DBusiness Daily Update: Chaldean Community Foundation Hosting Career Fair Sept. 27, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies.
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Chaldean Community Foundation
The Chaldean Community Foundation in Sterling Heights is hosting its second Career Fair Sept. 27. // Photo courtesy of Chaldean Community Foundation

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.

Chaldean Community Foundation Hosting Career Fair Sept. 27

The Chaldean Community Foundation in Sterling Heights is hosting its second multi-employer, multi-industry Career Fair Sept. 27 with dozens of organizations seeking to fill hundreds of open full- and part-time positions.

The focus of the Career Fair will be on new Americans but also is open to the general public.

Jobs include entry-level and more experienced positions across industries including education, banking, retail, hospitality, manufacturing, cosmetology, and law enforcement. Attendees should bring their resume and dress to impress. They will be able to apply and participate in on-the-spot interviews and network with other businesses and organizations at this free event.

The event will take place between 3-6 p.m. at the Chaldean Community Foundation (360115 Mile Road) in Sterling Heights.

For more information, visit chaldeanfoundation.org.

State of Michigan Offers Assistance to Strike-affected Workers, Businesses

In recognition of the potential impacts of the UAW strike, the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) is offering agency resources to assist strike-affected workers and businesses.

Workers who may be briefly unemployed due to the strike may be eligible to apply for temporary financial assistance through the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA). Over the past year, UIA has put in place modernization reforms that positions the agency to be ready to help any workers affected by an auto industry-related work stoppage including:

The Claimant Roadmap: An easy-to-follow, six-step guide to applying for and understanding unemployment benefits.

First-time filer coaching sessions: Online, web-based guidance from UIA staff who walk users through the steps needed to complete an application and qualify for payments.

UIA Community Connect: This program partners with local groups to provide guidance for workers from underserved groups who have faced barriers when filing for jobless benefits and for employers facing a decision about laying off workers.

Assistance with resetting account passwords: Workers must create a MiLogin account before setting up a MiWAM account. Follow instructions to set up your account, reset your password, or request your User ID. If you are locked out of either MiLogin or MiWAM, call UIA Customer Service at 866-500-0017.

For additional assistance, workers can schedule appointments at Michigan.gov/UIA or call Customer Service at 866-500-0017.

In partnership with LEO’s Office of Employment and Training, Michigan Works! agencies are also available to assist workers who have been laid off or had their hours reduced due to the strike. Individuals may be eligible to receive services through one or more federally funded workforce development programs. Workers should contact their local Michigan Works! service center for information about programs and services that may be available to assist them with finding another job, upgrading their skills, or embarking on a new career path.

For more information, visit here.

UIA also provides resources to support employers who may experience an interruption to their business as a result of the strike, including:

Work Share: Provides an option to reduce employee hours while still keeping your skilled workforce intact. Employees can collect partial unemployment benefits to make up for some of the pay they would lose if their hours were reduced.

Registration and Seeking Work Waiver: During a short-term layoff, this program waives the requirement that workers must register and search for work while receiving unemployment benefits. This assures employers that their trained and skilled workforce is available to return to work when the temporary layoff ends.

Employer Filed Claims: Employers can submit to the UIA unemployment claims information on behalf of laid off full-time workers. This fast and secure method assures the accuracy of information provided to the UIA and reduces the potential for fraud.

Businesses with questions about these and other programs can call the Office of Employer Ombudsman at 855-484-2636.

Employers whose businesses have been negatively impacted by the strike to the extent that closures and/or mass layoffs are necessary should submit a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) to the state of Michigan.

The WARN Act requires employers to provide written notice for covered closures and workforce reductions. Submitting a WARN assures that assistance can be provided to impacted workers, their families, and the community through the Rapid Response team which includes representatives from LEO Workforce Development’s Rapid Response Section, UIA, and local Michigan Works! agencies.

Upon receipt of a WARN, the Rapid Response team coordinates with the employer to provide information to the workers and employer about services that are available through the workforce system.

In the event of an extended strike, the likelihood of downstream impacts to suppliers also will become more likely. Through existing forums, technical assistance providers, and business retention efforts, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) will continue to monitor and provide timely information and resources that can be utilized to help businesses prepare for a strike. For these suppliers, it’s important they speak to their banks immediately, understand their cash flow position, and discuss possible options to weather the uncertainty, such as a period of forbearance, interest-only payments, increase to a line of credit or re-structuring debt.

