DBusiness Daily Update: Faygo Launches New Flavor for Summer, Ford Donates $250K to Support Minority Engineering Students, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
Faygo Firework Bottle
Faygo has introduced a new flavor for summer — Firework — reminiscent of a certain bomb-shaped frozen treat. // Courtesy of Faygo

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

Faygo Launches New Flavor for Summer — Firework

Detroit-based Faygo is celebrating the return of summer fun with its newest flavor, Faygo Firework, reminiscent of the frozen bomb-shaped treat that boasts an “explosive taste that satisfies thirst and evokes warm weather vibes.”

Firework is a combination of fruity and sweet with flavors of cherry, blue raspberry, and lime. The new flavor is rolling out this summer in 24-ounce bottles throughout the Midwest and on Faygo’s online Pop Shop.

“For 114 years, Faygo has been an innovator in the pop world and we are very proud to add Firework to our distinctive line of over 50 flavors,” says Al Chittaro, president of Faygo Beverages. “Firework will be available for a limited time, and offers a completely new experience for Faygo fans.”

Faygo is celebrating Firework with the summer campaign, “Can’t Stop the Pop!” Each bottle of Firework will have a QR code for consumers to scan with their smartphones. From there, they will be taken to FaygoCantStopThePop.com where they can enter weekly giveaways to win Faygo Firework swag.

Consumers also can participate in the Can’t Stop the Pop Dance Challenge to help celebrate the upcoming launch of Faygo’s new TikTok channel (@faygobeverages).

Ford Donates $250K to Support Minority Engineering Students

Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn is donating $250,000 to the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering to create the Detroit Area Bridge Scholars Program, a signature effort that helps underrepresented students prepare for careers in engineering and computer science.

NACME will collaborate with University of Michigan in Ann Arbor to implement a digital bootcamp and mentoring program that will provide high school students with funding, educational courses, and mentorship opportunities from 11th grade through their first year of college, culminating with an opportunity to earn a Ford internship.

The program plans to engage 60 students across Southeast Michigan, with plans to offer the newly developed programming – including workshops and webinars – to an even wider group of students.

“The number of ambitious, capable students the STEM field loses every year due to lack of funding and support is simply unacceptable,” says Ken Washington, chief technology officer at Ford. “Ford is committed to building bridges so that people from all walks of life have the chance to be successful in STEM – and make a difference at places like Ford by changing the way we move.”

The new three-year program from NACME will be focused on recruiting students in Metro Detroit, where the organization already works alongside the University of Michigan to provide students with the necessary tools to succeed academically and gain admission to college.

ATC Drivetrain Launches Remanufacturing Solutions for EVs in North America and Asia

ATC Drivetrain, an independent global remanufacturer of automotive powertrain and drivetrain systems based in Farmington Hills, is launching remanufacturing capabilities for electric vehicle systems at its Oklahoma City, OK facility to serve the North American automotive market and at its Zhangjiang, China facility to serve the Asian automotive market.

These investments will allow ATC to remanufacture batteries and electric drive units for both plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles. This move represents the next step in the company’s electrification strategy and builds on the competencies and processes initially developed in ATC’s UK facility.

“As the industry continues the migration toward electrification, it is strategically important for ATC to install the necessary capabilities and capacities to support our OEM customers in all regions of the world for all of their powertrain and drivetrain remanufacturing needs, regardless of technology platform,” says Greg Heald, president and CEO of ATC.

ATC will launch remanufacture of both NiMH and LiON batteries and electric drive units in the third quarter of 2021 in Oklahoma City and fourth quarter of 2021 in Zhangjiang, China.

“With our launch of these competencies in the U.S. and China, we expect to be the first and only independent remanufacturer with global capacities for ICE, hybrid and fully electric vehicle solutions,” says George Kostopoulos, vice president of global sales and marketing at ATC. “Although electrification of vehicles is gaining momentum, it’s important to remember there are still more than a billion internal combustion engine-powered vehicles in the world and their lifespan continues to increase. With the addition of EV capabilities, ATC will become a one-stop global remanufacturing solution provider for powertrain and drivetrain products regardless of the technology powering the vehicle or the region of the world.”

Rocket Mortgage Classic Tees Up EBB 313 Campaign

Last year’s Rocket Mortgage Classic champion, Bryson DeChambeau, helped Connect 313 get its new initiative, EBB 313, off the tee during yesterday’s Media Day for the July 1-4 tournament.

EBB 313 is a citywide campaign to streamline access to the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB), a federal program that subsidizes the cost of internet and technological devices for eligible households.

“What the Rocket family of companies is doing here is great and lines up with the work of my foundation, which focuses on health care and education.” says DeChambeau. “I’m honored to be associated with the work you’re doing here.”

