Greetings!We hope you enjoy our September 2017 Newsletter!
Our Annual Fall Event
BDC's annual fall event was held at Monroe County Community College's La-Z-Boy Center on Wednesday evening, September 13. We had over 50 business leaders, elected officials and education leaders in attendance.

Our event started with welcoming comments from Monroe County's Board Chair, Doug Chaffin. He then introduced our key note speaker, Doug Rothwell, President & CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan.

Mr. Rothwell spoke about their 2016-17 plan for Michigan that lays out crucial steps to make us a "Top Ten" state, one that produces good jobs, higher incomes, and a healthy economy.

Mr. Rothwell defined the five priorities that Business Leaders for Michigan is working on to help the State of Michigan which include strengthening the state's fiscal stability, attracting talent, investing in infrastructure, encouraging economic development, and leveraging the state's current assets.

Rothwell noted, "We need to celebrate the comeback we have made as a state, but our job is not done. We have gone from being the worst state 6 to 7 years ago to now being an average performing state. Average is just that. We have more work to do." To learn more about Business Leaders for Michigan and their plan, click on the above link.

Last but not least, Dr. Kojo Quartey, Monroe County Community College's President & CEO, introduced their Trustees' Chair, Lynette Dowler. She presented the MCCC Business & Industry Supporter of the Year award to the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters for their countless man hours spent on marketing and spreading the word on the recently passed capital improvement milage Michael Jackson, Jr. and Michael Davis, Jr. joined us to accept the award on their behalf. This millage is helping transform not only MCCC but the future of Monroe County.

Thanks to all who were able to join us for this exciting evening. We have heard many comments that people left feel energized and excited about the future of Monroe County and our state!
Pictured is Lynette Dowler, MCCC Trustees' Board Chair & DTE's Director of Corporate Safety giving MCCC Business & Industry Supporter of the Year Award to Michael Jackson & Michael Davis of the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters
Doug Rothwell, Business Leaders for Michigan
Doug Rothwell, President & CEO, Business Leaders for Michigan
Doug Chaffin, Monroe County BDC Board Chair, President & CEO of Monroe Bank & Trust
Doug Chaffin, Monroe BDC's Board Chair, President & CEO, Monroe Bank & Trust
Growing Tomorrow's Talent Today
What is MI Bright Future? It is an integrated online career development system that allows students to explore career options and to connect with local employers. 
How does it work? Powered by technology that Michigan students already use for college and career planning, MI Bright Future allows students to interact with your company through online discussion boards, company profiles, and career experiences.
This regional program is being rolled out in Southeast Michigan and is administered via a State of Michigan grant by the Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN). The BDC is working with Carrie Bonofiglio, WIN Business Partnerships Coordinator, for the purpose of recruiting our local business community to register for the program. We will be working with our local school districts to roll out the program to students. Airport High School will be the first district to roll out the program. 
As mentioned, the program is designed for companies and students to interact. At full capacity the program is projected to reach 304,000 students, connect business to 3,000 teachers, administrators and counselors, advertise your business, and "what you do."
Your business will have the opportunity to offer 20 types of career development opportunities such as company tours, job shadowing experiences, internships, teacher experiences, guest speaking and many more.
We have heard from many businesses that they would like a venue to connect with their local school districts … now, that is available! You can register online for FREE at: . Please note there is a background check to the process as you will be interacting with youth, so it will take a bit of time for your registration to go live. We recommend that one person from your firm begin the registration process. You can like the MI Bright Future Facebook page at .
Should you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office or you may email Carrie at .
MI Department of Corrections - Vocational Village
The Monroe County BDC recently had the opportunity to visit the State of Michigan's Department of Corrections (DOC) newest effort in the rehabilitation of our incarcerated citizens. The program, entitled Vocational Village, was intriguing in that the areas of instruction are in the critical skilled trade areas that are so critical to the growth of our economy.
The goal of the program is to provide a positive learning community for the prisoners who are serious about completing Career and Technical Education. These students are housed together and share common goals of improving their lives. This was evident in speaking with one student that was demonstrating the operations of a Fancu robot. As he spoke, you heard both passion and pride in his new found knowledge learned while in the Parnell Correctional Facility in Jackson, Michigan.
The DOC is training in the building trades with carpentry, concrete and masonry being the featured skills. Students are given the basic instruction in safety, construction math, blueprint reading and proper use of the tools. Of interest to our manufacturing community is the training in CNC/Machine Tools and Robotics. Again, safety is paramount and is the first lessons learned. Through Immersive Engineering, students may obtain nationally recognized credentials for the use of HAAS CNC Mills and Lathes. Other areas of training are in automotive technology and commercial driver's license and forklift operation.
The DOC is also providing workforce readiness training and using Work Keys to assess the job skills of the student. The prisoner are assessed and if successful in entering the program will have between 13 and 18 months remaining on their sentence. The training generally will last around 10 to 12 months. Those that excel in there training can be elevated to leaders and assist the instructor with the training of other students. Instructors are either from industry or the education system and both are knowledgeable in their respective trades and great teachers. 
As one speaker explained, we are working to provide you a valuable entry level worker, who has a good working knowledge of the trade they studied while in prison. They will need additional on-the-job training and are ready for apprenticeships.
When a prisoner is released, they are generally sent back to their home area so this pool of talent may not be deep. With the lack of skilled talent though, it may provide a talented worker with the skills needed to begin employment in your company.
Pamela Ballew is an employment counselor, whose job is to make sure the released student has employment. She may be reached at . You may also reach out to our local workforce development team at Michigan Works! Monroe County. Steve Mihalec is our local business service representative and may be reached at .
Should you have questions, please contact our office at 734-241-8081.
A few more mentions ...
> Join other Monroe County citizens and businesses and attend ProMedica's Anchoring a Healthier Communit y event on Monday, October 2. For more details, click the link.

>> 2017 SBAM Summit - Application is now open! The event is scheduled for October 11 at the Cobo Center in Downtown Detroit. This event will feature purchasing groups from across the state looking to fulfill current procurement gaps by meeting with qualified Michigan suppliers.

If your company is interested in attending, please apply for a chance to meet with the participating buyers: Absopure, Comerica Bank, Consumers Energy, Detroit Tigers, MGM Grand Casino, Motor City Casino, Oakland County Purchasing, Olympus Fare Salsa, Praxair, SBD Automotive, Wayne State University. More buyers and needs continue to be added. For more information, click the button below.
>>> The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), and its partner organization, the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition (MAC), have released a report, Providing Quality Education for All Students: A Comprehensive Approach , which presents a framework that addresses the main challenges of the current public education system .

 >>> Are you interested in investing in the BDC?  If you are interested in contributing to the economic development of Monroe County or want to learn more, please give us a call (734-241-8081) or email us at
Please feel free to contact us anytime!
Tim Lake | LuAnn Hogberg