Designer Brands, JEMS by Pensole Launch First Shoe Made in Black-owned Footwear Factory

 Designer Brands Inc. has unveiled the First JEM, the inaugural shoe from the JEMS by Pensole brand.

This occasion marks the first shoe to roll off the assembly line at one of the first Black-owned footwear factories in the U.S. Based in Somersworth, N.H., the factory opened earlier this year as part of a partnership between Designer Brands and JEMS by Pensole focused on creating opportunity for underrepresented Black designers in the footwear industry.

The First JEM, available exclusively at DSW.com, is a shoe with a story unlike any other. While many sneakers are designed for or inspired by consumer lifestyle insights, trends, influencers, and professional athletes, the First JEM is inspired by American history through the lens of a Black man who changed an entire industry over 140 years ago: Jan Ernst Matzeliger.

“The FIRST JEM celebrates Matzeliger’s little-known legacy,” says D’Wayne Edwards, founder of JEMS by PEensole and Detroit-based Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design, the only design-focused Historically Black College and University in the country. “His invention of the Lasting Machine in 1883 revolutionized the way shoes are made and is still used today. We’re celebrating his legacy and embodying that same revolutionary spirit, seeking to bring opportunity to new design talent and influence the face of the footwear industry.”

With a hand-crafted leather finish, this one-of-a-kind sneaker is a celebration of the past and a look at the future. The Lasting Machine is shown on the sock liner, while the JEMS badge logo represents the most valuable gem of all — a diamond — symbolizing the gem that Matzeliger was, and the future gems that JEMS by Pensole will foster. Even the acronym, JEMS, stands for Jan Ernst Matzeliger Studio.

“Diversity drives innovation and brings new thinking, designs and products to consumers, yet Black representation sits at less than five percent across all design industries,” says Bill Jordan, president of Designer Brands. “We’re excited to partner with Dr. Edwards on the JEMS by Pensple line. First JEM is just the beginning step in our goal to forge entrepreneurial opportunities for underrepresented footwear designers and make their vision and designs accessible to our customers at DSW stores.”

Designer Brands and JEMS by PENSOLE plan to utilize the new Somersworth factory to roll out future lines of athletic footwear by new brands and underrepresented designers in the coming years. Future drops will be available at select DSW stores.

Burke Porter Group in Grand Rapids Rebrands as Ascential Technologies

Burke Porter Group in Grand Rapids has rebranded as Ascential Technologies.

In its 70 years of operation, Burke Porter Group has designed, developed, and automated complex diagnostics, inspection, and test processes for some of the world’s most innovative companies in the medical and life sciences, transportation, and specialty industrial end markets.

As Ascential Technologies, the company says it’s sharpening its focus on technology and data-driven solutions, while also venturing into new markets. This evolution is said to reaffirm the company’s commitment to customers, empowering them to successfully navigate an increasingly complex market landscape.

Ascential Technologies says it uses its testing and automation capabilities to deliver competitive differentiation and accelerate the pace of innovation for its customers, from the earliest stages to broad commercialization.

“Our new brand, Ascential Technologies, reflects the essential role we play in helping customers across the entire product lifecycle in situations where quality and safety matter most,” says Jeffrey Moss, CEO of Ascential Technologies. “Today’s hypercompetitive markets require trusted partners. We help our customers do the impossible and are unique in our ability to deliver rapid and disciplined product and solution development from ideation to commercialization at scale.”

As part of the rebranding, the company is consolidating its portfolio of brands, and organizing into three divisions to facilitate a streamlined path of engagement for customers:

Burke Porter: Building on its history in the automotive industry, the transportation division will retain the name Burke Porter.

Medical & Life Sciences: This division focuses on ideation, design, manufacturing, automation, commercialization, and support and will now operate as Ascential Medical & Life Sciences.

Industrial: This division provides testing products and solutions that enhance safety and efficiency for companies in HVAC, white goods, heavy industry, and energy sectors. It will continue to go to market under the current brand names: Cimat, Titan, Galileo, Lismar, and Kleinknecht.

For more information on Ascential Technologies, visit ascentialtech.com.