The EBB provides a monthly $50 discount for internet access and a one-time $100 subsidy for a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet for eligible residents. More than 250,000 Detroit residents — nearly 40 percent of all Detroit households — are expected to qualify for the program. The application process, however, requires internet at nearly every step, creating a barrier for those most in need of support.

EBB 313 is operated by 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. It is the only campaign of its kind in the country that has streamlined and systemized access for the federal benefit.

Through the campaign, Rocket Cos. subsidiary Rock Connections will operate a central call center that will help Detroit residents understand their options under the EBB program. Residents will learn how to determine their eligibility and how to apply either online through the federal EBB portal or with the support of a local nonprofit. Rock Connections also will help residents identify the best internet service provider for their situation and direct callers to provider partners that will work with residents to secure a device or internet access.

“The Rocket Mortgage Classic is all about building an exciting event in our home city that simultaneously creates opportunity for Detroit residents,” says Jay Farner, CEO of Rocket Mortgage and Rocket Cos., and chairman of the Connect 313 Fund. “Internet and technology are critical to everyday life, whether you are talking about education, employment, health care, or even building connections and staying in touch with loved ones. The EBB is one more important step as we all fight to bridge the digital divide.”

Atwater Brewery Introduces Next Generation Branding

Detroit’s Atwater Brewery has revealed all-new packaging designed to make each of its flavors stand out on retailers’ shelves and innkeepers’ bars.

Highlighting the name of the beer and the logo on every can and bottle, the new branding honors Atwater’s story and showcases the brewery’s Detroit pride.

“We aren’t touching our logo,” says Mark Rieth, president of Atwater. “We’ve been all about Detroit since we brewed our first German-styled lagers nearly 25 years ago, and we’re seriously proud of that heritage. We just wanted to give our products a more contemporary and consistent look to help them stand out, and stand together, on retailers’ shelves.”

The new branding honors the concurrent grit and optimism of Detroiters and includes words from the Atwater brand “manifesto” on each can with the suggestion to “…refurbish your hardworking soul and…meet us Atwater.”

Atwater, which recently joined the Molson Coors family, is part of a Detroit brewing tradition that goes back more than 180 years to the city’s first brewery in 1836.

Atwater’s comprehensive packaging revamp takes artistic license in the various depictions of Detroit landmarks and skyline. “Just like the liquid they contain, each and every beer’s packaging design tells a story, nodding to the city of Detroit and Atwater’s roots, and reflecting the brand-s high-quality ingredients and tastes,” Rieth says.

Nationwide Blood Supply Shortage Affecting Beaumont Health, Public Encouraged to Donate

A severe shortage of blood across the country, including at Beaumont Health, could have significant impact on patient care, including surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic medical conditions, and traumatic injuries. Beaumont remains focused on safe care at all its campuses.

The need for blood is critical because many surgeries were delayed during the pandemic and Beaumont also is seeing an increase in trauma cases as more people are out and about. Blood donations also are down because of the pandemic.

“To continue providing compassionate and extraordinary care to our patients, we are working diligently with blood suppliers to stabilize and increase the supply of blood,” says Carolyn Wilson, executive vice president and COO at Beaumont Health. “The effort is expected to take several weeks. We are asking our Beaumont health care heroes to donate their own blood to help our communities. And, we’re also asking the public to support this effort by donating their own blood, too.”

Community members can join Beaumont heroes by donating at a Versiti blood drive hosted at one of Beaumont’s hospital campuses this month. Versiti is Beaumont’s exclusive provider of blood products. Upcoming blood drives include:

  • Beaumont Hospital, Grosse Pointe, June 15, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Beaumont Hospital, Troy, June 16, 2-8 p.m.
  • Beaumont Hospital, Wayne, June 25, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Beaumont Hospital, Trenton, June 28, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Appointments can be amade by phone at 866-MI-BLOOD. Walk-ins are welcome if the schedule permits. For more information, visit versiti.org.

Ault Global Holdings Increases Power Capacity at Its Michigan Technology Data Center

Las Vegas-based Ault Global Holdings Inc. says it anticipates making an additional investment in its Ault Alliance Inc. subsidiary to expand the power capacity infrastructure of its technology data center in Michigan

The company’s decision to accelerate the timing of its investment in the technology data center was driven by an increase in demand for high-density computing due to improved business conditions for cryptocurrency mining, including the market prices of digital currencies.

By dedicating the increased power capacity for high-density computing, which requires a significantly smaller footprint, the company anticipates that this investment will allow it to reduce the timeline to reach its revenue projections.

