Macomb, Oakland and Wayne County Students Participating in FAFSA Challenge to Receive Nearly $54 Million in Student Aid

Detroit, Mich. (April 3, 2018) – More than 6,500 students in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties that participated in the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual “Race to the FAFSA Line” challenge will receive an estimated $53.5 million in funding from completing their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). For the second year, the Chamber’s Detroit Drives Degrees initiative held the challenge to encourage high school seniors to apply for college aid and increase the regional completion rate.

The Chamber launched the challenge last year, but despite the hard work of school counselors and local college access networks, Southeast Michigan students left potentially $167 million in federal aid on the table by not filling out the FAFSA. According to the National College Access Network, high school graduates who complete the FAFSA are 63 percent more likely to enroll in college.

The goal of the challenge is to increase FAFSA completion among high school seniors in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties to 65 percent and encourage them to take the next step to postsecondary education. The current completion rate for the three counties is 50 percent, and will increase through the open application period, which closes on June 30.

Sixty-five schools throughout Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties registered for the competition. The 2018 winners include:

  • Grand Prize Winner for Overall Most Improved FAFSA Completion: Frontier International Academy (Detroit) 45 percentage point improvement.
  • Most Improved FAFSA Completion for Medium Schools: Cesar Chavez Academy High School (Detroit) 31 percentage point improvement.
  • Most Improved FAFSA Completion for Large Schools: Fordson High School (Dearborn), 11 percentage point improvement.
  • Most Innovative FAFSA Completion Strategy: Voyageur College Preparatory High School (Detroit) 65 percent completion rate.
  • Highest Overall FAFSA Completion Rate: Trillium Academy (Taylor) 84 percent completion rate.

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

The challenge was a collaborative effort involving the following partners: Detroit College Access Network (DCAN), Emagine Entertainment, Michigan College Access Network (MCAN), Oakland Schools, Wayne RESA, and several local college access networks. The challenge was supported by: Chemical Bank, the Detroit Pistons, DTE Energy, Grand Valley State University Charter Schools Office, Independent Bank, Kerkstra Precast and the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

 About Detroit Drives Degrees

Detroit Drives Degrees works to improve education attainment to increase economic prosperity and social mobility in the Detroit region. An initiative of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Forward Detroit economic development strategy, it is dedicated to increasing access to college, improving college graduation success and retaining graduates. The Leadership Council, formed through the initiative, mobilizes regional leaders in business, education, government and the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors to increase the postsecondary degree attainment rate in the region to 60 percent by 2025. To learn more, visit detroitdrivesdegrees.com.

About Detroit Regional Chamber

Serving the business community for more than 100 years, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the oldest, largest and most respected chambers of commerce in the country. The Chamber’s mission of powering the economy for Southeast Michigan is carried out through economic development, education reform, regional collaboration and providing valuable benefits to members. For more information, please visit detroitchamber.com.

About the Detroit College Access Network

The Detroit College Access Network (DCAN) is the coordinating body of cross-sector leaders and organizations in Detroit working together to ensure all Detroit students have the opportunity to attend college. It is a network of organizations – bigger than any one program or initiative – leveraging a collective impact model to align and connect existing programs, schools, businesses and community resources to improve college enrollment and graduation rates for all Detroit students. DCAN’s mission is to increase postsecondary readiness, enrollment and attainment so that all students in Detroit can achieve their educational dreams. To learn more, visit detroitcan.org.

About Emagine Entertainment

Emagine Entertainment’s affiliates currently own and operate luxury theatres in Michigan, Illinois, and Minnesota.  Emagine operates theatres with a combined 24,500 seats and 208 screens. Later this summer, Emagine will open an 8-screen theatre in the Town of Lyons, Wisconsin.  Emagine has led the way in bringing luxury theatres to the metropolitan Detroit market.  Emagine enjoys the honor and distinction of being named “Best Movie Theatre” for several years running by the Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, and WDIV-TV 4 television.