Corewell Health ACOs Achieve Significant Savings, West Michigan ACO Earns Highest Score

The Beaumont ACO and West Michigan ACO of Corewell Health improved patient care and generated $38.9 million in combined gross Medicare savings in the 2022 Medicare Shared Savings Program.

The CMS program rewards ACOs (Accountable Care Organizations) for the quality of care provided to patients and for managing the health care spend of those patients attributed to an ACO’s primary care physician members.

The West Michigan ACO earned $10.7 million in net shared savings — the highest among Michigan-based accountable care organizations — and earned an overall quality score of 82.89 percent — also tops among Michigan-based ACOs.

The Beaumont ACO earned $8.6 million in net shared savings and achieved an overall quality score of 80.90 percent.

ACO providers work to ensure patients with Medicare are receiving appropriate care, such as annual wellness visits and recommended screenings. The ACOs also focus on ensuring smooth patient transitions from the hospital to home or a nursing home, if needed, and coordinating care from multiple providers.

ACO performance measures range from preventive health checks to managing chronic illnesses. Strong quality scores were earned through the coordination of care that patients receive from different primary and specialty care providers to prevent health issues and repeat hospitalizations and from a focus on medical coding.

The Beaumont ACO and West Michigan ACOs are physician and health system partnerships with more than 6,000 combined physician members caring for more than 66,000 patients.

Vehya Expands Operations into European Markets

Vehya, the Detroit-based marketplace dedicated to assisting individuals and businesses in achieving their goals through the sales, installation, and servicing of electrification products, officially announced its entry into the European market.

Vehya is at the forefront of simplifying the transition to electrification in Europe with its innovative marketplace. Vehya’s marketplace offers a comprehensive selection of electrification solutions such as EV chargers, solar, and battery storage, making it easy for businesses and individuals to access the tools they need to embrace clean energy practices. Whether it’s electric vehicles, renewable energy systems, or energy-efficient appliances, Vehya provides a one-stop-shop that streamlines the adoption of electrification technologies.

Vehya’s placement of its new headquarters in Amsterdam positions the company favorably to drive this shift, particularly in Europe’s swiftly expanding electric vehicle market. Supported by the Russell Advocate Office and a dedicated commitment to expedite the embrace of clean energy, Vehya says it stands ready to assume a leading role in advancing sustainability and environmental responsibility throughout the continent.

Europe boasts the second-largest electric vehicle market globally, trailing only China and surpassing the United States. Several European nations are swiftly implementing policies aimed at phasing out non-electric vehicles by 2035. Norway stands out as a notable example, with an astonishing 54 percent of new vehicle sales in 2020 being fully battery-powered vehicles, largely due to the effectiveness of tax incentives.

Black Footwear Forum Returns to Pensole Lewis College Sept. 21-24

The fourth annual national Black Footwear Forum (BFF) will convene at Detroit’s HBCU Pensole Lewis College of Business & Design (PLC) — in partnership with the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) — Sept. 21-24. The theme for this year is Culture is Currency: Know Your Worth.

BFF exists to celebrate and safeguard the influence, leadership, and creativity provided by Black professionals in the global footwear industry. As a collective of footwear industry professionals and supporters from around the country, BFF encourages collaboration in establishing industry goals that center on developing and advancing black talent at all levels.

Known as “The Industry’s Homecoming,” the event is made possible via thanks donations from  more than 30 major industry brands, including Nike, Microsoft, PepsiCo, Adidas, Target, Foot Locker, Millerknoll, Rock, AmazonMusic, and others. BFF is a community that brings together the most significant cluster of black creatives to share, educate, motivate, network, and address diversity and inclusion challenges in the design industry.

On Sept. 21, BFF begins with the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Pepsi x Frito-Lay Refresh and Relax Lounge at PLC designed by PLC students. The BFF opening mixer, with music sponsored by AmazonMusic, will feature Global Hip Hop Pioneer DJ and Producer DJ Clark Kent. The art competition and showcase by MARTK’D and BFF VIP dinner, sponsored by Bacardi, will end the night.

For a full list of speakers, the event’s full agenda, and to register for the free event, visit blackfootwearforum.com.

