DBusiness Daily Update: GameAbove Elevates EMU’s Cybersecurity Program with $1.6M Gift, 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.
Game Above building
GameAbove has given $1.6 million to the Eastern Michigan University College of Engineering and Technology (GACET) to support the launch of a Cybersecurity for Embedded Systems initiative as well as other related programs. // Photo courtesy of EMU

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.

GameAbove Elevates EMU’s Cybersecurity Program with $1.6M Gift

GameAbove at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, an alumni-led philanthropic group, has given $1.6 million to the university’s College of Engineering and Technology (GACET) to support the launch of a Cybersecurity for Embedded Systems initiative.

The gift also will enhance offerings within cybersecurity and the Internet of Things, including research in cybersecurity for vehicles and mobility, and establish a dedicated Cybersecurity Certificate Program that caters to students and business professionals alike.

“Our goal has always been for the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology to be known as the foremost cybersecurity program in the country,” says Keith J. Stone, chair of GameAbove. “We will not deviate from this standard of quality. The steps that GameAbove, Dean Qatu, and EMU’s leadership are taking, including this gift, illustrate our unity and our full commitment to providing the proper resources to ensure the program’s enduring success.”

The GACET School of Information Security and Applied Computing cybersecurity program is one of EMU’s fastest-growing majors and a national leader in offering education and training to defend against cyber-attacks and protect sensitive and personal data. It was among the first in the U.S. to offer a cybersecurity major and secure ABET accreditation and a National Security Agency (NSA) certification. The program provides undergraduate and graduate degrees and a flexible combination of online and in-person courses to meet the demand for personalized instruction and career-oriented students and professionals.

Starting in 2024, EMU will offer the following for cybersecurity:

Certificate Program

Fundamentals of Cybersecurity

Undergraduate Programs

Information Assurance and Cyber Defense (B.S.)

Information Technology (B.S.)

Digital Forensics and Incident Response Minor

Information Assurance Compliance Minor

Graduate Programs

Cybersecurity (M.S.) available online

Cybersecurity (M.S. + B.S.)

“We are grateful for the support of the GameAbove alumni organization,” says James Smith, president of EMU. “The commitment and dedication of successful alumni and GameAbove’s determination to create new opportunities for Eastern students is unprecedented. GameAbove continues to directly impact the work we do to develop educational and career opportunities for our students that might not otherwise exist.”

For more information, visit here.

Shinola Teams with ‘CBS Mornings’ Co-host Nate Burleson for Father’s Day

Detroit-based lifestyle brand Shinola is teaming with “CBS Mornings” co-host and former Detroit Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson to celebrate Father’s Day with a digital campaign titled “Celebrate This Father’s Day with a Timeless Legacy.”

In the short film launching this week on the brand’s social platforms, Burleson shares his thoughts on being a father, emphasizing the importance of cherishing family time that he is passing down to his children and future generations of Burlesons.

Created by the California creative agency Falkon through its new Purpose Division and directed by its founder Dexton Deboree, the campaign’s video and photo assets merge style and sentiment to create a meaningful tribute to fatherhood.

Cameras follow Burleson on a trip to the Shinola store in search of a very special heirloom gift for his children, acknowledging his sons and daughter as the best Father’s Day gift he could ever receive. His journey to find the perfect timepieces turns into a moment that captures the significance of cherishing family connections and time well spent.

“I’m looking for something very special,” Burleson says as he enters the store. “I want to do something for my sons and daughter that will stand the test of time but also be a reminder of our relationship.”

Guided by the Shinola team through a signature Shinola in-store experience, he explores the range of timepieces available, carefully selecting the perfect ones for his children. After being personalized with special engraving, Burleson presents the gift to his teenage sons and imparts a valuable lesson in the heartfelt moment.

“Thank you for being the best Father’s Day gift year after year after year,” he says. “I wish time would stop. Every stage of your life, I’ve enjoyed it thoroughly. Because I can’t stop time, I want to put a timepiece on your wrist that you can take with you forever.”

For more information, visit Shinola.com.

Oxford Township’s Barron Industries to Host Centennial Celebration, Open House June 19

Barron Industries, a global, full-service manufacturer of precision metal components for aerospace, defense, automotive, and other commercial industries, is staging a centennial celebration and open house from 9 a.m-3 p.m. June 19 at its Oxford Township location.

The event will celebrate Barron’s 100th year as a family-owned, Michigan-based manufacturing company and is open to employees, clients, and the community.

Founded in 1923, Barron has flourished through three Industrial Revolutions and now is an active player in Industry 4.0. What began as a Detroit iron sand foundry producing castings up to 60 tons, has evolved into a global manufacturer of aluminum and steel investment castings, machined components, and complete assemblies.

