DBusiness Daily Update: MotorCities National Heritage Area Launches New Cruise Club, 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.
The MotorCities National Heritage Area Cruise Club will host monthly cruise nights at partner attractions throughout the summer. // Courtesy of MotorCities
The MotorCities National Heritage Area Cruise Club will host monthly cruise nights at partner attractions throughout the summer. // Courtesy of MotorCities

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.

MotorCities National Heritage Area Launches New Cruise Club

MotorCities National Heritage Area has launched a new Cruise Club that will host monthly cruise nights at partner attractions throughout the summer.

Cruise dates and places are as follows:

  • May 18 — Pontiac Transportation Museum, 250 West Pike St. in Pontiac, 4-8 p.m.
  • June 15 — Detroit Historical Museum, 5401 Woodward Ave. in Detroit, 4-8 p.m.
  • July 20 — Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, 461 Piquette Ave. in Detroit, 4-8 p.m.
  • 17 — Ford House, 1100 Lake Shore Road in Grosse Pointe Shores, 4-8 p.m.

Each of these events is open to all cruisers, but membership has its privileges. To join, visit here.

SME and Women in 3-D Printing Join Forces to Build Diverse Manufacturing Workforce

SME in Southfield and Women in 3-D Printing (Wi3DP), a global organization with a mission to close the gender gap in additive manufacturing (AM), are partnering to attract and build a diverse next-gen workforce to advance the AM industry.

“SME has been enabling the development and growth of the additive manufacturing industry since the late 1980s and we continue to be inspired by its people and technology,” says Robert Willig, CEO of SME. “Collaboration is crucial, and we are excited to embark on this strategic partnership with Women in 3-D Printing, an organization that shares our passion for promoting and advancing Additive Manufacturing and creating a more inclusive industry for everyone.”

Willig says combining SME’s 90 years of manufacturing experience, vast resources, and scope with Wi3DP’s passionate network and robust programs will accelerate their shared mission to develop technology, connection, inclusivity, and opportunities to introduce the next generation to the benefits of a career in AM. This is an important step in closing the skills gap.

“It is important that the additive manufacturing industry is reflective of the real world, and we want to send a clear message that it is for everyone,” says Nora Toure, founder of Women in 3D Printing. “We were looking for a partner to help us access even more people in the Additive community in more ways, and we are proud to join SME, with its decades of expertise, on this important mission.”

With a mission of promoting, supporting, and inspiring women using AM technologies, Wi3DP seeks to foster a more diverse industry. In just seven years, Wi3DP has grown from a simple blog to one of the largest AM communities worldwide, with over 80 chapters in 36 countries.

The collaboration initially includes four initiatives:

TIPE 2023 Conference — Focused on Technology, Industry, People and Economics, will now be co-produced and powered by SME and Wi3DP. This supports a shared goal of offering AM engagement and education year-round, including through digital platforms.

SME’s 2023 RAPID + TCT — SME and Wi3DP will launch the “Wi3DP Showcase” at RAPID + TCT next year in Chicago. This important showcase will extend the value of TIPE with an in-person experience.

NextGen Mentorship Pilot — Recognizing the importance of workforce development, with a shared commitment to the next generation, SME and Wi3DP will partner on a NextGen Mentorship pilot program, expanding on Wi3DP’s existing program.

Diversity for Additive Manufacturing 2023 Annual Report — Wi3DP and SME will co-author this annual measure of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the Additive Industry. The report will look at how organizations are expanding and developing their workforce, while providing resources to make DEI accessible, understandable, and actionable.

Detroit ACE Bringing Detroit Public Schools’ an Evening of Fine Arts to Fox Theatre

The City of Detroit Office of Arts, Culture & Entrepreneurship (Detroit ACE), Olympia Development of Michigan, 313 Presents, and Comerica Bank are presenting the Detroit Public Schools Community District’s (DPSCD) An Evening of Fine Arts at the Fox Theatre at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

The signature event returns to the Fox Theatre for the first time since 2013 and kicks off DPSCD’s inaugural “Come Home” Alumni Hall of Fame festivities.

An Evening of Fine Arts is the culminating activity for more than 200 students who were selected from DPSCD’s middle and high school fine and performing arts departments and showcases the tremendous talent within the district. It is a celebration of the students’ achievements and provides them with a one-of-a-kind experience that will shape their future endeavors. The community will see performances by the top instrumental music ensembles, vocal music ensembles, dance companies and theatre excerpts. In addition, original works of art by the district’s top visual artists will be displayed in the Fox Theatre’s Grand Lobby.

“Students’ creativity, voice, and critical thinking skills are sharpened through the arts,” says Nikolai Vitti, superintendent of DPSCD. “As a foundation of our reform, we established an art or music program at each DPSCD school because we knew that our students’ talents would not be developed without this programming. More importantly, access to the arts allows students to define and understand beauty. This simply develops better people and citizens.

