Mobility Report: Making Michigan the First Fully Networked State: Legislators Propose Statewide Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

Making Michigan the First Fully Networked State: Legislators Propose Statewide Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

Late last month, Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak), co-chair of the Michigan Legislative Automotive Caucus, along with legislators from the House and Senate, announced a bipartisan package to support the growth of electric vehicles in Michigan and establish the first statewide charging network in the nation.

MICHauto supports the four-bill package which will establish a council of experts, allow the state to install and lease space for charging stations at state parks and rides, and provide tax incentives for small businesses and multi-unit housing to install electric vehicle charging stations.

“These bills encourage our state to create a collaborative and coordinated plan, working with private companies, small businesses, utilities and various state departments to build out the state’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure, making Michigan the first fully networked state,” McMorrow said. Read more.

Michigan Expands Its Reach for Automobile Electrification

As auto manufacturers expand the number of plug-in hybrid and pure electric vehicles, energy companies such as DTE Energy and CMS Energy are preparing to meet customers’ needs with rebate programs to encourage charger installation. DTE, covering most of Southeast Michigan, has embarked on a pilot initiative called “Charging Forward” while CMS Energy, handling most of the remaining lower peninsula, offers the PowerMiDrive program, which was announced at the 2019 Mackinac Policy Conference. Learn more.

Detroit Moves to Collaborate with 2020 North American International Auto Show

Detroit Moves, a thought leadership conference on urban mobility solutions, announced that it will move its annual event to June 2020 to coincide with the North American International Auto Show. A partnership between MICHauto, the City of Detroit, and several local organizations, Detroit Moves brings together urban transit planners and mobility innovators to discuss next-generation technologies changing the way people move around the world. Learn more.

Jason Puscas Joins MICHauto to Support Michigan’s Automotive Policy Work

Jason Puscas, former director of Government Relations for the Detroit Regional Chamber, has joined MICHauto as the director of Government and Community Affairs. This new position is a multifaceted role supporting the automotive and mobility industry in Southeast Michigan and policy work in Lansing while also representing MICHauto in West and mid-Michigan. Puscas will be the liason in areas of policy and community development for investors. He can be reached at or 248.709.4866.


Michigan Reconnect Letter to Legislature

Michigan businesses are dealing with a severe talent shortage. Our economy is strong and across the state there are jobs to fill. Michigan is home to a large pool of hard-working, able-bodied men and women ready and willing to take on the jobs of today and tomorrow. But first they need the proper training and education. The Michigan Reconnect proposal (SB 268 [Horn], HB 4456 [Frederick]) is a large scale response to this urgent need.

Earlier this year, Governor Whitmer put forward a plan to address state’s growing skills gap in the form of the Reconnect and MI Opportunity Scholarship programs. Our organizations remain fully supportive of these initiatives. However, in the interest of beginning the hard work of filling the skills gap, we ask that you consider implementing Reconnect now as part of the 2019-2020 budget.

Specifically, Reconnect provides Michiganders who are at least 25 years of age and have not earned a college degree “last dollar” support to obtain an Associate’s Degree or Occupational Certificate. It provides Michiganders everywhere a chance to “upskill” and enhance their career prospects while also growing the pool of skilled labor that employers are desperate to access. Community Colleges and students would be held to a rigorous set of accountability standards in order to continue receiving financial support.

Reconnect will have an enormous and immediate impact on both employers and employees which is exactly what our state needs. Since 2010, most jobs added to our nation’s economy have gone to workers with at least some post high school attainment. Michigan needs 175,000 new university graduates, and 126,000 new certificate/associate graduates by 2020. And demand for a skilled workforce will only increase in the future.  It is time to get aggressive in addressing our state’s skills gap.

We are well aware that there are many important needs competing for state budget dollars, but no other program will address the state’s talent shortage as quickly and effectively as Reconnect. We believe it is critical that action be taken this fall to move to get the Michigan Reconnect grant program up and running as soon as possible.

This is an opportunity to have a substantial and positive impact on the economy without having a large impact on the budget. Reconnect can be fully funded for a year and a half by simply allocating dollars from within Michigan’s Marshall Plan for Talent that are meant for community colleges anyway.

We, as representatives of the Michigan’s business community, are asking for you to make passage of Reconnect legislation a priority this fall including its insertion into the 2019-2020 budget. We believe it is the right path forward for our state’s workers and employers, and hope you feel the same way.


Vice President Mike Pence Visits Detroit to Address Economy, USMCA, and More

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.”

Michigan Business Community Calls on Governor, House and Senate to Take Action to Fix the Roads

August 20, 2019

Contact : Angela Minicuci, APR
(517) 485-6600, Mobile (248) 765-0558

LANSING, Mich. — Leaders of Michigan business organizations that represent tens of
thousands of employers across the state today joined together to urge the Legislature and
Governor to include a comprehensive plan to fix the roads in the new state budget that
lawmakers must pass before Oct. 1.

At a news conference just a few blocks from the Capitol, the business leaders joined with the
Fix MI State campaign to also release maps that detail the crumbling condition of the roads in
the districts of all 110 state Representatives and 38 state Senators. The maps will be shared
with the state lawmakers, the media and residents in the legislators’ districts.

