COVID-19 Update: Kroger to Open $16M Oak Park Store Next Week, Connect 313 Providing Digital Devices to Low-income Detroit Seniors, 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 daily coronavirus cases by county in Michigan
Courtesy of Bridge, as of Oct. 29

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.

Kroger to Open $21M Oak Park Store Next Week
Kroger will open a new $21-million, 91,860-square-foot store at 26200 Greenfield Rd. in Oak Park next Friday, Nov. 6.

After nearly one year of construction, the store brings shoppers an attractive shopping environment with a wide variety of organic fruits and vegetables, a sushi kiosk, natural foods, and gluten-free products. Shoppers also will find conveniences like hot food selection and Kroger Pickup, Kroger’s online ordering, and parking lot pickup service, according to the company.

“We can’t wait to welcome the community into our brand new store,” says Davontae Coleman, manager of the new store. “We feel this will be such a great asset for our Oak Park neighbors and we’re thrilled to share the new products and conveniences with our community.”

Shoppers who use their Kroger Plus card at the store’s checkout next Friday will be entered to win a $100 Kroger gift card in an hourly drawing.

The location will employ more than 250 associates. Those interested in applying for employment can visit here.

Connect 313 Providing Digital Devices to Low-income Detroit Seniors
Connect 313, a collaborative organization founded by the city of Detroit, Rocket Mortgage Classic, Rocket Cos., Microsoft, and United Way of Southeastern Michigan that aims to close Detroit’s digital divide, has started the distribution of tablets, digital training, and tech-enabled health care services to thousands of low-income seniors throughout southeastern Michigan.

This effort, called Connecting Seniors, is made possible through the Connect 313 Fund and by a $3.9-million grant from the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities Rapid Response Initiative.

This is the first initiative to come from Connect 313 and is emblematic of the organization’s collaborative, community-driven model of investment, which brings countless organizations together to ensure all Detroiters can access the digital world and the opportunity it brings.

“The disparity in digital equity is a systemic, generational issue that was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Joshua Edmonds, digital director for the city of Detroit and chief advocate of Connect 313. “Connect 313 is designed to undertake an ecosystem approach to eradicate the digital divide. We’ve already made great strides in connecting students to critical technology resources, but we must not lose focus on our seniors who are facing economic hardship and persistent technology adoption challenges that make telehealth a distant reality.”

Connect 313 will coordinate the distribution of devices and digital resources with the support of partners including: the city of Detroit, Focus: HOPE, Wayne State University, human-I-T, Microsoft + Accenture, United Way for Southeastern Michigan, and the Rocket Community Fund (formerly Quicken Loans Community Fund).

Wayne State will provide a holistic suite of clinical and other health-related services including testing, counseling, and mental health care.

Seniors and caregivers who are interested in participating in the program can contact Focus: HOPE at 313-494-4240.

Detroit Pistons Name New NBA G League Affiliate Motor City Cruise
The Detroit Pistons today announced the name and unveiled the logo for their new NBA G League affiliate, the Motor City Cruise. Detroit’s newest professional franchise will play its games on the campus of Wayne State University in Detroit starting with the 2021-’22 season.

The name was chosen as part of a fan contest, won by Dylan Martin of Grandville, southwest of Grand Rapids, who was the first to submit the winning name. Martin will receive four courtside season tickets and a VIP package for the inaugural season.

To view the new logo and a video, visit here and here.

Detroit Historical Society Receives New Museum Accessibility Certification
Guests of all ages with sensory sensitivities who visit to the Detroit Historical Museum in Midtown and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle have new options to make their experience more enjoyable, thanks to the Detroit Historical Society’s recent certification through KultureCity.

Sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD and other conditions. One of the major barriers for these individuals is sensitivity to overstimulation and noise.

During the certification process, the Detroit Historical Society’s full staff received training to recognize guests with sensory needs and assist in a sensory overload situation. In addition, sensory bags are now available for museum guests to use during their visit. The kits — which are sterilized between uses — contain noise canceling headphones (provided by Puro Sound Labs), fidget tools, verbal cue cards (produced in conjunction with Boardmaker), and weighted lap pads. For those who may need a break in a quieter and more secure environment, a dedicated sensory room is also available.

Prior to attending an event or visiting the museums, families can download the free KultureCity app to view what sensory features are available and where they can access them.

For more information, visit here.

$27M in Job Training Funds Available to Michigan Employers
Michigan employers are able to apply a share of the $27 million in job training funds available to Michigan businesses as part of Going PRO Talent Fund program starting Monday.

The Going PRO Talent Fund helps individuals secure employment, industry-recognized credentials, and strong wages by providing training grants to Michigan businesses to support employees in high-demand, skilled trades industries.

“Michigan workers and businesses benefit greatly from the Talent Fund program,” says Stephanie Beckhorn, director of the state’s Office of Employment and Training. “Over the years, this program has supported more than 94,000 workers with training, including new hires and current workers.”

Since the program’s launch in 2014, more than 3,000 Michigan businesses have received Talent Fund awards to assist in training, developing, and retaining current and newly hired employees. Training must fill a demonstrated talent need experienced by the employer and lead to a credential for a skill that is transferable and recognized by industry.

“The Talent Fund helps individuals develop the skills they need for in-demand jobs, while also ensuring employers have the talent they need to compete and grow,” Beckhorn says. “This program gives workers a direct pathway to higher-paying careers and financial stability for themselves and their families. It also addresses the skills gap that challenges the success of Michigan businesses and our state’s prosperity.”

Businesses interested in learning more or applying for funding should contact their local Michigan Works! Service Center or visit here. The application period ends at 5 p.m. Nov. 30, and selected applicants will be announced in early 2021. To learn more about the Going PRO Talent Fund, visit here.

Redford Township Gymnastics Center Creates COVID-friendly Halloween Activities
Kenetic Athletics in Redford Township is hosting a Halloween event on Saturday to provide a safe alternative to children and families due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased through Event Brite. Activities include:

  • Open gymnastics.
  • Raffles and giveaways.
  • Costume contest.
  • Show and tell.

“We are thrilled to bring this experience to metro Detroit residents,” says Kendyl Stewart, head coach and CEO of Kenetic Athletics. “Our coaches are excited to introduce gymnastics and tumbling to inner city children eager to release some energy.”

For more information, visit here.