“Our purpose is to honor our employees, suppliers, and customers who have supported Barron over the years,” says Bruce Barron, president and CEO of Barron Industries. “We will have an Honor Guard from Selfridge, as well as a flyover by the Tuskegee Airmen to honor our military – our biggest customer. We are especially thrilled to be able to recognize the contributions of our African American military on Juneteenth.”

The event will feature remarks by Barron, Oakland County Executive David Coulter, Rep. Lisa McClain, and General Dynamics Land Systems SCM Director Michael Patton.

The Tuskegee Airmen flyover will take place at 11:15 a.m. During the event, Barron will make a donation to the Oxford Fire Department’s Stop the Bleed initiative. A Stryker military vehicle will be available for viewing for the entire event, and plant tours will be available from 9-11 a.m., and again from 1-3 p.m.

To learn more about Barron Industries, visit barron-industries.com.

Genisys Credit Union Opens New Waterford Township Branch

 Genisys Credit Union has opened a new branch at 4416 Dixie Highway in Waterford Township.

The branch is a new build on the site of the credit union’s former Waterford Dixie Highway location. The new, modernized branch is designed to be a more-accessible location with a drive-thru.

“For over five decades we’ve been part of the Waterford community and are elated to have a new building that will allow us to continue to serve our current members while welcoming in future members,” says Jackie Buchanan, president and CEO of Genisys Credit Union.

New Economy Initiative Announces Spring Round of Grants for Underserved Small Businesses

The New Economy Initiative (NEI) has announced more than $2 million in grants to drive inclusive small businesses growth in southeast Michigan. The latest round of grants is designed to reach a broader, more diverse group of small businesses while supporting new efforts to increase access to capital and give a voice to small businesses.

“Providing more dollars and more inclusive support to small businesses is essential to increasing our region’s economic resilience,” says Wafa Dinaro, executive director of NEI. “Our grantees are uniquely positioned to engage underserved communities and increase access to capital and the technical assistance that’s so critical to success, especially for the smallest businesses.”

The funds are part of NEI’s Inclusive Small Business Support Network Fund to drive small business growth in Detroit, Hamtramck, Highland Park and other Wayne County communities. Grants support access to capital, practical assistance, information, and connections to business resources. Highlights include:

Four New Grantees Added to Reach More Underserved Populations

NEI selected four new grantees to reach more underserved populations and entrepreneurs in the region, including the Detroit Regional LGBT Chamber Fund, Grace in Action Collectives, Industrial Sewing and Innovation Center, and the Michigan Hispanic Fund.

Right to Start to Launch Grassroots Push to Elevate Voice of Small Business in Region

NEI also provided funding to national non-profit Right to Start to drive grassroots advocacy among small business owners to prompt policy change. Right to Start will partner with the recently formed Michigan Microbusiness Coalition to help raise awareness about long-term policies and systemic changes that are needed to sustain and expand the region’s small business support ecosystem. Right to Start is active in 21 states.

“Right to Start is a proven, successful program that has helped businesses with 10 or fewer employees across the country and now has a chance to have an impact on the Detroit Region,” says Dinaro, who co-chairs the coalition with Michigan Municipal League Foundation President Helen D. Johnson. “Working directly with the Michigan Microbusiness Coalition, Right to Start is going to help elevate the voices of small businesses so that lawmakers can better tailor policy to meet their needs.”

Pilot Program to Improve Access to Capital Through Mission-Based Lenders

Four grants will fund the Capital On Ramp Program (CORP), a new NEI pilot program that provides a different way for underserved small businesses to access capital paired with technical assistance. It is designed to improve the number of small businesses that are capital-ready and growth-ready. The four initial CORP grantees are Black Leaders Detroit, Detroit Development Fund, Michigan Women’s Forward, and ProsperUS Detroit Micro Lending.

Other grantees include:

Black Leaders Detroit

Detroit Economic Growth Corporation/BuyDetroit Program

Metro-Detroit Black Business Alliance

Eastside Community Network

  1. Warren Development Corporation

Endeavor Detroit

Fair Food Network

Great Lakes Women’s Business Council

Michigan Small Business Development Corporation

With the latest announcement, NEI has awarded $11 million from the Inclusive Small Business Support Network Fund to date. The fund was launched with $19.5 million of support from funders, including the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Ford Foundation, Hudson-Webber Foundation, J P Morgan Chase, The Kresge Foundation, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, William Davidson Foundation, and W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Michigan Humane Society Receives Mobile Veterinary Unit from Banfield Foundation

The Michigan Humane Society in Detroit has received the gift of a mobile veterinary unit from the Vancouver, Wash.-based Banfield Foundation. It was one of six donated around the country.

