DBusiness Daily Update: Amazon Hiring 3,500+ Employees in Michigan for Holiday Season, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
As the holiday season draws near, Amazon announced that it is hiring more than 3,500 full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees in Michigan. // Courtesy of Amazon
As the holiday season draws near, Amazon announced that it is hiring more than 3,500 full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees in Michigan. // Courtesy of Amazon

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

Amazon Hiring 3,500+ Employees in Michigan for Holiday Season

Amazon announced that it is hiring more than 3,500 full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees in Michigan as it gets closer to the holiday season. It’s part of a national effort to hire 150,000 people.

Roles available range from include packing and picking to sorting and shipping. Applications are encouraged from people of all backgrounds and experience levels. Employees can earn, on average, more than $19 per hour based on position and location in the U.S., according to Amazon.

Interested candidates can see all the regions with open positions here.

“We’re proud to offer a wide variety of roles for people of all backgrounds, with more than 150,000 roles available across the country,” says John Felton, senior vice president of worldwide operations at Amazon. “Whether someone is looking for some extra money for a few months or a long-term career, the holidays are a great time for people to join Amazon, and many of our seasonal employees return year-after-year or transition into full-time roles.

“Those who choose to stay with us will find a lot of opportunities to grow their careers, whether they take advantage of our free college tuition programs or seek out promotions across our network — this year alone, more than 20,000 front-line employees received promotions.”

Jobs in Amazon’s operations network include stowing, picking, packing, sorting, shipping customer orders, and more. The flexibility of the jobs available come with a wide range of hours — full- and part-time — and excellent pay and benefits, the company says. Sign-on bonuses ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 are available in select locations.

Lab Drawer Opens in Detroit to Provide Children STEAM Educational Kits

The Lab Drawer, a company that offers a monthly subscription box full of cross-functional STEAM learning experiences for children ages 10-14, has opened inside the Durfee Innovation Society in the city’s Dexter-Linwood neighborhood.

Owned by Detroiters Alecia Gabriel and Dierdre Roberson, Lab Drawer was awarded a $50,000 Motor City Match cash grant in the 19th installment of the program and is the 139th brick and mortar MCM business to open in the city.

“Alecia and Dierdre had it in their hearts to have a business that helps to feed children’s natural curiosity and help them learn,” says Mayor Mike Duggan. “I’m so proud that Motor City Match has been able to play such an important role in helping them their dream and build their business right here in the city of Detroit.”

The Lab Drawer was one of 30 businesses in the country selected by Target to sell their kits in stores.

“We truly hope that our services and the kids help to transform the lives of the students that we engage with,” Gabriel says. “Careers in STEAM can provide and improve economic mobility. We can help them choose a career that will help them and their families in the future. We would like to keep manufacturing the city of Detroit to increase employment opportunity and build a more reputable future for those interested.”

Funding Available to Michigan Small Businesses for Enhanced Worker Protections

Michigan small businesses with 250 or fewer employees can apply for a Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) matching grant up to $5,000 to make improvements to their workplace health and safety.

“MIOSHA’s ongoing grant opportunities provide essential support to protect Michigan businesses and workplaces,” says Susan Corbin, director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. “Our investment in this area is a critical component to our state’s long-term economic success and the safety and well-being of our hardworking people.”

The grants are available through the Workplace Improvement to Safety and Health (MIWISH) grant program and enable employers to purchase safety- and health-related equipment and training that will support safer, healthier work environments and reduce the risk of injury and illness to workers in Michigan.

“This grant funding is significant because it enables more small businesses to access the equipment and training that ensures the safety and health of their teams,” says Bart Pickelman, director of MIOSHA. “We invite all eligible employers to apply for funding to strengthen their safety cultures and protect their most valuable assets: their employees.”

Preference will be given to employers in high-hazard industries identified in MIOSHA’s 2019-2023 strategic plan. All projects will be evaluated based on the specific hazards addressed. The grant period began Oct. 1 and will continue until grant funding is expended.

MIOSHA encourages new grantees to take advantage of this program. Fiscal Year 2022 grantees may apply for funds after Jan. 1, 2023.

To qualify for the MIWISH grant program, eligible employers must have:

  • A qualified safety professional or safety committee conduct a site-specific evaluation justifying the equipment purchase.
  • Knowledge and experience to complete the project and commitment to implementation.
  • Match dollars for the grant money awarded and cover of all estimated project costs.
  • Recommended actions must be in the form of equipment or work area modifications to be used to reduce workplace hazards. Only items referenced in the application can be considered eligible, within the proposed project.