Speaking at the news conference were leaders of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce,
Business Leaders for Michigan, the Grand Rapids Chamber, and the Detroit Regional Chamber.
“Roads and bridges are the foundation of Michigan’s economy, but they won’t fix themselves
and are costing businesses and taxpayers more money every year,” said Rich Studley, President
and CEO of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. “I stand here with other leading employer
organizations to urge the Governor, the House, and the Senate to take action now on the next
installment of road funding.”

As Michigan continues to underfund infrastructure, fixing the problem becomes more and more
expensive. Industry experts, business and community leaders, and politicians on both sides of
the aisle agree that the state needs to invest in infrastructure for the next two decades to
actually solve Michigan’s infrastructure problem.

“Multiple independent studies tell us $2 billion is the minimum annual investment needed to
get our roads in better shape,” said Doug Rothwell, President & CEO of Business Leaders for
Michigan. “Our state’s largest employers make decisions every day about where to invest and
grow, and those decisions depend on Lansing’s decisions. If our elected leaders don’t prioritize
the funding to modernize our infrastructure, we are at risk of losing future economic growth to
other states where the roads and bridges are being appropriately maintained.”

Since 2003, the Michigan Department of Transportation and local road agencies have used a
uniform rating system called PASER ( Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating ) to collect
pavement data. The data is collected by the Michigan Transportation Asset Management
Council (TAMC). Since 2004, TAMC has prepared annual reports for the Michigan Legislature on
the declining condition of Michigan’s roads and bridges.

Using PASER data from as recently as 2018, the maps released today by legislative district
highlight just how drastically Michigan roads continue to decline, falling into poor condition.
The maps clearly demonstrate why Michigan voters have ranked fixing the roads as the top
issue facing the state in many public opinion polls over the past three years.

“The colors on these maps are just as important as those on a stop light. Green – good roads
are good for Michigan residents and economy. Yellow – fair roads are the caution light that has
been ignored over the past decade of decline. And most importantly, red – poor roads
represent the pothole filled streets that frustrate Michigan residents, and congested highways
and weight-restricted bridges that stifle business growth,” said Monica Ackerson, APR,
Executive Vice President of the Michigan Road Preservation Association. “We must fund this
need now, or pay a lot more later as the cost to bring those roads back to good condition
doubles when a road falls from fair to poor condition.”

More information about the state’s infrastructure needs, including today’s newly released
maps, can be found at , a website created by the Fix MI State campaign,
which is being led by the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association.
# # #

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, 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

“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.


Melanie Mitchell, Executive Assistant to the Managing Director
Phone: 248-643-4900

More about Inc. and the Inc. 5000


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

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

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

Seven Southfield Attorneys Listed in Best Lawyers®

Southfield, Mich. — Seven attorneys from Foster Swift’s Southfield office were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020. Firm-wide, 42 attorneys were included. Each year’s new edition is launched for the following calendar year.

Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. For more information, visit

Listed attorneys and their areas of practice are as follows:

Dirk H. Beckwith: Construction Law

Michael R. Blum: Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management

Julie I. Fershtman: Commercial Litigation, Insurance Law

Gilbert H. Frimet: Health Care Law

Paul J. Millenbach: Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions-Defendants

Brian J. Renaud: Administrative/Regulatory Law

Bruce A. Vande Vusse: Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants

Rehmann expands footprint with opening of new Detroit office

TROY, Mich., August 14, 2019 – Rehmann, a fully integrated financial services and advisory firm with locations across Michigan, Ohio and Florida is strengthening its Michigan presence by relocating in downtown Detroit. The new, expanded 6,000-square-foot office is located at 1249 Griswold St., Suite 201 in the historic Farwell Building in Detroit’s Capitol Park district.
Headquartered in Troy, Rehmann has been offering solutions to clients across the country for more than 75 years. The new downtown location will continue to allow the Firm to provide its signature “Rehmann Experience” to its clients—many of which are located in Detroit.
“Rehmann has long-standing ties to the city of Detroit and to the community, and we’re eager to expand our services and network in downtown Detroit,” said Randy Rupp, CEO of Rehmann. “Committed to being the firm of choice for our associates, we pride ourselves in creating a people-centric culture. We expect our Detroit office will be a great space for our employees and our clients to call home.”
Built in 1915, the Farwell Building’s rich history includes an interior designed by famed glass artist Louis Tiffany and most recently served as the setting for hit movies such as “Batman vs. Superman” and “Transformers”. It’s listed on both the State Register of Historic Sites and the National Register of Historic Places.
While Rehmann is the central tenant, the building will house apartments and a new restaurant by Phoenicia owner Sameer Eid. Rehmann’s office is a modern, open-concept office space and includes a staff of roughly 20 employees, who have relocated from other offices.
“The historic Farwell Building in the heart of Capitol Park is the perfect addition to our current footprint, and a draw for current and future employees,” Rupp added. “As our firm continues to experience rapid growth across the country, we’re excited about the opportunities for our firm and our employees right here at home.”
For information about career opportunities with Rehmann, visit
About Rehmann
Rehmann is a fully integrated financial services and advisory firm that provides accounting and assurance, comprehensive technology, accounting and human resource solutions, specialized consulting and wealth management services. For more than 75 years, Rehmann has provided forward-thinking solutions, making it our duty to anticipate our clients’ daily and future needs. Rehmann has over 900 associates in Michigan, Ohio and Florida. Rehmann is an independent member of Nexia International, offering clients a global approach. Find us online at

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 or 216-592-2283, or visit

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;