Detroit HVAC Company Encourages Teens to Join the Trades

C & C Heating & Air Conditioning in Roseville is celebrating National Tradesmen Day today by encouraging teenagers and young adults to consider a career in the trades as they prepare for their future.

“When young people are considering a career, they’re often not exposed to the benefits of entering into the trades, and that’s something we need to correct,” says Dayna Hottle, general manager of C & C Heating & Air Conditioning. “Not only is trade school much less expensive than college, but you can start working sooner so that you’re earning money quickly. There are no large student loans to repay. You often leave trade school earning a competitive salary and there are jobs available.”

She said that the average cost of attending a four-year college is about four times more expensive than most trade schools. Students can spend, on average, about $132,000 to get a bachelor’s degree at a four-year university. The average cost to graduate from trade school, however, is approximately $33,000, according to the Center for Employment Training.

“The skilled trades have a lot of opportunities for men, women and minorities looking for long-term work, and we’re happy to celebrate National Tradesmen Day,” Hottle says. “The trades are fantastic careers to pursue because there is so much growth opportunity in our current climate. The sky’s the limit.”

Regrid Takes Next Step in AI-assisted Land Exploration

Regrid, a Detroit-based provider of land parcel data and property insights, has launched Ask ChatGPT integration in The Regrid Property App, available for both Apple and Android devices.

This integration is designed to provide a seamless blend of AI-driven insights to contextualize Regrid’s comprehensive property information.

Ask ChatGPT in the Regrid Property App, available to try for free, provides access to uncover the stories, landmarks, and local lore that make each place unique. ChatGPT crafted summaries, aligned with Regrid’s precise parcel data, immerse app users in the social fabric, cultural traditions, and economic roots that shape communities’ character. This new insight provides a meaningful perspective on the events and natural features that lend towns and cities their distinctive flair.

Hyundai Mobis Introduces Trailer Reverse Assistance Technology

Hyundai Mobis, which has an R&D Center in Plymouth Township, has introduced Trailer Reverse Assistance (TRA) and biometric-based driver monitoring systems.

Trailer Reverse Assistance system is a technology that automatically steers the vehicle equipped with a trailer based on the rear-view camera image specifically when reverse parking is needed. This innovation has been finely tuned to meet the demands of the North American market, where pickup trucks are highly sought after, and trailers are frequently used.

Other Hyundai Mobis systems include the In-cabin Monitoring System that is reliant on biometric signals, and an Electronic Parking Brake specifically designed for pickup trucks. These technologies are developing actively at the North American R&D Center. This forms part of a strategic localization initiative to expand tailored orders to meet consumer demands.

Marelli Presents Smart Actuators for EV Transmissions, Thermal Management

Detroit-based Marelli has launched its new range of multipurpose smart actuators aimed at electric cars, that are designed to simplify actuation of complex vehicle functions.

As future cars are expected to include more than 100 actuators with different missions and purposes, this solution will help carmakers to reduce complexity and ease the integration in vehicles’ mechanic and electronic environments.

Marelli’s new smart actuators include an electronic module that autonomously controls the actuator itself and connects it to the vehicle electronic network. The device has a flexible, modular, and scalable mechanical design to fit complex vehicle electronics and transmission configurations, and a software management designed for easy integration. The overall solution allows simple customization and installation within the vehicle, has a super compact size and light weight, features on board diagnostics and is cyber security ready.

The new smart actuators were presented for the first time at The Battery Show 2023 this week at the Suburban Showplace in Novi.

Wixom’s Kiekert Introduces EV Access Systems at Detroit Auto Show

Wixom-based Kiekert is exhibiting a wide range of innovations that will drive mobility transformation and facilitate the shift toward a more sustainable future at the Detroit Auto Show.

Among the systems on display: The presENTER fully integrated solution for automated door opening, the excellENTRY electric door latch, and the secuCHARGE next generation of the e-charging security system.

Kiekert’s presENTER automatically opens the door slightly after it has been electrically released. An extending pin brings the door towards the user and holds it in position. The door is held against wind or inclination and, if necessary, automatically closes again. The powerful drive pushes the door open from the inside in any weather condition.

The excellENTRY is the door opening system that provides OEMs with the possibilities for new styling and efficiency. The excellENTRY enables effortless operation of the car door handle by eliminating the mechanical operation chain. This results in new design possibilities for the door, including a flush door design. A mechanical or electrical redundancy function allows manual opening of vehicle doors even in a crash situation.

