty. “There are several criteria the jury looks at including technical and aesthetic quality. The jury decides which films are shown at the Festival and which ones win. Each year we feature a grand prize winner and two honorable mentions. The grand prize winner receives a GoPro camera to continue their great work.”

The Festival is produced by OCC’s Cinematic Arts Program. Films will cover all genres and each is under 15 minutes in length. The free event is open to the public and begins at 6 p.m. The Smith Theatre is located at 27055 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills, Mich. For more information about OCC’s Student Festival, contact Jack Cronin at jdcronin@oaklandcc.edu.


About OCC’s Cinematic Arts Program
The Cinematic Arts Program awards an Associate in Arts degree. This program incorporates a theoretical and practical field of study, providing the student with a multidimensional experience in the study and application of cinematic arts. Subsequent to completion of the program, students will be prepared to enter the film/video industry or pursue a bachelor’s degree in film/video production studies.
About OCC
With five campuses throughout Oakland County, OCC offers degrees and certificates in approximately 100 career fields as well as university transfer degrees in business, science and liberal arts. The College provides academic and developmental experiences allowing each student to reach their full potential and enhance the communities they serve. More than 40,000 students annually attend OCC; more than a million students have enrolled in the College since it opened in 1965. Learn more at oaklandcc.edu.

Using LinkedIn to Expand your Marketing Reach

By Heather Hardy
Owner
H&H Digital Solutions

This post is part of the Digital Marketing Secrets Revealed series, a new set of blog posts across different mediums designed to provide intel to people and companies looking to improve their digital marketing strategy.

Social media marketing is definitely not a new concept. Businesses have been targeting and engaging with their consumers on social media for years now. Yet, LinkedIn often gets overlooked when creating a social media strategy. LinkedIn can actually be an effective and extremely valuable part of your marketing goals.

Networking Tool

Networking is one of the most important components of business success. Of course, you can attend local networking events and rely on word of mouth to market your business. But, this method of networking can be somewhat limiting. Using LinkedIn as a networking tool gives you the opportunity to significantly expand your reach while connecting with other business professionals all over the world.

Networking Tip

It is important to keep in mind that simply clicking the connect button is not enough. Growing your LinkedIn connections is similar to growing a relationship in person. You need to provide value to your connections. Get to know their business and their needs. Introduce yourself before attempting to sell something. Avoid using generic introduction messages.

The great thing about LinkedIn is that you can network on the go. Instead of wasting valuable time scrolling through your personal newsfeed, spend those extra minutes growing your professional relationships. Use the advanced search feature to connect with those most relevant to your career goals.

Educational Resource

LinkedIn Learning is a valuable educational tool that is built right into the LinkedIn platform. You can use this feature to learn more about a particular topic or to create your own LinkedIn educational courses. Publishing a course within the site builds a reputation of authority and gives your business added value.

Educational Tip

Learn new skills that could potentially be useful to your business with the LinkedIn Learning platform. The program highlights personalized videos that are likely to be the most relevant to your career goals. Businesses can also utilize this platform to provide additional training to current employees. Although the LinkedIn Learning platform does have a monthly subscription fee, it is free to premium subscribers. When you factor in the traditional cost of educational courses, the monthly fee is well worth it.


MORE: Learn more about using LinkedIn to increase your marketing efforts and other related topics at the Digital Marketing Secrets Revealed, May. 3.


Increase Traffic to Your Site

Ultimately, the primary goal of marketing is to increase website traffic. While there are many digital marketing methods that can boost your traffic, LinkedIn can provide you with visitors that are engaged and more likely to convert. Use LinkedIn to grow your connections, establish industry authority, and to get your business in front of other business professionals.

Increasing Traffic Tip

Use LinkedIn to get noticed in your industry. When you regularly post content that is relevant and useful to your connections, you are creating a reputation as an industry leader. Take advantage of the trending topic feature. This allows you to create content that is most likely to be followed. You can also utilize the sponsored post feature to reach defined target markets. Post regularly, edit your content, and give credit where it is due.

Increase SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the method of optimizing your business digitally in order to increase your search ranking. There are many methods to improve your SEO including website optimization, keyword research, and by creating a strong presence on social media. LinkedIn has a strong authority with Google and it can be an important piece of the SEO puzzle.

Optimization Tip

Optimizing your profile improves both engagement and SEO ranking. Utilize the available space to include as much information about your business and your professional skills. Use industry relevant keywords in your title, description, and published content pieces. Rather than focusing on SEO entirely, aim to create a LinkedIn profile that is impressive to viewers.

Paid Ads

Paid ads can be a great addition to organic LinkedIn optimization. Currently, there are over 546 million business professionals on the LinkedIn platform. The unique thing about LinkedIn is that many of these users are the decision makers of their company. You also have the ability to target specific positions within industries, making LinkedIn an extremely valuable marketing tool.

