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.
Jeep Debuts Tuscadero Exterior Paint Color for Wrangler
The Jeep brand of Stellantis in Auburn Hills is adding the Tuscadero exterior paint color to 2021 Jeep Wrangler models.
The new Tuscadero, a deep and intense chromatic magenta, joins a lineup of vivid, special-run colors that add customization and appeal to the Jeep Wrangler with a special color palette from the factory. This is the first time Tuscadero is available on the Jeep Wrangler. Available on all Wrangler models, including Sport, Sahara, Rubicon, 4xe and 392, Tuscadero can be ordered now through November 2021.
“With the Jeep brand celebrating its 80th anniversary, it’s the perfect time to launch a confident and custom color on the most iconic Jeep vehicle — both of which are designed to break the mold and stand out on the road and trails,” says Jim Morrison, vice president, Jeep Brand North America. “What’s unique about colors like Tuscadero is that they draw a huge enthusiast following because they’re exciting, authentic and stand out, much like the Jeep community.”
The Tuscadero exterior paint option is available for a limited time and is priced at a U.S. manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $395.
PNC Bank Raises Minimum Hourly Wage to $18 Per Hour
PNC Bank, headquartered in Pittsburgh with Michigan operations based in Troy, announced it will bring its minimum pay rate from $15 per hour to $18 per hour beginning Nov. 22, a 20 percent increase from the bank’s current minimum rate and more than double the national minimum wage of $7.25.
“Our employees are our most precious resource, and by investing in them, we invest in our future,” says Vicki Henn, executive vice president and chief human resources officer for PNC. “PNC’s success is dependent on the well-being of our employees, so it’s critical that we continue to offer a total rewards package that includes competitive benefits and pay, reflecting our long-term commitment to their well-being.”
The pay rate increase will impact both PNC employees in legacy markets and BBVA USA employees converting to PNC in October. PNC says the decision to proactively boost its pay rate is intended to enhance employees’ financial wellness, help PNC attract and retain the best talent, and strengthen the bank’s competitive position in the marketplace.
“This isn’t just a responsible move for the bank,” says William S. Demchak, PNC’s chairman, president and CEO. “This increase allows us to make a positive difference, leveraging the power of our resources to help all move forward financially. Attracting and retaining highly-engaged employees is critical to our continued growth and, in turn, creates a fantastic experience for our customers and the communities we serve.”
Wolverine and Ram Truck Launch New Boot Collection Collaboration for Labor Day
Wolverine, the 138-year-old west Michigan-based boot and clothing brand, and the Ram Truck brand of Auburn Hills’ Stellantis, have unveiled a one-of-a-kind collaboration in time for Labor Day.
The U.S.-built collection of boots is inspired by the performance and details of Ram trucks, according to Wolverine. For each item pre-ordered, Wolverine and the Ram Truck brand will donate to SkillsUSA, a nonprofit organization focused on supporting the next generation of skilled tradespeople.
“We are proud to partner with Ram Truck, an industry leading brand, to honor essential workers and the excellent career opportunities the skilled trades offer,” says Tom Kennedy, global brand president for Wolverine Footwear and Apparel. “Since 2017, Wolverine has donated more than $2 million toward supporting the next generation of skilled workers, and we’re excited to be working with another brand who is equally passionate about investing in the future of the American workforce.”
For the last four years, Wolverine has worked with a wide range of partners, including mikeroweWORKS Foundation, Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, and Metallica Scholars to recognize the value of American craftsmanship, promote opportunities in the skilled trades, and fund scholarships for the next generation of workers. The Wolverine x Ram collaboration expands the impact through continued support of the skilled trades with a $10 donation for every item pre-ordered benefiting SkillsUSA.
The collection includes:
- Wolverine x Ram Tradesman Safety Toe ($229) – A boot for those ready to get the job done, the Tradesman has hardworking details inspired by the signature truck, available in two colors.
- Wolverine x Ram Rebel Safety Toe ($239) – Built for the bold, the Rebel boot features the signature Rebel Red and details for high performance all day long, available in two colors.
- Wolverine x Ram Limited 1000 Mile Boot ($400) – Handcrafted in the USA, this iconic 1000 Mile features Horween leather inspired by the Limited’s ultra-premium interior.