About the Michigan College Access Network

As the leader in the state’s college access movement, the Michigan College Access Network’s mission is to increase Michigan’s college readiness, participation and completion rates, particularly among low-income, first-generation college-going students, and students of color. For the seventh year in a row, Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate has increased – from 35.7 percent of 25- to 64-year-olds possessing at least an associate degree in 2008, to 39.4 percent in 2016. Additionally, it is estimated another 4 percent of Michiganders have a high-quality certificate, bringing Michigan’s official attainment rate to 43.7 percent. It is MCAN’s goal to increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60 percent by the year 2025. For more information, visit micollegeaccess.org.

Macomb, Oakland and Wayne County Students Participating in FAFSA Challenge to Receive Nearly $54 Million in Student Aid

Detroit, Mich. (April 3, 2018) – More than 6,500 students in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties that participated in the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual “Race to the FAFSA Line” challenge will receive an estimated $53.5 million in funding from completing their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). For the second year, the Chamber’s Detroit Drives Degrees initiative held the challenge to encourage high school seniors to apply for college aid and increase the regional completion rate.

The Chamber launched the challenge last year, but despite the hard work of school counselors and local college access networks, Southeast Michigan students left potentially $167 million in federal aid on the table by not filling out the FAFSA. According to the National College Access Network, high school graduates who complete the FAFSA are 63 percent more likely to enroll in college.

The goal of the challenge is to increase FAFSA completion among high school seniors in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties to 65 percent and encourage them to take the next step to postsecondary education. The current completion rate for the three counties is 50 percent, and will increase through the open application period, which closes on June 30.

Sixty-five schools throughout Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties registered for the competition. The 2018 winners include:

  • Grand Prize Winner for Overall Most Improved FAFSA Completion: Frontier International Academy (Detroit) 45 percentage point improvement.
  • Most Improved FAFSA Completion for Medium Schools: Cesar Chavez Academy High School (Detroit) 31 percentage point improvement.
  • Most Improved FAFSA Completion for Large Schools: Fordson High School (Dearborn), 11 percentage point improvement.
  • Most Innovative FAFSA Completion Strategy: Voyageur College Preparatory High School (Detroit) 65 percent completion rate.
  • Highest Overall FAFSA Completion Rate: Trillium Academy (Taylor) 84 percent completion rate.

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

The challenge was a collaborative effort involving the following partners: Detroit College Access Network (DCAN), Emagine Entertainment, Michigan College Access Network (MCAN), Oakland Schools, Wayne RESA, and several local college access networks. The challenge was supported by: Chemical Bank, the Detroit Pistons, DTE Energy, Grand Valley State University Charter Schools Office, Independent Bank, Kerkstra Precast and the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

 About Detroit Drives Degrees

Detroit Drives Degrees works to improve education attainment to increase economic prosperity and social mobility in the Detroit region. An initiative of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Forward Detroit economic development strategy, it is dedicated to increasing access to college, improving college graduation success and retaining graduates. The Leadership Council, formed through the initiative, mobilizes regional leaders in business, education, government and the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors to increase the postsecondary degree attainment rate in the region to 60 percent by 2025. To learn more, visit detroitdrivesdegrees.com.

About Detroit Regional Chamber

Serving the business community for more than 100 years, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the oldest, largest and most respected chambers of commerce in the country. The Chamber’s mission of powering the economy for Southeast Michigan is carried out through economic development, education reform, regional collaboration and providing valuable benefits to members. For more information, please visit detroitchamber.com.

About the Detroit College Access Network

The Detroit College Access Network (DCAN) is the coordinating body of cross-sector leaders and organizations in Detroit working together to ensure all Detroit students have the opportunity to attend college. It is a network of organizations – bigger than any one program or initiative – leveraging a collective impact model to align and connect existing programs, schools, businesses and community resources to improve college enrollment and graduation rates for all Detroit students. DCAN’s mission is to increase postsecondary readiness, enrollment and attainment so that all students in Detroit can achieve their educational dreams. To learn more, visit detroitcan.org.