Michigan Humane launched its Community Vet Program one year ago bringing in-home care to pets in need. A team consisting of a veterinarian, a veterinary technician, and a social worker visit homes in underserved communities up to twice a week, providing preventive and sick care services and transporting pets to its Detroit clinic for surgical procedures.

With the addition of the mobile unit, the team will be able to visit more households and increase days on the road up to four a week, with a goal of serving more than 1,000 additional pets in the community in 2023 in addition to its 16 annual One Health Vaccine Clinics.

Michigan Jobless Rate Decreases during May

Michigan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged down by one-10th of a percentage point to 3.7 percent between April and May, according to data released by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget.

Employment in the state advanced by 33,000, while unemployment fell by 7,000, resulting in a net statewide labor force increase of 26,000 over the month.

“Michigan’s declining unemployment rate has signaled a strong job market so far in 2023,” says Wayne Rourke, labor market information director for the Michigan Center for Data and Analytics. “Payroll employment has risen for the seventh consecutive month as businesses continue hiring workers.”

The U.S. unemployment rate increased by three-tenths of a percentage point to 3.7 percent during May. Michigan’s May jobless rate matched the national unemployment rate for the first time since June 2018. Over the year, the U.S. rate advanced by one-10th of a percentage point, while the statewide rate receded by three-tenths of a percentage point.

Report highlights:

  • Michigan’s May labor force level of 4,895,000 was the largest workforce total seen in the state since July 2020 (4,954,000).
  • Total employment in the state rose by 0.7 percent over the month, while the national employment level decreased by 0.2 percent since April.
  • Over the year, the number of unemployed people in Michigan fell by 6.8 percent. The national unemployment level advanced by 2.0 percent during the same period.
  • The May statewide labor force participation rate rose by three-tenths of a percentage point to 60.5 percent over the month, while Michigan’s employment-population ratio increased by 0.4 percentage points to 58.3 percent.

The Detroit-Warren-Dearborn Metropolitan Statistical Area’s (MSA) seasonally adjusted employment level advanced by 11,000 over the month, while unemployment declined by 3,000, resulting in a labor force gain of 7,000 and a jobless rate reduction during May.

The Detroit MSA unemployment rate was reduced by six-10ths of a percentage point over the year. Employment rose by 14,000 and unemployment receded by 11,000, resulting in a minor workforce gain of 3,000 since May 2022.

According to the monthly survey of employers, Michigan seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs rose by 15,000, or 0.3 percent, over the month, with minor employment increases seen across multiple industries.

New Detroit Restaurants Hiring 150 People Ahead of July Opening

 Jobseekers are invited to open interviews June 21, 26, and 28 for Elia Group’s newest Iconic Collection venues — Experience Zuzu and Upstairs Bar — that seek 150 new employees to help bring the destinations to life in time for the anticipated July 2023 opening in downtown Detroit.

Available positions include servers, bartenders, bottle servers, and hosts.

Attendees should bring printed copies of their most recent resume and be prepared for on-site interviews. Qualified candidates will be offered jobs on the spot.

Inspired by the dynamic dining destinations of Miami and Las Vegas, Experience Zuzu will feature eclectic new Asian cuisine, a full bar and premium bottle service. Upstairs Bar, an ultra-luxurious lounge and club, will serve craft cocktails, inspired small plates, and sushi, with live DJs and a top-of-the-line sound system.

Interviews will be held at BrisaBar (800 Woodward Ave.), the Iconic Collection beach venue in Campus Martius Park. Please check in at the BrisaBar host stand:

  • June 21 from 1-5 p.m.
  • June 26 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • June 28 from 2-6 p.m.

Resumes also can be emailed to careers@theiconiccollection.com with subject line: “Zuzu/Upstairs Job Inquiry.”

Allison Transmission in Auburn Hills Releases 2022 Environmental Governance Report

Indianapolis-based Allison Transmission, which has a technology center in Auburn Hills, has released its 2022 Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Report designed to provide transparent data on the company’s environmental performance, social impacts, and how these practices are governed.

“Allison and its peers are navigating an evolving commercial vehicle industry in preparation for upcoming changes to emissions standards and increased adoption of electric vehicle technology,” says David Graziosi, chairman and CEO of Allison Transmission. “These advancements present strong opportunities for innovation and growth. Due to our extensive experience and legacy of innovation, Allison is well-positioned to drive the next generation of propulsion solutions that will help our customers and the world reduce emissions and protect our planet.”

Allison says it is committed to its leadership role in fuel and energy efficient propulsion solutions that support sustainability and environmental initiatives. This includes enhancing the company’s conventional transmissions to provide an ideal blend of fuel economy and efficiency as well as evolving its product lineup to include a broad portfolio of electric hybrid and fully electric solutions.