“The unrivaled elements of the Ram Truck brand meet the style and timelessness of a classic American boot brand through the launch of our licensing collaboration with Wolverine,” says Marissa Hunter, vice president of North American marketing for Ram. “The collection seamlessly merges the worlds of automotive and fashion, drawing inspiration from the Ram truck interior while staying true to Wolverine’s staple design elements and unwavering reliability.”
To launch the partnership, the teams have released a new 60-second video, “Rent We Pay,” in partnership with Sheet Metal Arts. The video spans across digital and social media, including Ram Truck’s official YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter channels. Set to a custom song written for the Ram brand, the video honors hardworking Americans in the skilled trades. This is the second installment of the “God Bless the Working Class” series that salutes American working-class heroes.
The full collection, including all five boot styles and socks, is available now for pre-order here.
Team Schostak Family Restaurants Hosting Hiring Day Wednesday
Livonia-based Team Schostak Family Restaurants (TSFR) is hosting a statewide hiring event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 1 with the goal of hiring 1,000 new supervisors, managers, and general managers. The family-owned restaurant group will host 30-minute in-person interviews in Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Livonia, and virtual interviews to hire across its five restaurant brands: Applebee’s, MOD Pizza, Olga’s Kitchen, Del Taco, and Wendy’s.
TSFR is offering up to a $5,000 sign-on bonus for key positions and those at the general manager level. Encouraging lifelong learning and giving team members skills to build a successful career, TSFR offers a 100 percent tuition-free education to Cleary University. Eligible team members, spouses, children, and grandchildren can enroll in an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree through Cleary University’s online program.
Livonia interviews will be conducted at the Holiday Inn at 17123 N. Laurel Park Dr. Grand Rapids interviews will take place at the JW Marriot (235 Louis St. NW). The Lansing event will be at the Courtyard by Marriott (2710 Lake Lansing Rd.).
To schedule an in-person or virtual interview, visit here.
Marathon Awards $40K to Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency
A new partnership between the Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency and the Marathon Petroleum Foundation awarded the nonprofit organization a $40,000 grant.
The grant will enable Wayne Metro to assist residents in the southernmost neighborhoods in Detroit who have challenges meeting basic needs. The service addresses both immediate emergency needs as well as services to prevent future emergencies. The grant will fill funding gaps for services such as food, heat, water, and housing.
“Through our partnership with Marathon, we can help ease the challenges a family may face in a time of crisis that many grant dollars don’t cover.” says Louis Piszker, CEO of Wayne Metro. “Community partnerships such as this ensure families in the surrounding neighborhoods have the support available to grow and thrive.”
Residents can learn more about Wayne Metro’s at Marathon’s ‘Back to School Blitz’ on Sept. 11 at the Kemeny Center from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“Since becoming part of the Southwest Detroit community more than 60 years ago, Marathon has supported organizations that offer resources to support the people of 48217,” says Dave Leaver, general manager at Marathon’s Detroit Refinery. “We’re excited to add a partnership with Wayne Metro to our expansive list of community giving efforts.”
New Residence Hall at Lawrence Tech Honored for its Design and Construcion
The East Residence Hall at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield has been named a winner in the 2021 Architectural Honor Awards of AIA Detroit, the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
The building was designed by Inform Studio, a Northville-based architectural firm founded by alumni of the university. Members of AIA San Diego served as the awards jury.
“Student housing is bound by tight constraints of budget, high density, and context. The jury appreciated that great care was given to connection and integration; linkages between residence halls, the campus, and surroundings will serve students well as a catalyst for pedestrian activity, spontaneous interactions, and a sense of community,” says the jury in a statement.
The building, which houses more than 300 first-year students, had Frank Rewold and Sons in Rochester as the general contractor on the project. Robert Darvas Associates in Ann Arbor served as structural engineer, while PEA Grop in Troy served as civil engineer.
Judges also noted the residence hall’s prominent first-floor fitness center and its expansive use of glass to bring the outdoors indoors, moves designed to improve students’ health and wellness.
The awards page also noted that the design and build team used computational design technology to lay out the building, creating an “efficient design response, allowing the project to finish ahead of schedule and under budget.”
