COVID-19 Update: AAM to Supply Axles and Driveshafts for Heavy-duty Ram Pickup, American Jewelry & Loan to Open Two New Stores Downriver, and More

Here is a roundup of the latest news concerning the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to announcements from local, state, and federal governments, as well as international channels. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
map of Michigan coronavirus cases by county
Courtesy of Bridge, as of Feb. 13

Here is a roundup of the latest news concerning the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to announcements from local, state, and federal governments, as well as international channels. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

Detroit’s American Axle to Supply Axles and Driveshafts for Ram Pickup
Detroit-based American Axle & Manufacturing has been selected by Auburn Hills’ Stellantis to supply the next-generation axle and driveshaft program for Ram’s heavy duty pick-up trucks.

As Ram’s strategic driveline supplier through 2030, AAM says it expects current and future sales related to this program to exceed several billion dollars over the lifetime of the contract.

“AAM is pleased to continue our long-term partnership with Ram as the supplier of axles and driveshafts for the 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty pickup trucks,” says David C. Dauch, chairman and CEO of AAM. “We look forward to providing our latest and most efficient driveline technologies as Ram’s strategic supplier for the next-generation of this key vehicle program. This vehicle program continues AAM’s mission to support growth in advanced vehicle technologies.”

AAM has approximately 20,000 associates operating at nearly 80 facilities in 17 countries.

American Jewelry & Loan to Open Two New Stores Downriver
Detroit-based American Jewelry & Loan has announced it will open stores in Southgate and Lincoln Park later this month.

The first location will open in a renovated 4,000-square-foot space at 14336 Eureka Rd. in Southgate, in a former Payless Shoes store. A second Downriver location, a 9,000-square-foot space at 1456 Fort St. in Lincoln Park, formerly was occupied for by Downriver Pawn Brokers.

The two Downriver locations are expected to lead to the addition of 15 new jobs to the company’s payroll.

“During this time of economic crisis, more and more of our neighbors find themselves without access to a bank account,” says Les Gold, co-owner of American Jewelry & Loan. “The pawnshop can help them with cash, at low interest rates, close to home, when they need it the most.”

American Jewelry & Loan still operates its flagship location in Detroit and existing stores in Hazel Park and Pontiac.

West Bloomfield Mattress Company Unveils New Product for Incontinence
Diamedical USA Equipment in West Bloomfield, operators of, today unveiled a new brand called SaniSnooze, a subsidiary specifically created for users suffering with bedwetting and nighttime incontinence.

SaniSnooze offers a variety of incontinence products designed for newborns, toddlers, children, adults, individuals with disabilities, and persons weighing up to 500 pounds. All SaniSnooze products provide protection from nighttime accidents by utilizing a high-performance, soft-touch, fluid-proof fabric that allows quick and easy cleanup.

Made with waterproof membrane protectors, SaniSnooze technology protects mattress core from fluids in addition to household allergens, mold, mildew, moisture, dust mites, and bed bugs.

“At SaniSnooze, we understand that every person is unique, as are their needs for a mattress,” says Gillian Peralta, president of and SaniSnooze. “By offering multiple mattress options for every age group and type of incontinence we can work to improve sleep hygiene and minimize the discomfort that accompanies bedwetting.”

OptionsFlow App and Asian Digital Mind Adopt Detroit-based Benzinga Newswire
Detroit-based financial news vendor Benzinga is partnering with OptionsFlow App and Asian Digital Mind to help them train individuals in trading options.

Using Benzinga’s newswire, OptionsFlow users will obtain an understanding of how news flow impacts financial markets, specifically options trading.

Asian Digital Mind is a mobile application development company based in California that aims to help make options trading easier for retail traders.

Business Leaders Support State Investment in Education and Mobility
Business Leaders for Michigan, the state’s business roundtable, weighed in to support key provisions of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Fiscal Year 2022 Executive Budget recommendation.

“Investing in people and innovation are some of the best things we can do to make Michigan a more competitive and prosperous state,” says Jeff Donofrio, president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan. “The governor’s budget recommendation lays out investments in K-12, talent development, and mobility programs that have bipartisan support, will help fill talent gaps, and increase income for families.”

Key provisions in the budget recommendation include:

  • Establishing a K-12 education best practices center to help identify, replicate, and scale best practices in K-12 education to improve academic performance across the state.
  • Providing additional support for at-risk and special needs K-12 students.
  • Implementing research-based solutions to help students recover lost learning hours due to the disruption caused by the pandemic.
  • Helping residents acquire the skills and credentials employers need by providing additional support for our public higher education institutions, and the Michigan Reconnect, Futures for Frontliners, and Going Pro programs.
  • Support for a Mobility Futures Initiative to advance connected and autonomous vehicle deployment, economic and workforce development, equity and sustainability.

“With COVID accelerating what was already a changing landscape for jobs and mobility, it is critical that we provide a strong educational foundation, ability to upskill throughout life and keeps us in the lead on future mobility,” Donoforio says. “Plans released by legislative leaders have addressed many of these critical areas as well, and we look forward to working with the Administration and legislative leadership to move our state forward.”

New Value City Furniture Stores to Open Feb. 25
Value City Furniture is opening a new store in Westland (8300 N. Wayne Rd.) on Feb. 25 at a former Loves Furniture location.

The opening follows the same at a former Love’s operation at 425 E. Eisenhower Parkway in Ann Arbor on Feb. 11.

These stores are new concepts for the Value City brand, focused on Designer Looks. As customers enter the store, they will see the newest and most popular seasonal styles featured in vignettes that are designed to inspire them to design their own spaces at home.