Some equipment examples include:

  • Residential fall protection systems
  • Lifting equipment or portable lifting equipment for in-home care or small nursing/residential care facilities
  • Monitoring equipment for confined space entry
  • Noise reduction engineering controls
  • Lock out/tag out systems
  • Cooling systems for agriculture-based worksites
  • Eyewash stations

For more information about the MIWISH grant program and how to apply, visit here or contact MIOSHA’s consultation education and training grant administrator at 269-275-7155.

MSU, Henry Ford Health, Brown University Start New Suicide Prevention Research Center

Michigan State University in East Lansing, Henry Ford Health in Detroit, and Brown University in Rhode Island are leading investigators from 13 institutions collaborating to reduce the national suicide rate by using a $15 million National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) grant to establish a suicide prevention research center.

Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States, with about one death reported every 11 minutes.

The National Center for Health and Justice Integration for Suicide Prevention, or NCHATS, is a program that will use contact with the justice system — such as police, jail, and courts — as a novel marker for suicide risk.

Justice-involved individuals account for a significant proportion of suicides annually. One in three men and one in eight women who die by suicide have spent at least one night in jail in their lifetimes. Crises, such as criminal or legal problems, can increase immediate risk.

Individuals who come into contact with the criminal justice system also have high rates of other suicide risk factors, including mental health problems, substance use, financial challenges, loss of housing, relationship struggles, exposure to violence, and access to lethal means such as firearms, vehicles, or drugs. Unfortunately, justice and police settings have limited mental health intervention capacity, and health systems are typically unaware of their patients’ justice involvement.

“One of the main problems in suicide prevention is finding people at risk for suicide who are not well-connected to health care,” says Jennifer Johnson, C. S. Mott Endowed Professor of Public Health at MSU’s College of Human Medicine and one of three primary investigators, or PI, on the grant. “It turns out that many such individuals are in contact with the justice system, including police, courts, and local jails. The challenge with connecting individuals in jail with community services is that it is resource-intensive and difficult to do at scale. Our approach solves both problems.”

Given that contact with the justice system is a significant risk factor for suicide, linking data between the disparate systems of health care and justice can allow health care professionals to intervene at a critical moment in patient care.

The new suicide prevention center will examine the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and scalability of suicide prevention activities. The center will use contact with the justice system ­– police contact, court involvement, and arrest — as an indicator of suicide risk in the general population. The center will link big data systems that efficiently track publicly available data on justice involvement to health system records to identify individuals at risk for suicide and connect them to community care.

“This is an important area to explore as a society and as leaders in suicide prevention,” says Brian Ahmedani, director of the Center for Health Policy and Health Services Research and director of psychiatry research at Henry Ford Health. “Suicide is a serious public health problem that affects all ages and walks of life. While the goal of this valuable award from NIH is to prevent suicide in justice-involved individuals and improve the overall health and well-being of them and their families, the research and practices that come from it can also be a source of knowledge when it comes to suicide prevention in other populations.”

Cucina Lab Torino Launching ROSSO Bitta’s Vermouth in Detroit

Cucina Lab Torino in Detroit is commemorating its two-year anniversary with the Detroit launch of ROSSO Bitta’s vermouth Oct. 29.

The anniversary celebration and launch will take place between 6-9 p.m. at Cucina Lab Torino (3960 Crooks Road) in Troy.

Chef and owner of Cucina Lab Torino Elisabetta Balzola is a first-generation Italian hailing from Torino, the world capital of vermouth. Balzola moved to the United States in 2014 with her family of five and crafted her own business in the food industry with a team of other all-Italian women.

ROSSO was inspired by the original vermouth recipe from 1786, as it joins white wine made with Piemontese Cortese wine grapes with the essence of various herbs. Thanks to the citrus aromas combined with mint, eucalyptus, ginger, gentian, absinthe, and others, this new version of the traditional Italian artisan liquor was developed.

ACG Detroit Hosting ‘The New Recession Playbook’ Oct. 19

ACG Detroit is hosting a breakfast panel led by a diverse group of experts who will share best practices to help companies emerge stronger in 2023 and beyond. The event will take place from 8-10 a.m. Oct. 19 at Bloomfield Hills Country Club (350 W Long Lake Road) in Bloomfield Hills.