About Emagine Entertainment

Emagine Entertainment’s affiliates currently own and operate luxury theatres in Michigan, Illinois, and Minnesota.  Emagine operates theatres with a combined 24,500 seats and 208 screens. Later this summer, Emagine will open an 8-screen theatre in the Town of Lyons, Wisconsin.  Emagine has led the way in bringing luxury theatres to the metropolitan Detroit market.  Emagine enjoys the honor and distinction of being named “Best Movie Theatre” for several years running by the Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, and WDIV-TV 4 television.

About the Michigan College Access Network

As the leader in the state’s college access movement, the Michigan College Access Network’s mission is to increase Michigan’s college readiness, participation and completion rates, particularly among low-income, first-generation college-going students, and students of color. For the seventh year in a row, Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate has increased – from 35.7 percent of 25- to 64-year-olds possessing at least an associate degree in 2008, to 39.4 percent in 2016. Additionally, it is estimated another 4 percent of Michiganders have a high-quality certificate, bringing Michigan’s official attainment rate to 43.7 percent. It is MCAN’s goal to increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60 percent by the year 2025. For more information, visit micollegeaccess.org.

Parents, teens explore design, manufacturing, robotics and technology career possibilities at special evening event

Parents and teens grades six through 12 can learn about career opportunities in auto design, manufacturing, robotics and technology at Explore Careers in Manufacturing and Technology, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 5:30 – 8 p.m. at Macomb Community College. This free event combines a panel presentation to give participants an insider’s look at career opportunities, hands-on exhibits and activities, along with a display of classic, current model and concept cars.

Recent graduates from Macomb Community College and area manufacturers will give an overview of the abundant opportunities available. Parents and students will be able to meet area employers and learn about the skills required for future careers. There will also be an opportunity to learn about apprenticeships, internships and work-based learning.

Attendees will have the opportunity to explore interactive displays  in a variety of areas including auto design, robotics, clay modeling, electric and automated vehicles, production design, sketching and traffic light simulation and programming.  Companies who are exhibiting include American Axle, Comau, FCA, Ford, GM, Kuka, Magna and Siemens.

This evening event complements the college’s annual Auto STEAM Days held during the day on Dec. 5 and 6, which will draw more than 2,600 Metro Detroit-area students.

Explore Careers in Manufacturing and Technology is presented by Macomb Community College, Macomb Intermediate School District and Macomb County. The event will be held at the Sports and Expo Center on Macomb Community College’s South Campus in Warren. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with the panel discussion at 6:30 – 7:15 p.m. Registration is required at www.macomb.edu/mfgevening.

Free pizza, hot dogs and soda will be available while supplies last.  Attendees can enter a drawing to win a drone.

About Macomb Community College
Macomb Community College (www.macomb.edu) is one of the nation’s leading community colleges, providing learning experiences to nearly 40,000 students annually. Macomb nationally ranks in the top two percent in the number of associate degrees awarded by community colleges and is the largest grantor of associate degrees in Michigan. The college’s comprehensive educational programming includes pre-collegiate experiences, university transfer and career preparation programs, bachelor degree completion and graduate degree programs, workforce training, professional education and certification, and continuing education and enrichment opportunities.

Six Chamber Members Among DBusiness’ ’30 in Their Thirties’ Class of 2017

The Detroit Regional Chamber congratulates six executives from Chamber member companies for being named “30 in Their Thirties.” Disruption is a key aspect of the 2017 class and DBusiness magazine recognized these leaders for upending such traditional industries as the real estate title sector, metals recycling, 3-D scanning, point-of-sales systems, retail shopping and logistics.