Designer Looks are offered in curated collections, featuring of-the-moment styles inspired by “high-end designer trends offered at affordable prices,” according to the company. These high-end styles are built with quality craftsmanship all from the brand’s 125-year-old North Carolina workshop.

These store openings are following a series of hiring events hosted by VCF in response to the closure of Loves Furniture stores in an effort to help those formerly employed by Loves continue their careers.

Michigan Company Offers New Electrical Power Setup for Remote Workers
Byrne, an electrical connections company in Rockford (north of Grand Rapids), is producing new Branching Kits to help people who are working remotely.

The new Branching Kits offer power to those working from home who need to plug in laptops, lighting, height-adjustable tables, smartphones, and other accessories. They promise more power for software engineers and serious gamers running hard drives, multiple screens, and headphones.

Each Branching Kit requires only basic installation, is tested to the highest safety standards, and requires only one plug, according to the company.

“After the year we’ve had, we know that dependable power and charging access — to connect to families, friends, coworkers, and communities — is more important than ever,” the company said in a statement. “Everyone deserves safe, ergonomic, affordable solutions — well-designed and built to last with lightning-fast lead times.”

For more information, visit here.

Beaumont Health Allows Limited Visitation for Non-COVID-19 Patients
Beaumont Health has updated its COVID-19 visitation guidelines across the health system, effective today, to allow visitation for patients who do not have or are not suspected of having COVID-19.

“We recognize having loved ones visit benefits our patients and helps our staff deliver the patient and family centered care that is at the center of everything we do at Beaumont,” says Susan Grant, chief nursing officer at Beaumont Health. “However, COVID-19 continues to spread in our community. Therefore, we cannot lift all restrictions. We look forward to the day when we are able to welcome all family and friends without these COVID-19 modifications.”

The change comes as inpatient COVID-19 numbers have declined at Beaumont. If the number of cases climbs at Beaumont or in the community, the health system will adjust its COVID-19 visitation guidelines as appropriate.

A summary of the updated guidelines include:

  • One person may visit patients who do not have or are not suspected of having COVID-19 between 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Patients who are at end-of-life, or are being evaluated for hospice care, are allowed two visitors.
  • Laboring women may have both a support person and a doula present.
  • Children (21 years old and under) may have two parents/legal guardians present 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; one may stay overnight. (Note: families of babies in the NICU must talk with the staff about NICU visitation.)

No one is permitted to visit patients with pending or positive COVID-19 tests, except for end-of-life situations, children under 21 (one parent is allowed), and women in labor or requiring a C-section (one birth partner).

To read the complete text of Beaumont’s newly updated visitation guidelines, visit here.

The Empowerment Plan and Chevrolet Teaming to Help Detroit Homeless
The Empowerment Plan and Chevrolet are teaming up to help the homeless in Detroit by handing out 50 coats made from upcycled materials that transform into sleeping bags today at Street Medicine in Detroit.

The coats are manufactured by homeless parents in an effort to help these individuals achieve financial stability and independence for their whole family.

The initiative is part of a larger eight-city road trip, where Chevrolet and TEP will deliver a total of 500 coats to cities across the Midwest and Northeast through early March. In addition to offsetting the cost of the coats, the GM brand will provide the crew with a Tahoe and Suburban for the journey.

Parent company General Motors is TEP’s longest standing corporate partner and has provided more than $1 million in funding as well as in-kind materials such as plastics and insulation to recycle into the coats.

Beyond Basics Preparing to Celebrate National Reading Month in March
Beyond Basics and its Literacy Coalition Partners are conducting a meet and greet on Feb. 17 for individuals and organizations with the goal of eradicating illiteracy in preparation for National Reading Month in March.

Participants in the 3 p.m. Zoom meeting will have the opportunity to introduce their organizations, share ideas and best practices, and discuss plans for National Reading Month.

To participate, contact Katie Nienstedt at

On Feb. 20, the organization is hosting the iDetroit Book Talk Fundraiser for Detroit Literacy Nonprofits from 11 a.m.-noon on Zoom.

The book talk fundraiser features Marcus Lyon, author of “i.Detroit” released in 2020. The virtual event also features Beyond Basics founder Pamela Good and Progressionista founder Shanel Adams — two i.Detroiters focused on improving literacy among youth in Detroit.

“i.Detroit – A Human Atlas of an American City” is a research-based exploration of 100 individuals from the city of Detroit. The three-year project was built on the foundation of a six-month nomination process, where a diverse group of Detroiters nominated people from their own communities who represent the very best of service to society and are making significant contributions to Detroit, the region and beyond.

During the event, guests will have an opportunity to learn more about “i.Detroit” and participate in a Q&A. Guests also will be entered to win a copy of “i.Detroit” (a $260 value).

Proceeds will be split evenly between Beyond Basics, Progressionista, and The Detroit Writing Room’s nonprofit arm Coaching Detroit Forward.

For tickets, visit here.

National Literacy Month will kick off with the Beyond Basics Literacy Summit will take place March 3 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. on Zoom.

This event features John Corcoran, a former teacher turned author of “The Bridge to Literacy,” “The Teacher Who Couldn’t Read,” and “The Reading Gap,” who will discuss the importance of literacy and the truth of today’s literacy crisis. The summit also includes a media panel discussion on the 3rd grade reading law and the literacy lawsuit hosted by WXYZ-TV anchor Carolyn Clifford.

To participate, contact Katie Nienstedt at

Facebook Comments