Kiekert’s next generation of its charging-plug actuator secuCHARGE is designed for a safer charging of all electric vehicles. With the newly developed Evoloid gearbox, secuCHARGE delivers maximum power in minimal space is thus compatible with any charging standard. The drive is lighter, smaller and more powerful than comparable drives. The secuCHARGE actuator can be operated via keyfob or a signal from the charging station.

“The U.S. market is of major strategic significance for Kiekert,” says Jérôme Debreu, chairman and CEO at Kiekert. “We have the best background, products and US team to expand our market position in North America. The Detroit Auto Show is a great stage to showcase our access systems which resonate with our US customers.”

Vitesco Technologies Looks Toward Future of Electrification

 Vitesco Technologies, an international developer and manufacturer of state-of-the-art powertrain technologies for sustainable mobility in Auburn Hills, used the Detroit Auto Show to update U.S. auto makers, analysts, and media about its global electric vehicle portfolio.

“There is undeniable momentum for the infusion of electrification technology occurring within the industry,” says Vitesco Technologies North America CEO Sandy Stojkovski. “The success of Vitesco Technologies has been rooted in supporting the long-term visions of our customers and ultimately satisfying the needs of consumers.”

Vitesco Technologies showcased products from its portfolio covering electric drive components, sensors, and actuators, as well as complete electric drive systems during the auto show’s preview days.

An example of this technical and social commitment is Vitesco Technologies’ fourth generation electric axle drive. This product is now available with an optional externally excited electric synchronous machine that uses a new rotor which does not use permanent magnets and therefore does not require any rare earth elements. This reduces the cost of the rotor and the environmental impact of material sourcing.

ACG Detroit Hosting Several Events in September and October

ACG Detroit has several events planned for September and October — 14th Annual Sporting Clays Social and Networking Event on Sept. 27, a panel discussion on competitive lending on Oct. 3, and Oktoberfest on Oct. 4.

The Sporting Clays Social and Networking Event will take place from 3-6 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Bald Mountain sporting clays course. No shotgun is required to attend and instruction on gun safety and proper shooting technique will be available. For more information and to register,, visit here.

The Competitive Lending Landscape: Market Pressures/Dynamics panel discussion will take place from 8-10 a.m. Oct. 3 at the Birmingham Community House. For more information and to register, visit here.

ACG Detroit’s Oktoberfest will take place from 4:30-7 p.m. Oct. 4 at the Birmingham Country Club. Guests can enjoy traditional German fare and a variety of beers and cocktails. To register, visit here.

Michigan Air Force Group Launches New Chapter in Ann Arbor

The Michigan Air and Space Forces Association will host a new chapter grand opening at the Ann Arbor VFW Post 423 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Oct. 7.

“Ann Arbor will be the first grass-roots new chapter in the AFA in more than three decades,” says Jamie Headley, vice president of the Ann Arbor AFA Chapter 181. “Brig. Gen. Jason ‘3 Dog’ Knight, deputy director of National Guard Space Operations at the Pentagon will discuss the Space Force, resources, and initiatives as our inaugural guest speaker.”

For the last two years, the Michigan AFA has been recognized at the national level for leading in increasing membership. This grand opening represents a big step in continuing that community involvement and growth, according to the organization.

“This new chapter represents exciting new opportunities for us to engage within the Ann Arbor community and around the state about the Air and Space Forces,” says Brig. Gen. Doug “Odie” Slocum (USAF-Ret.), president of the Michigan Air and Space Forces Association. “We will continue advocating for the services with our elected officials, and supporting those who have served as well as those who continue to serve.”

The AFA promotes dominant U.S. Air and Space Forces as the foundation of a strong national defense; honors and supports Michigan’s airmen, guardians, and their families; and honors their enduring heritage. The Ann Arbor Chapter will continue the Michigan AFA tradition of monthly public get-togethers that feature networking, presentations, guest speakers, and aerospace education opportunities. Subject matter experts, public servants, and elected officials from around the state and country address relevant issues impacting the Air and Space Forces.

Register to attend the AFA Chapter 181’s grand opening Oct. 7, visit here.