DBusiness Daily Update: Michigan Ranked Top State for Automotive Manufacturing, Pistons Partner with Boys & Girls Club to Enhance Youth Opportunities, 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.
Business Facilities magazine ranks Michigan No. 1 in automotive manufacturing. // Courtesy of GM
Business Facilities magazine ranks Michigan No. 1 in automotive manufacturing. // Courtesy of GM

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.

Michigan Ranked Top State for Automotive Manufacturing

Michigan has been recognized with six top 10 spots on Business Facilities magazine’s 17th annual Rankings Report for 2021, including a repeat performance with a No. 1 ranking in the Automotive Manufacturing Strength category.

Michigan has created a record 11,000 new auto jobs, secured the first new auto plant in Detroit in more 30 years, and the Big Three automakers have collectively invested billions of dollars in the future of mobility.

In a reinforcement of the state’s manufacturing expertise, Michigan not only maintained its leading position in automotive manufacturing strength, it also held steady in the top five states for manufacturing relative to employment (No. 4) as well as manufacturing output (No. 4).

This strong showing in the manufacturing sector, in spite of the challenges of a global pandemic, demonstrates the advantages Michigan offers as companies look to strengthen supply chains here in the U.S.

In addition to a strong showing in manufacturing categories, Michigan also was recognized in categories of health care jobs (No. 8), food processing leaders (No. 10) and cybersecurity (No. 10).

Several Michigan metropolitan areas also took Top 10 honors, including Ann Arbor for best health care hubs (#1), Detroit for best business climate for large metro areas (#9) and Grand Rapids for best business climate for mid-sized metro areas (#3).

The cities of Grand Rapids-Wyoming also earned a spot in the Top 10 best health care hubs (No. 10) and Gross Domestic Product (No. 2) categories.

“From advanced manufacturing to cybersecurity and tech, we are focused on securing Michigan’s leadership in the industries that will drive our economy into the future, and we’re proud these efforts have been recognized in these Business Facilities rankings,” says Quentin L. Messer Jr. CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and president and chair of the Michigan Strategic Fund. “We congratulate our regional partners in Ann Arbor, Detroit, and Grand Rapids on their strong showing as well. Economic development is a team sport and in Michigan, we take an wholistic approach to economic development that is building a championship economy for 10 million+ Michiganders right here. Work remains, yet we celebrate and are encouraged by this progress.”

Business Facilities is a national publication that has been the leading location source for corporate site selectors and economic development professionals for more than 50 years. Read more about Michigan’s rankings in Business Facilities’ 2021 report here.

Detroit Pistons Partner with Boys & Girls Club to Enhance Youth Opportunities

The Detroit Pistons and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan have revealed plans for a long-term partnership that includes a $300,000 grant to help grow the club’s career-building platform for youth.

Funding will be provided over the course of three years and allocated toward the launch of BGCSM’s newest “Industry Club,” which will focus on providing workforce experience for young people interested in pursuing a career in the sports, esports, and entertainment industry.

Pistons owner Tom Gores recently sponsored free, five-day basketball camps with BGCSM in Pontiac and Mount Clemens. The camps emphasized skill development, but also featured community leaders speaking to youth, an awards ceremony, and free merchandise courtesy of the NBA team. An additional camp will take place later this summer in Eastpointe.

“Now more than ever, young people in our communities need educational support and mentorship programs,” says Gores. “We are proud to be partnering with The Boys & Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan, furthering our commitment to empower today’s youth.”

The Industry Club program aims to employ more than 200 Detroit youth each year, ages 14 and up.  The employees will be paid $10-$13 per hour as they explore various careers in sports, entertainment, gaming, and tech entrepreneurship.

“The Detroit Pistons continue to be an amazing ally and partner in the fight against childhood poverty,” says Shawn Wilson, president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan. “Their generous donation will allow youth to explore the endless number of careers in the sports and entertainment industry.”

In addition, the Pistons have helped the NBA Foundation identify BGCSM as an upcoming grant recipient in support of programs which enables youth to become career, start-up, and homeowner ready.

In Related News: As part of its Learn, Play, Score program, the Detroit Red Wings are teaming up with The Children’s Foundation and BGCSM to introduce Esports + Hockey. The program will provide year-round hockey connectivity for young BGCSM members across metro Detroit through hands-on learning experiences, esports engagement and workforce development. Additional details about this program will be announced later.

In addition, Michigan native, entrepreneur, and professional gamer, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, will sponsor the Ninja Esports Lounge at the Matilda R. Wilson Boys & Girls Clubs location in Auburn Hills. The Industry Club space is planned to become a world-class hub for youth to discover and develop their passion for esports while getting paid to explore careers and content monetization strategies as entrepreneurs.

Also, the Sean Anderson Foundation (SAF), founded by national recording artist and Detroit-native Big Sean and his mother Myra Anderson, have been active early adopters of the BGCSM Reimagine initiative. The foundation donated in 2019 for the first SAF Production Studio which opened its doors within the Dick & Sandy Dauch Club on Detroit’s west side. Since opening, the studio has served nearly 1,500 youth. The 2nd SAF Production Studio will be housed inside the Lloyd H. Diehl Club.

Lantern Expands Recreational Cannabis Delivery to Grand Rapids

Lantern, the leading on-demand cannabis e-commerce marketplace and home delivery platform in the U.S., today launched on-demand recreational cannabis delivery in Grand Rapids, becoming the first marketplace to offer delivery in Michigan’s second largest city.

Lantern has been serving Michigan consumers since October 2020 when it became the first platform to launch on-demand delivery in Detroit.

Recreational consumers in Grand Rapids can order their favorite products and brands directly from LanternNow.com and receive their orders in 60 minutes or less. Lantern’s latest expansion will increase access to high-quality cannabis products, especially for consumers who live in municipalities that have opted out of permitting recreational provisioning centers.

“Michigan’s recreational market is a sleeping giant, and we are thrilled to be on the forefront of creating exceptional retail experiences that will redefine how people shop for and consume cannabis,” says Meredith Mahoney, president of Lantern. “We recognized the undeniable consumer enthusiasm for Lantern’s services after launching in Detroit and look forward to working with local businesses in Western Michigan to make legal cannabis as accessible as possible to our growing consumer base in Grand Rapids.”

Orders and deliveries will be fulfilled by 3Fifteen Cannabis and High Profile. 3Fifteen is a Michigan owned and operated cannabis group with locations throughout Michigan, with locations covering 50 percent of Michigan’s population within a 20-minute drive.

“We are excited to expand our same-day delivery service to our customers in Western Michigan through our partnership with Lantern,” says Tom Nafso, president and general counsel of 3Fifteen.

High Profile is Lantern’s newest dispensary partner, which curates and sells cannabis flower and products across Michigan, Missouri, and Oregon.

“Access and availability are more important now than ever, and we look forward to providing that for our customers together with Lantern,” says Samip Shah, COO at C3 Industries.

All deliveries through Lantern are subject to Michigan cannabis consumption laws and may not exceed 2.5 ounces of flower or 15 grams of concentrate. Customers must present valid photo identification at an approved residential address to receive deliveries. Lantern is now offering free delivery on orders more than $50.