  • Nicole Cicala, Director of VA/VE and Cost Modeling, American Axle and Manufacturing
  • Seth Gold, Vice President, American Jewelry and Loan
  • Moussa Niang, Global Purchasing Core Buyer, Ford Motor Co.
  • Alison Orlans, President and CEO, Orlans Group
  • John Paul Rea, Director, Planning and Economic Development, Macomb County
  • Peter VanDyke, Co-owner and CEO, Van Dyke Horn Public Relations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Detroit College Access Network

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

About Detroit Drives Degrees

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

About Emagine Entertainment, Inc

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

About the Michigan College Access Network

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

Brown & Brown of Detroit Welcomes New Commercial Sales Agent

Todd Piersol, Executive Vice President of Brown & Brown of Detroit, is pleased to announce that the office recently welcomed Ann Marie Mourad to the team. Ann Marie will bring her insurance expertise to the role of select commercial sales.

In her new role, Ms. Mourad will dedicate herself to helping select businesses access comprehensive commercial insurance solutions to best protect their interests. She will take a consultative approach to her work with new and existing clients, providing a variety of options to cover key exposures of closely held businesses.

Ann Marie earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Hillsdale College, where she majored in art history. Prior to joining Brown & Brown of Detroit, she gained extensive insurance experience by owning her own Farmers Insurance agency for eight years. She has also owned a beauty supply franchise and comes from a family of restaurant owners. Therefore, Ms. Mourad understands and relates to the needs and concerns of business owners and can offer keen insights.

Piersol is excited about Mourad’s future with the agency, stating “Ann Marie embodies the entrepreneurial spirit that fits with our culture. Her experience owning and operating a successful small business will definitely be valuable to her clients. We are very glad to add her to our team.”

Brown & Brown of Detroit is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Brown & Brown Insurance, the sixth largest insurance intermediary in the United States. Located in Sterling Heights, this office is the largest independent insurance agency in Macomb County.

New Destination Detroit Video Showcases Regional Collaboration

Destination Detroit is North America’s premier regional business attraction team. The regional initiative brings together all the resources of one of America’s fastest growing locations. Learn more about Destination Detroit by watching the video below:

Led by the Detroit Regional Chamber, Destination Detroit is operated in partnership with the region’s principal economic development agencies:

Partners

 

American Society of Employers (ASE) announces job fair for veterans and individuals with disabilities on Oct. 21 in Clinton Township

The American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations, will co-host a Veteran’s Job Fair on Friday, October 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Macomb Intermediate School District. Joining ASE as co-hosts are the Macomb Veterans Services, Macomb Michigan Works, the Detroit VA Regional Office, and the Michigan Industry Liaison Group (MILG). The job fair is open to all, but is targeted to military veterans and their families, as well as individuals with disabilities, and is free to both employers and job seekers.

The Job Fair announcement was made by ASE CEO, Mary E. Corrado.

“ASE is proud to co-host another Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities job fair. ASE and our members recognize the importance of ensuring that Veterans and those with disabilities find suitable employment. We invite all veterans, their families and individuals with disabilities to attend,” Corrado said.

The Macomb Intermediate School District is located at 44001 Garfield Rd, Charter Twp of Clinton, MI 48038. Registration for employers can be found on the MILG website.

About the American Society of Employers (ASE) – a Centennial Organization

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.

Macomb, Oakland County Tour Highlights Auto and Manufacturing Assets to National Site Selectors

Working with key public partners, the Detroit Regional Chamber recently co-hosted five national site selectors for a firsthand look at the automotive and advanced manufacturing assets of Macomb and Oakland counties. The two-day tour was part of the Chamber’s ongoing effort to build relationships with site selectors and inform them of the region’s assets as they assist global companies in deciding where to locate.

Hosted in partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corp., Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development and Oakland County Department of Economic Development and Community Affairs, the group toured the recently opened research and technical campus of Durr Systems in Southfield. The company, which manufactures and supplies robots for automotive and industrial paint and sealing, invested $40 million in a 200,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility, where they now employ over 480 people.