“We are honored to be recognized by the AIA for our newest residence hall, a building that combines sustainability features, a striking, modern appearance, and a sense of true community and belonging for our students,” says Virinder Moudgil, president of LTU.
Atwater Brewery Partners with Forgotten Harvest on New Autumn Ale
Atwater Brewery in Detroit is labeling its newest ale in honor of Forgotten Harvest, the 30-year-old Oak Park organization that delivers 138,000 pounds of food per day to area charities.
Forgotten Harvest Ale shipments will begin on Sept. 1, in conjunction with the start of national Hunger Action Month, which occurs each September. The brewer also will host a launch party tapping event at its Atwater Brewery and Taphouse Detroit location (237 Jos. Campau) on Sept. 2 from 4-6 p.m. offering $2 Forgotten Harvest Ale pints.
“Our Forgotten Harvest Ale is a traditional harvest style ale brewed with crops fresh from Michigan farms,” say Mark Rieth, president of Atwater. “We use Michigan hops exclusively including copper, Mackinac, and Paradigm flavors that provide a lusty, refreshing taste that we think Atwater drinkers will love.
“We’re thrilled to put the Forgotten Harvest label on this ale because the fresh ingredients come directly from the harvest and, more importantly, because we’ll be supporting the outstanding work that Forgotten Harvest has done in metro Detroit for more than 30 years.”
Forgotten Harvest rescues and distributes nearly 50 million pounds of surplus food annually to Detroit-area families who are food-insecure and struggle to cover the cost of basic life necessities. The organization helps bridge the income gap for tens of thousands of people, allowing them to secure some basic life necessities for themselves and their families. As part of the new partnership, Atwater will be making a donation to Forgotten Harvest to support its ongoing efforts.
“The partnership with Atwater is especially exciting for us because it will put our name out in front of so many new people who may not be aware of our work,” says Kirk Mayes, CEO of Forgotten Harvest. “We think joining Atwater Brewery and Forgotten Harvest will be a plus for both organizations and we especially appreciate Atwater’s donation to support our cause. So, we say ‘Prost!’ and ‘thank you’ to Atwater. This partnership will help us to continue to feed metro Detroiters in need.”
Hunger Action Month is designed to help raise awareness for the millions of Americans who face hunger and food insecurity every day. For more information about Forgotten Harvest, to volunteer or donate, visit here.
Friendship Circle’s Walk4Friendship Event Raises $600K+
Friendship Circle, a West Bloomfield Township-based nonprofit that supports individuals with special needs, conducted its 16th annual and record-breaking Walk4Friendship event on Aug. 29.
Both in number of participants and in funds raised for the nonprofit, this year’s walk was the most successful yet, according to the organization.
The event surpassed its original fundraising goal of $500,000 by more than $100,000, with funds totaling more than $602,000. All the money raised at the walk will support Friendship Circle and allow the organization to continue providing support through recreational, social, educational, and vocational programming to more than 3,000 individuals and their families.
The theme for this year’s walk was “You Belong,” which represents the idea that without each of us, the word is incomplete. Hundreds of Friendship Circle families and community members joined together at Friendship Circle’s Farber Center in West Bloomfield Township to celebrate the belief that every individual deserves friendship and belonging.
“After having to spend last year’s walk apart, we were grateful to see such an incredible turnout from the community,” says Bassie Shemtov, co-founder of the Friendship Circle. “This was a record-breaking year, which wouldn’t have been possible without our incredible corporate sponsors, each and every donor, and of course our amazing Friendship Circle families who never fail to support our mission.”
The record-breaking fundraising can be attributed to dedication of Friendship Circle top walking teams like “The bELIevers,” who raised more than $37,000 for Friendship Circle.
The event kicked off with an inspirational opening ceremony hosted by emcee Charlie Langton from FOX 2 Detroit. Community leaders, including Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein and West Bloomfield Township Supervisor Steve Kaplan, also came out to show their support for the event and spoke to the crowd as they prepared for the walk.
After the walk, participants celebrated their success with food, family activities, entertainment and more.
For more information about the Friendship Circle, to volunteer or donate, visit here.