In 2022, Allison expanded its eGen Power family of electric axles to include the eGen Power 130S, specifically designed to support the 13-ton gross axle weight rating often required in Europe and Asia-Pacific markets. The first transit buses equipped with the Allison eGen Flex electric hybrid system were delivered to the Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation in June 2022, marking a milestone in Allison’s efforts to provide transit agencies with technology that supports sustainability goals.


To review the full report, visit here.

Sterling Bancorp in Southfield to Redeem $65M Subordinated Notes

Sterling Bancorp Inc. in Southfield has provided notice to the holders of its outstanding 7% Fixed to Floating Subordinated Notes due April 2026 that the company has called all of the Subordinated Notes for redemption pursuant to the redemption provisions set forth in the Subordinated Notes, at a redemption price equal to 100 percent of the outstanding principal balance plus accrued but unpaid interest to (but excluding) the date of redemption.

The Subordinated Notes have an outstanding aggregate principal amount of $65 million as of June 15 and currently bear interest equal to the three-month LIBOR rate plus 5.82 percent. The date set for redemption is July 15, at which time interest will cease accruing, the Subordinated Notes will no longer be deemed outstanding, and all rights of the holders of the Subordinated Notes will cease and terminate other than the right to receive the redemption price. All regulatory approvals required for such redemption have been received.

The payment of the $65 million principal portion of the redemption price will be funded by a dividend to be paid by the bank to the company. Following the bank dividend and the redemption of the Subordinated Notes, the capital ratios of both the company and the bank will continue to exceed all regulatory requirements to be considered “well capitalized,” according to Sterling Bancorp.

Fifth Third Bank to Celebrate 165 Years of ‘Service, Innovation, Impact’ 

Fifth Third Bank is marking its 165-year anniversary on June 17.

Fifth Third’s rich heritage began in 1858, when a group led by William W. Scarborough founded the Bank of the Ohio Valley. While Fifth Third’s name evolved over time, its vision to create an institution that would serve as a catalyst for economic growth and prosperity has remained the same.

Over the years, the bank has grown to approximately 20,000 employees and retail branches spanning 11 states, plus commercial banking and wealth and asset management both there and in Texas and California.

“Banks inhabit a special place in the communities where they operate and in their customers’ lives,” says Tim Spence, president and CEO of Fifth Third. “Along with that comes extra responsibility to be a proponent for positive change and well-being. I’m proud our employees have never forgotten that throughout our 165-year history. It inspires our continued commitment to innovation, exceptional financial services for our customers and strengthening our communities.”

Salute Our Warriors Event Seeking Sponsors to Honor Military Veterans

The sixth edition of the Annual Salute Our Warriors benefit will take place from 6-10 p.m. July 13 at the Danny Kassab Estate (3910 Coachwood Lane) in Rochester Hills.

The event pays homage to military veterans and active service members while raising vital funds for The Fallen and Wounded Soldiers Fund.

Each year, the event selects deserving veterans to be honored, providing a platform to express gratitude for their invaluable contributions. The funds raised during the benefit aid Michigan-based injured soldiers in covering living expenses and supporting the families of the fallen.

The military guests of honor are flown in by helicopter, making a grand entrance as they land in the backyard of the picturesque Kassab estate. Their arrival is met with thunderous applause from hundreds of supporters and guests, followed by a heartfelt tribute to their exceptional service and the presentation of a commemorative award.

Sponsorship opportunities are available at various levels, allowing individuals and organizations of all sizes to participate and contribute to this cause.  Interested sponsors are encouraged to contact Eric Castiglia at 586-940-1982 to secure their involvement and to maximize exposure leading up to the July 13 event.

For additional sponsorship and ticket information, visit here.

Washtenaw Community College to Welcome 5,000+ Union Trainers to Ann Arbor

Washtenaw Community College (WCC) in Ann Arbor will host a record number of more than 5,000 members from five national trades organizations this summer for training to advance their skills.

WCC’s partnerships with skilled trades groups have been growing for decades and upcoming visits will result in a projected $20 million economic impact to Washtenaw County and the city of Ann Arbor, according to Destination Ann Arbor.

Approximately 175 members of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers have started the summer of training this week.

“Train the Trainer” events at WCC will continue in July, with 120 members of the Operational Plasterers and Cement Masons International Association; 700 members of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental, and Reinforcing Iron Workers Union; and 600-800 members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers – National Electrical Contractors Association.

Training will conclude in mid-August with an estimated 3,600 members of the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters converging on campus. Destination Ann Arbor will host its annual UA block party in downtown Ann Arbor on Main Street between Liberty and William streets from 6-10 p.m. Aug. 14.

“Washtenaw Community College is proud to be the home base where these national trade organizations come to advance their skills,” says Rose B. Bellanca, president of WCC. “The work they do on buildings where we live, work and play keeps all of us safe, and WCC is committed to helping educate and provide state-of-the-art skills training.”