“The return of the Evening of Fine Arts is a strong signal of the district’s return to its rich legacy. It continues to be encouraging to see business partners and organizations embrace our whole child commitment to our students and families. DPS has served as the pipeline for so many talented performers through the decades. Events such as this allow us to see our students’ talents annually on one of Detroit’s largest and most historic stage: The Fox Theatre.”

Ann Arbor SPARK Annual Meeting Reveals Updated Strategic Plan

Ann Arbor SPARK hosted its 2022 Annual Meeting at Eastern Michigan University’s Student Center in Ypsilanti. The program reviewed the organization’s successes from the past year including highlights from SPARK’s 2021 annual report, an overview of the SPARK 2022 strategic plan, and an award program recognizing significant projects and contributions.

Concluding the program was the keynote address by Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA.

“The world is undergoing a sea change of how people work, where they live, and what they value,” says Paul Krutko, president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK. “The pandemic has exacerbated economic inequalities and made progress on environmental sustainability more difficult. A strategy of smart growth in service of prosperity for all will respond to these challenges and create opportunities that will benefit our region.”

In 2021, Ann Arbor SPARK’s work continued to drive economic growth by providing startups and businesses with the resources they need to succeed, including:

  • Consulting support and funding to 317 startups that employed more than 887 people all within the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti SmartZone. Of those startups, 119 of them operate from one of SPARK’s two incubators: SPARK Central in Ann Arbor and SPARK East in Ypsilanti.
  • Location and expansion support for 20 company growth projects, generating nearly $52 million in new investment commitments while creating and retaining more than 1,800 highly skilled jobs.

During the program, Ann Arbor SPARK recognized major successes and key projects from the previous year with the board chair awards. The organization also established the Michael A. Finney Leadership Award recognizing SPARK’s inaugural CEO. Finney passed away earlier this year.

Censys was named Entrepreneurial Services Company of the Year. The Project of the Year award went to the city of Brighton and the Brighton Downtown Development Authority for their developed of the Main Street Showcase mobile application.

SPARK also honored two longtime supporters and board members, David Parsigian, a partner at Honigman, and Ric DeVore, who served on Ann Arbor SPARK’s executive committee for five years.

Downtown Detroit Business Improvement Zone Hosting Job Fair May 25

The Downtown Detroit Business Improvement Zone (BIZ) is hosting a job fair from 1-3 p.m. May 25 at Campus Martius Park.

Job seekers should come prepared with resumes and to interview on-site with MotorCity Casino, House of Pure Vin, Starbucks, The Foundation Hotel, Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, Hollywood Casino at Greektown, YMCA, The Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre, and more. For more information about the job fair, visit here. For more information about Detroit BIZ, check out his video.

All-day Marketing Seminar Returns to GM Argonaut Building June 2 

Direct Marketing Association of Detroit (DMAD) is reviving its annual FastForward Innovation Bootcamp, an all-day marketing seminar June 2 at the GM Argonaut Building.

“We’re really excited to bring back this event after not being able to do it for two years,” says Scott Thornton, DMAD board member and managing director of the Wholebrand consultancy. “Our members and guests have always gotten a lot out of this event and we’re thrilled to be able to bring the lineup of speakers that we have for 2022.”

Speakers include:

  • David Hixon, executive director of CRM and marketing analytics for Ally Financial.
  • Aaron Wolff, General Manager of EV Ecosystem at General Motors Co.
  • Rema Nasif, managing director at OneMagnify.

To purchase tickets, visit here.

Detroit Pistons, Brilliant Detroit to Host Islandview Block Party Saturday

In recognition of the launch of their NBA 75th Anniversary Legacy Project partnership, the Detroit Pistons and Brilliant Detroit are hosting a block party in the Islandview neighborhood of Detroit (3289 Helen St.) from 2-5 p.m. on Saturday.

At the start of the 2021-22 season, the NBA announced a league-wide initiative to create and dedicate more than 50 new Live, Learn or Play Centers during the 2021-22 season across the country. The Pistons selected Brilliant Detroit as the grantee recipient for this project and have recently kicked off the renovation of a vacant house that will be turned into a central community hub and gathering place for local families.

Joining the Pistons and Brilliant Detroit in this initiative is Priority Health, which will be donating 10,000 diapers to the hub, and Milk Means More, which will provide ice cream for the block party. Additionally, Wallside Windows will be providing windows for the new Islandview hub, and Detroit2Nepal also is providing funding for the site.

Detroit Pistons alumnus Earl Cureton and Detroit City Council President Mary Sheffield are expected to attend the block party.