DBusiness Daily Update: Michigan High Speed Internet Office Launches $13M for Training Program, 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.
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The Michigan High Speed Internet Office has launched Michigan's Inclusive Training, Technology, and Equity Network. // Stock photo

State Internet Office Launches $13M Grant Process for Training Program

The Michigan High Speed Internet Office (MIHI) launched Michigan’s Inclusive Training, Technology, and Equity Network (MITTEN), a $13 million grant program to bolster digital inclusion and capacity building efforts for regional entities and collaboratives throughout the state.

“MITTEN builds on our state’s commitment to creating a more connected and inclusive future where every person can leverage technology to improve their quality of life,” says Susan Corbin, director of LEO. “By providing the critical resources and skills our communities need to get connected in a meaningful way, we are helping more Michiganders access the vital information, education and economic opportunities they need to succeed in our state.”

Applicants are encouraged to apply to be regional resource hubs and host sites for the state’s regional digital coordinators. These coordinators will play a vital role in supporting the implementation of the Michigan Digital Equity Plan within proposed project areas and supported covered populations. With more than $13 million in funds from the State Digital Equity Capacity Grant, MITTEN seeks to promote equitable access to high-speed internet and digital skills training across Michigan.

Digital navigators, stationed regionally and within local communities, will address the specific needs of underrepresented, under-invested, and underserved areas. MIHI will coordinate the efforts of these navigators by partnering with local community institutions and state agencies to provide support and resources, with a focus on increasing broadband adoption and developing essential digital skills through community-focused programs that remove barriers to internet access and digital learning.

To learn more and submit an RFP, visit here.

Oakland County Urges Foreclosed Property Owners to File Claims, Avoid Scams

Oakland County property owners whose properties were foreclosed on April 1 have the right to claim any surplus proceeds from the sale of their foreclosed property and must file a claim to receive any available proceeds by July 1.

Property owners should be cautious of property scams targeting individuals with delinquent taxes or foreclosed properties, such as deed transfers, upfront fees, or phantom help scams.

Oakland County property owners with surplus proceed claims questions or delinquent property taxes should contact the Oakland County Treasurer’s Office for assistance at 248-858-0611 or visit oakgov.com/treasurer.

Throughout the three-year property tax foreclosure process, the Oakland County Treasurer’s office works to inform, educate, and help residential and commercial property owners retain their properties and, in the event of foreclosure, claim surplus sales proceeds.

Under Michigan law, property owners have the right to claim any surplus proceeds from the sale of their foreclosed property. These proceeds are the funds remaining after the delinquent taxes, penalties, fees, and other liens have been paid off. To claim these funds, property owners must submit a one-page claim form to the Oakland County Treasurer’s Office by July 1.

After foreclosure, the Oakland County Treasurer’s Office mailed notices to the 2024 foreclosed property owners with the required form and submission instructions. A person who intends to claim excess sale proceeds must complete and return a notarized Form 5743 Notice of Intention to Claim Interest in Foreclosure Sales Proceeds. The Oakland County Treasurer’s Office provides free in-person notary services.

The form must be received at the Oakland County Treasurer’s Office by July 1. Per Michigan law, claim forms postmarked by July 1, but not received at the Oakland County Treasurer’s Office will not be processed.

The Oakland County Treasurer’s Office also cautions property owners to be vigilant against property rescue scams. Scammers often target individuals with delinquent taxes or foreclosed properties, promising to “rescue” their property or provide financial solutions. These scams frequently result in the loss of property or money, including:

  • Deed Transfer Scams
  • Upfront Fee Scams
  • Phantom Help Scams

Anyone who has delinquent property taxes in Oakland County should contact the Oakland County Treasurer’s Office for assistance. For more information, call 248-858-0611 or visit oakgov.com/treasurer.

Thirty Metro Detroit Nonprofits Awarded $1.1M+ from Bank of America 

The American Indian Health and Family Services of Southeastern Michigan and Henry Ford Health are among the newest nonprofit organizations in southeast Michigan to receive $1.1 million in grants this year from Bank of America in its annual first round of grants, focused on improving the lives of individuals and families by investing in health and jobs.

A first-time grant recipient, the American Indian Health and Family Services of Southeastern Michigan (AIHFS) will use its funds to promote youth workforce development by providing salaries and other support to the group’s Summer Employment Program for young adults ages 18-24, providing these young people with valuable employment experience.

Henry Ford Health is another first-time grant recipient that plans to use its grant to support an intensive summer science and medical-focused program for high school students, exposing them to careers in the medical field. The Readying Youth Scientists for Excellence in Medicine, Health Equity, and Discovery Program (RYSE MED) to support students from backgrounds that are underrepresented in medicine and who face structural barriers to pursuing careers in health care and research.