During the tour, site selectors spoke with Bruno Welsch, president and CEO of Durr Systems, about the company’s decision to stay in Oakland County making a long-term commitment to the region. In addition, the site selectors met with representatives from other automotive, aerospace and advanced manufacturing companies that recently expanded in Macomb and Oakland counties including: Baker Aerospace and Machining Inc., Paslin, P3 North America and Valiant International Inc.

“Hosting prominent, well-respected site selectors like this is a key activity in showcasing what the Detroit region has to offer to global businesses,” said Justin Robinson, the Chamber’s vice president of business attraction. “The more site selectors are aware of this area’s skilled technical workforce and density of advanced manufacturing strengths, the greater ability they have to make the case for investment.”

Brian Bilger, senior business development representative for the Chamber, said collaborative efforts like the tour offer potential investors a more holistic narrative of what’s happening across Southeast Michigan.

“Our local partners are the ones who know what’s going on at the ground level in their communities and who can help drill down that information — whether it be labor and talent, or the number of college graduates with a certain type of degree or certification,” he said.

The No. 1 priority for site selectors? Labor.

“Where it once was all about location, location, location, we’re seeing a shift in the conversation … ‘Where do you find the workers with the proper skill sets?’ and ‘How do you retain your talent?’ It’s a huge issue,” Bilger said, adding that perception, particularly in manufacturing, also plays a role.

“(Manufacturing) looks different today more than it did even five or 10 years ago. You are not just putting the widget in the machine and pushing a button,” Bilger added. “Manufacturers need the advanced skill set of programmers, designers, and IT professionals.”

Throughout the coming year, the Chamber will host similar visits in coordination with its local economic development partners to help national and international businesses explore, locate and invest in the united 11-county Detroit region.

For more information on Forward Detroit, contact Marnita Hamilton at 313.596.0310. To view a full list of investors and past Investor Exclusive content, visit our Investor Resources page. For more information on Business Attraction, contact Justin Robinson at 313.596.0352.

Advancing Macomb Appoints Hitachi Business Finance President Mike Semanco to Board of Directors

Rochester, MI, April 30, 2015 – Hitachi Business Finance announced today that President and COO Mike Semanco has been appointed to the Board of Directors for Advancing Macomb.

After learning of organizations like Grand Action in Grand Rapids and the Detroit Downtown Partnership, Advancing Macomb was formed by local Macomb leaders at the suggestion of County Executive Mark Hackel. Its mission is to drive community and economic development for the county, as well as providing a unified voice for Macomb’s corporate, institutional, non-profit, and public community. Advancing Macomb recently announced the appointment of Melissa Roy as its Executive Director, and includes board members such as David Girodat of Fifth Third Bank, Steve Kurmas of DTE Energy, Marie Alexander of Ford Motor Co., and others.

“I’m honored to be involved in such a worthwhile organization,” says Semanco. “I call Macomb County home, and I’m excited to be able to give back to the community where my family lives, learns, and works.”

“I am delighted to welcome Mike to our board of directors,” says Roy. “I have known him for many years, and have continually been impressed with his leadership skills and look forward to working alongside him and the other board members as we work to enhance the business climate and quality of life in Macomb County.”

About Hitachi Business Finance
Hitachi Business Finance is a division of Hitachi Capital America Corp. and provides customized, flexible financing solutions for companies looking for creative options to grow and sustain their businesses. Our solutions include factoring, revolving lines of credit secured by accounts receivable, inventory, and equipment, and government contractor financing. Based in Rochester, Michigan with offices in Atlanta, we provide financing solutions for small to mid-market companies across the United States. Learn more by visiting www.hitachibusinessfinance.com or calling (248) 658-1100.

About Hitachi Capital America Corp.
Hitachi Capital America Corp. is an independent, diversified leasing and financial services company providing financing to Hitachi group companies and the commercial business sector in the United States and Canada. Hitachi Capital America offers a variety of asset-based financing solutions with a business focus on truck, vendor, trade, and medical equipment finance, as well as lease discounting and software financing. Learn more at www.hitachicapitalamerica.com.