To register, visit here.

Inaugural Big Bear Barrel Aged Brewfest Supports Youth Programming

Seventeen craft beer, cider, and mead makers will showcase barrel aged beer and cider at the Big Bear Barrel Aged Brewfest from 1-5 p.m. Oct. 29  on the farm adjacent to Iron Fish Distillery in Thompsonville, southwest of Traverse City.

The festival, showcasing barrel-aged beer and cider, promises to be a “big barrel of fall and fun” while raising money to support youth programming in the region.

The Big Bear Barrel Aged Brewfest is organized by the Kaleva-based Big Sportsman’s Club and offers attendees beer, cider, and mead, aged in various styles of whiskey barrels from Iron Fish Distillery. In addition to the barrel aged brews, the event also will feature live music, multiple food vendors, and fall games and activities.

For more information, visit here.

Autism Alliance Hosting Family Wellness and Vaccine Clinic Oct. 12

The Autism Alliance of Michigan (AAoM) and Community Mental Health of Central Michigan (CMHCM) are co-hosting a family wellness and community vaccine clinic on Oct. 12 at the Pediatric Center for Rehabilitation and Behavioral Health in Midland. The event is open to all and will offer a wide range of preventative wellness screenings at no cost conducted by the medial professionals from Wayne Health Mobile Unit, including:

  • Blood pressure screening
  • General health screenings (diabetes, cholesterol, kidney function)
  • COVID 19 vaccinations (5 year old+)
  • COVID 19 PCR testing
  • Flu vaccinations

Attendees do not need appointments and health insurance is not required for services. The mobile unit will have sensory kits provided by AAoM for those with sensory needs to help everyone have a positive health clinic experience. Additionally, the CMHCM team will have staff on hand to support children who may have fears or challenging behaviors when going to a medical appointment for wellness checks or vaccinations.

To register for the Family Wellness and Community Vaccine clinic, visit: the Community Mental Health for Central Michigan’s Facebook page and scan the QR code. Information on and other programs is available here.

Free Springboard to Success Program Offers Women Job Search Skills, Computer Training

Gesher Human Services in Southfield will be running its new Springboard to Success program from Oct. 20 to Dec. 14 at the organization’s headquarters (29699 Southfield Road).

The free seven-week program will be conducted in person starting with an Oct. 20 informational meeting from 9-11 a.m.

“For job seekers today, computer skills are vital — both for the actual job search process, and to be a credible candidate for many positions,” says Judy Richmond, employment specialist and Women to Work coordinator at Gesher. “We are providing current technology skills, combined with job search assistance and counselling, to help women be successful in searching for employment even if the job market does become tighter.”

Classes will provide participants with:

  • In-depth vocational assessment.
  • Employment-related group counseling and emotional support plus stress management.
  • Information and referrals to support services.
  • Computer training – Microsoft 2016 Office Word and Excel Basics.
  • Help with networking, resume writing and interviewing.
  • Financial management advice.

The computer training portion of the program will run on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-3:30 p.m. and the Women to Work portion on Wednesdays from 9 a.m.-noon.

For more information, visit here.

Digital Media Arts Discovery Event Offers In-depth Look at WCC Programs

The public is invited to the Washtenaw Community College (WCC) campus in Ann Arbor next week to tour labs, visit with instructors, and learn more about the college’s Digital Media Arts programs.

WCC will host an evening of discovery from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 13, beginning on the first floor of the Gunder Myran Building in the Bailey Library. It will include a walking tour of labs across campus, including the production and printing center, video green screen room, video editing labs, audio engineering lab and recording studio, photography studio and darkroom, 3-D animation and game design studio, and state-of-the-art digital processing labs.

The evening is designed to help prospective students and the community learn more about the classes and programming that prepare students for jobs in the audio and visual arts industries.

Visitors are invited to meet with faculty, tour labs and studios, view student work, and learn about the courses, certificate programs, and degrees that WCC offers in the areas of 3-D animation, music production and audio engineering, digital video, graphic design, photography, and web design and development.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current median salary is $59,970 for a graphic designer, $67,090 for a sound engineering technician, and $72,520 for a multimedia artist and animator.

“We look forward to this event and being able to provide a great overview of these dynamic programs,” says Eva Samulski, dean of the Business and Computer Technologies Division. “So many of these career fields are fast-growing and a great option for prospective students or returning students looking to learn using the most current technology in industry.”

Click here to register.