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to The Bank of America Charitable Foundation for generously supporting our RYSE MED Program. With your invaluable contribution, we can continue nurturing bright, young minds and breaking down systemic barriers in healthcare. Together, we are fostering a future generation of diverse healthcare professionals dedicated to making a lasting impact on our community’s health. Thank you for believing in our mission and empowering us to create meaningful change,” said Dr. Martina Caldwell, MD, Medical Director at Henry Ford Medical Group’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

The bank is directing funding to nonprofit organizations providing prevention and access to healthcare, food access and nutrition, family stabilization and other poverty related issues, including:

  • ACCESS
  • American National Red Cross
  • United Community Family Services
  • Children’s Center of Wayne County
  • Food Gatherers
  • Forgotten Harvest
  • Haven Inc.
  • Pope Francis Center
  • Ruth Ellis Center
  • SAY Detroit
  • Salvation Army
  • Lighthouse

The bank also is supporting nonprofits focused on workforce development opportunities like education, upskilling and reskilling programs that will help individuals and families stabilize and advance. Recipients include:

  • Accounting Aid Society
  • American Indian Health and Family Services of Southeastern Michigan
  • Connect Detroit – Grow Detroit’s Young Talent
  • Detroit PAL
  • Focus: HOPE
  • Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit
  • Greening of Detroit
  • Henry Ford Health System
  • Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan
  • Midnight Golf Program
  • Mosaic Youth Theater of Detroit
  • NPOWER Inc.
  • SER Metro Detroit Jobs for Progress
  • Southwest Detroit Business Association
  • Teach for America, Inc.
  • The Edison Institute Inc.
  • United Way for Southeastern Michigan
  • YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit

PRSA Detroit Chapter Named PRominent Chapter Award Winner

The Public Relations Society of America East Central District (PRSA ECD) announced the Detroit Chapter is a winner of the 2024 PRominent Chapter Award.

The PRominent Award was established by PRSA ECD in 2021 and was awarded to four chapters this year. The district represents 16 chapters in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Nominees for the award were required to demonstrate excellence in diversity and inclusion initiatives, membership outreach, community service, and professional development programming.

The Detroit Chapter was founded in 1947 and represents more than 260 public relations and communications professionals. The chapter received special recognition for its work with Public Relations Student Society of America Chapters in the area and for an exemplary collaboration with area chapters of the National Black Public Relations Society (NBPRS), National Association for Black Journalists (NABJ), and the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA).

“We are honored to congratulate the Detroit Chapter for their achievement in public relations excellence,” says Jennifer Kramer, chair of PRSA ECD for 2024.

TaQuinda Johnson, assistant director of communications at Oakland University and president of the Detroit Chapter’s board of directors, credited the work of leaders and members who volunteer their time to support the chapter. The chapter was nominated by Past President Maribeth Farkas.

“It is such an honor for our chapter to receive this award,” says Johnson. “Thank you to the East Central District for this honor. For more than 75 years, the Detroit Chapter has remained committed to the growth and development of its members, impacting our community as well as making strides in diversity and inclusion. This truly is a highlight of our year. We couldn’t have done it without the dedication of our members who volunteer their time, talent and resources, our past presidents of PRSA Detroit as well as our sponsors who continue to help us remain committed to our overall mission.”

Oakland County Parks Opens PlayCore National Demonstration Site in Lyon Oaks County Park

Visitors to the Woods Edge day-use area at Lyon Oaks County Park in Lyon Township this summer will be greeted with increased opportunities for active outdoor recreation. Work has concluded on a destination playground, flexible exercise space, accessible pickleball courts, updated parking lot, and improved trail connectivity to the Huron Valley Trail.

The project is part of Oakland County Parks’ commitment to providing inclusive facilities.

“The universal design of the Lyon Oaks playground and pickleball courts promotes not only the physical advantages of exercise, but also social inclusion,” says Chris Ward, parks director for Oakland County. “Children of all abilities can engage with each other through active play and the pickleball courts are designed for interaction and game play for guests with and without disabilities. By making these investments, we are able to remove barriers and ensure that all guests have access to the proven benefits of outdoor recreation.”

In addition, the playground at Lyon Oaks meets the requirements to be a National Demonstration Site (NDS) for both inclusive play and physical activity. This means survey data will be collected on an ongoing basis for inclusion in a national database. This data will be available for internal review and planning purposes as well as added to aggregate national data that will be used to shape future playground design and development by the Center for Outreach, Research, and Education (CORE).

The playground project, funded with a GameTime Statewide Funding Initiative grant that covered 50 percent of the cost of the play equipment, includes ramps and wide pathways to the various play elements as well as inclusive swings and other features. Outdated equipment was removed and the overall play area significantly expanded.

“Playgrounds are often a child’s introduction to a park setting. Whether it’s their first visit or their 100th, we want to make every experience a positive one,” says Ward.

Feldman Automotive Group Sponsors High School Day at Cranbrook Tennis Classic

The Cranbrook Tennis Classic returns to the Cranbrook Tennis Complex in Bloomfield Hills for its second year June 30-July 7 and Feldman Automotive Group will be providing free admission to high school tennis players on July 3.

Feldman will provide free admission to current high school tennis players and recent high school graduates, anyone wearing their high school tennis jersey to the event. One free ticket will be provided per player, obtained at the box office entrance.

The event features pro men’s tennis veterans who will battle against up-and-comers for coveted ranking points and a wildcard spot at the U.S. Open in New York this August.  The stop on the ATP Challenger Tour and USTA Pro Circuit, brought in more than 3,000 fans to the court and more than 215,000 livestream viewers in its first year. With more than 60 players from 16 countries, the tournament has been voted the No. 2 ATP Challenger tournament by the players.

For more information, visit cranbrooktennisclassic.com.