At 50 percent capacity, the technology data center is expected to generate annual gross revenues between $54 million and $64 million. The technology data center power capacity can be further expanded in the future, up to 300MW. The technology data center features cloud, high-density, and enterprise data center services and is operated by Alliance Cloud Services, a subsidiary of Ault Alliance Inc., said.

“Given the interest ACS has received, we decided that it would be beneficial for us to expand the infrastructure of the data center to accommodate the higher-density power demands from both our existing tenants and new prospects,” says Darren Magot, CEO of Ault Alliance. “We are especially proud of the fact that over 94 percent of the power in our facility comes from non-coal sources, which supports our green energy initiatives. We are very pleased with the interest that our ACS Data Center has generated, validating our strategic plan, and driving this accelerated expansion.”

David Fischer Awarded Morocco’s Alaouite Wissam of Order of Commander

Former U.S. ambassador to Morocco David T. Fischer, chairman of the Suburban Collection Holdings, has received the Alaouite Wissam of the Order of Commander, awarded to him by King Mohammed VI.

The royal decoration was presented to Fischer by Morocco’s ambassador to the United States, Princess Lalla Joumala, during a ceremony at the residence of the Moroccan Embassy in Washington, D.C.

The Wissam was awarded to Fischer in recognition of his efforts to strengthen bilateral relations and close friendship between the two countries. Fischer served as ambassador to Morocco from 2020-2021.

Swift Biosciences Launches Swift 2S Turbo v2 for Metagenomic Research

Swift Biosciences in Ann Arbor has announced the release of Swift 2S Turbo v2 DNA Library Kits for whole genome and whole exome studies.

Swift 2STurbo v2 includes a specially formulated PCR Master Mix that boosts a minimal number of PCR cycles. This produces high yields with fewer PCR duplicates due to redesigned adapter and master mix components.

“Swift’s Automation FAS team is available to assist with virtual deployment of Turbo v2 on a number of automated platforms,” says Francesco Criscuolo, a lead automation specialist at Swift Biosciences.

The new NGS solutions already are finding support from those working in the industry.

“The new master mix in Turbo v2 generates higher yields of excellent quality libraries,” says Eric Crowder, an NGS process engineer at Inscriptia Inc. “We adopted this technology because it’s designed for automation. We are able to achieve precise dispensing without worrying about a lack of reagents or sufficient overfill. The new PCR master mix allows use of fixed-tip automation solutions in post-PCR processing. We recommend this technology to anyone using automation for whole genome library preparation.”

Lecom Utility Enrolls in DTE Energy’s MIGreenPower program 

Lecom Utility Contractors in Warren is the latest metro Detroit area business to enroll in DTE Energy’s MIGreenPower program.

Lecom Utility is one of Michigan’s premier power line and communications contractors. Its commitment to the MIGreenPower program will offset greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to driving a passenger car 698,175 miles.

“As a company with a long history and outstanding reputation, we are continuously looking for ways to adapt, stay ahead of the curve and better the communities we serve,” says Sam Lentine, vice president of Lecom. “Sustainability is a big part of that, and we’re thrilled to partner with DTE to reduce our carbon emissions and help combat climate change on a larger scale.”

Baker College to Offer New ‘OnlineLive’ Learning Mode in Fall 2021

Owosso-based Baker College will offer OnlineLive, a new learning mode option for students, beginning in the fall 2021 semester.  OnlineLive will provide students a real-time, synchronous remote learning option, in addition to Baker College’s current live/in-person and asynchronous Baker College Online modes.

OnlineLive offers students 16-week synchronous Zoom classes, incorporating live video interaction with instructors and classmates, meeting at the same set course times each week.  This differs from BakerOnline, which offers eight-week classes that are hosted asynchronously, allowing students the flexibility to learn materials, work on projects and engage with class discussion boards at times that are convenient to them.  Baker College also continues to offer its in-person learning at campuses in Auburn Hills, Cadillac, Jackson, Muskegon, and Owosso with a Royal Oak campus opening in fall 2022).

“We’re so excited to be adding OnlineLive as an option for our students, as Baker continually strives to keep quality higher education accessible to all,” says Lesa Louch, president of Baker College Online. “Between our traditional in-person classroom seats across Michigan, the more self-guided BakerOnline experience, and now the real-time, remote synchronous option of OnlineLive, we hope every student can find the type of learning experience and environment that works best for them.”

Detroit Chinese Business Association Planning Golf Event

The Troy-based Detroit Chinese Business Association is planning its 26th International Golf Open on Sept. 27 at Forest Lake Country Club.

The organization says it expects a record turnout of not only DCBA members, but also members of other chambers of commerce and an additional business organizations. Limited sponsorships remain available.

For more information and registration, visit here.

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