Paid Ads Tip

Although LinkedIn does charge for sponsored advertisements, you can set up a free company page. The company page allows users to follow the page and its updates. If you do decide to pay for LinkedIn ads, you can target users via content, text ads, or sponsored messages. You can track your analytics through Google Analytics or with the provided campaign manager.

LinkedIn Optimization Tips:

LinkedIn is an underutilized platform for businesses. Evaluate your profile and ensure that it includes the following:

  • Professional photo of just you
  • Highly descriptive headline that utilizes keywords
  • Contact information within your summary
  • Education and certifications
  • All relevant work related experience
  • Volunteer experience
  • Professional memberships
  • Skills with endorsements
  • Recommendations from previous coworkers or partners

LinkedIn consistently leads in terms of B2B leads and business networking. Make sure you are taking advantage of the available LinkedIn tools to expand your marketing reach.

H&H Digital Solutions

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Tammy Carnrike Named New Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army to Represent Michigan (South)

DETROIT — (April 17, 2018) — The newest Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army was invested during a ceremony conducted this week at the Pentagon.

Tammy Carnrike was selected by Mark T. Esper, U.S. Secretary of the Army, to represent Michigan (South). Carnrike will be afforded a three-star protocol status in accordance with the U.S. Department of the Army Protocol Precedence List. She will be responsible for providing advice to Secretary Esper, commanders and senior leaders on public sentiments toward the Army, and will work closely with the Army and installation commanders; state adjutants general; ambassadors of the Army Reserve, Army National Guard and Army Reserve commander; Reserve Officers Training Corps region and area commanders; Army recruiting commanders; professors of military science; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Division and district engineers; and other designated personnel within the state of Michigan.

“I am honored that Secretary Esper has chosen me to serve as the Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army Michigan (South),” Carnrike said. “In this role, I will work to highlight the tremendous range of opportunities possible for collaboration, partnerships and exchange of knowledge between Michigan communities and the U.S. Army.”

“This position will also allow me to continue, in a very visible way, to support the well-being of our service members and veterans — and to be their advocate and voice throughout Michigan. I am humbled and very grateful to take on this new role, and I look forward to helping the Army tell its story to the people of Michigan,” Carnrike added.

Maj. Gen. Clark LeMasters Jr. stated, “As the commanding general of the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, I deeply appreciate the support Ms. Carnrike has provided over the years to our military and civilian employees stationed at the Detroit Arsenal. She and others in the community make it possible for us to do the work of protecting our nation.”

“Ms. Carnrike’s role as CASA Michigan will help strengthen the relationship between the Detroit Arsenal and the local community and reinforce the commitment the U.S. Army has made to Michigan. We proudly welcome Ms. Carnrike to the Army family.”

Each state, the District of Columbia, and the five U.S. territories have one or more CASAs appointed to provide a vital link between the Army and the communities it serves. CASAs are usually business or civic leaders who possess a keen interest in the welfare of the Army and its communities.

A leader in Chamber of Commerce management for more than 20 years, Carnrike is chief operating officer for the Detroit Regional Chamber, a position she has held since 2006. She has served in national leadership positions, including chairman of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Organization Management Board of Trustees, and chairman of the board for the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.

In addition, Carnrike serves as a member of the Army-Southeast Michigan Advisory Council; is a member of the Governance Committee, Protect and Grow: A Strategic Plan for Michigan’s Defense and Homeland Security Economy; and is an alumni of the Department of Defense’s Joint Civilian Orientation Conference, where she spent five days visiting each branch of the U.S. military and learning about the readiness of the armed forces and the nation’s defense policies.

CASAs serve a two-year term without compensation. Terms may be extended to a total of 10 years of service. Civilian aides may be recognized CASA Emeritus after 10 years of distinguished service.

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‘Connect Southeast Michigan’ Offers the Detroit Region Another Opportunity for Regional Transit

Among the Detroit Regional Chamber’s 2018 Legislative Priorities are two that are currently being widely discussed in the news.  The Chamber has been a longstanding proponent of both investing in roads and infrastructure, and prioritizing a reliable regional transit system to connect Southeast Michigan’s four counties – Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne. Road funding and transit is not an either-or. It is clear investing in both is critical to the region’s competitiveness.

At this moment in time we have a chance to solve the lack of regional transit with the proposal Wayne County Executive Warren Evans released last month, “Connect Southeast Michigan.” The plan includes spending less money on transit infrastructure, and instead expanding more frequent bus service throughout the region.

As leaders from 23 of Southeast Michigan’s largest employers expressed in a letter in the Detroit Free Press this week, this is a decades-old fight that we need to resolve. The poor quality of our public transit is not lost on the Amazons of the world that are looking to invest in vibrant communities. Investing in a regional transit system will attract and retain global companies and young talent, while allowing the citizens of Southeast Michigan the freedom to access jobs and essential services.

What’s Next?On Thursday, April 19 the RTA board will open up the proposed transit plan up for public comment. Details for a number of public hearings across Southeast Michigan will be released later this week. The Chamber encourages all of its members and their employees to become informed and engaged in this process.

For more information, please visit www.rtamichigan.org.