DBusiness Daily Update: Rebel Nell Creates Jewelry from Detroit Parade Big Heads, 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.
Rebel Nell has created jewelry from material from the famous Detroit Thanksgiving Parade Big Heads. // Courtesy of Rebel Nell
Rebel Nell has created jewelry from material from the famous Detroit Thanksgiving Parade Big Heads. // Courtesy of Rebel Nell

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.

Rebel Nell Creates Jewelry from Detroit Thanksgiving Parade Big Heads

Detroit-based social jewelry enterprise Rebel Nell today announced a partnership with The Parade Co. to produce pieces incorporating papier-mâché made from Italian newspapers from vintage Thanksgiving Day parade Big Heads.

A limited number of sterling silver and gold necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings, and more will be produced.

“We are honored to introduce the Parade Co. — Big Heads Collection, especially during the holiday season and in anticipation of the Thanksgiving parade, a timeless tradition,” says Amy Peterson, co-founder and CEO of Rebel Nell. “Our community collaborations are very important to us. It gives us an opportunity to preserve moments of history and support our community through our work.

“We also get the chance to highlight and work with iconic organizations, like The Parade Co., a business we admire and respect for its commitment to Detroit and for the memories it holds within the hearts of Michiganders everywhere.”

Each product from The Parade Co. — Big Heads Collection was repurposed and crafted by Rebel Nell’s creative designers, ensuring the integrity of the history, and preservation of the materials was maintained and honored.

Amy highlights, “Each of our collections not only preserves the actual material but we also tell a story with each collection,” Peterson says. “This particular collection tells the story of the Italian beginnings of the Big Heads by showcasing the layers of paint and newspaper print which bring the characters to life.”

Rebel Nell’s Parade Collection is available online and in its retail store at 1314 Holden St. in Detroit.  A portion of the proceeds will go to supporting the legacy of the Big Heads in America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Gardner White.

Monroe Street Drive-In Announces Opening Weekend Movies

Movies are back in Detroit with the return of the Monroe Street Drive-In Powered by Emagine, located in the heart of downtown Detroit, beginning Nov. 12.

The drive-in, located at 32 Monroe St., was developed in partnership by Bedrock and Emagine Entertainment. All showtimes and programming is managed by Emagine Entertainment with movie titles and showtimes released on a rolling weekly basis.

Tickets will cost $20 per vehicle and can be reserved online at DetroitDriveIn.com starting tomorrow at noon or purchased in-person at the Drive-In the night of each show.

New this year are nine outdoor seating pods that can seat two to four guests for those who want to experience the theater outside of a car. The outdoor seating pods will be available free of charge and are open on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Drive-In features a 60-by-32-foot digital screen and 62 parking spaces in addition to the new seating pods. It will show classic, family-friendly films, Thursdays through Sundays through the spring of 2022.

Automation Alley Wins Award for Global Trade Mission

Automation Alley in Troy has been selected to receive the President’s “E Star” Award for Export Service in recognition of its achievement in making continuing, significant contributions to increase U.S. exports through its trade mission program.

The award, which is presented by the U.S. Department of Commerce, is the highest honor given to providers of services to U.S. exporters. Automation Alley Executive Director and CEO Tom Kelly accepted the award in Washington D.C. from U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.

“An award of this stature requires an extremely cohesive unit of international business experts,” Kelly says. “In receiving the President’s ‘E Star’ award, I thank not only the U.S. Department of Commerce, but the International Business Services Team at Automation Alley for their coordinated efforts to always plan our trade missions to achieve bottom line results for participating members.”

The goal of Automation Alley’s trade mission program, which is funded by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC), is to help Michigan companies expand their products, services, and technologies globally into new, high-growth markets. Automation Alley has organized more than 40 trade missions with over 400 participating companies and organizations, as well as offering virtual missions during the pandemic.

This is the third time Automation Alley has been honored by the White House for its contributions to increasing American exports. It also received the E Star Award for Export Service in 2013 and 2008.

New Filers for Unemployment Benefits Now Must Register with Michigan Works!

Beginning Nov. 7, unemployed workers filing a new claim for benefits will be required to register for work with Michigan Works! staff and verify their registration with either an in-person or virtual appointment.

“Registering with Michigan Works! not only fulfills a requirement to receive unemployment benefits, but it also provides unemployed workers with a great advantage in landing one of the 114,000 available jobs listed by employers on Pure Michigan Talent Connect,” says Julia Dale, director of the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA). “Work registration is also helpful for employers in recruiting job candidates at a time when hiring has been difficult.”

To register for work, claimants must complete the following two steps:

  • First, visit org to create a job seeker profile on Pure Michigan Talent Connect.
  • Second, meet with staff from a local Michigan Works! Service Center either virtually or in person at least one business day before the first certification (claimants must certify bi-weekly that they are eligible for benefits).

Claimants will receive an email confirmation when registration is complete and verified. If claimants don’t meet with Michigan Works! Service Center staff to verify their registration it could delay the payment of unemployment benefits.

Claimants must register for work in addition to completing and reporting to the UIA their work search activities. Those filing for benefits must report at least one work search activity for each week they claim benefits. Work search activities include, but are not limited to, applying for jobs in person or online, attending job fairs, creating a profile or resume on a professional networking or job site such as MiTalent.org, and participating in online job search workshops or seminars.

Visit the UIA website at Michigan.gov/UIA for more information about Work Registration. For a list of local Michigan Works! Service Centers, visit MichiganWorks.org or call 800-285-WORKS.

Six Labs Cannabis Cultivator Launches binske Products in Michigan

Six Labs, a cannabis cultivator in Chesaning, has launched the luxury cannabis brand binske in Michigan through its network of retailers.

“Our commitment is to produce and distribute superior products with the country’s leading cannabis brands throughout Michigan,” says Adam Duke, director of sales for Six Labs. “Working with binske as our partner in this most recent launch is evidence of that.”

Initial Michigan retailers that will carry Binske products include:

  • GAGE — Ferndale, Adrian, Lansing, and Grand Rapids.
  • Cloud Cannabis — Utica, Muskegon, and Ann Arbor.
  • Quality Roots — Hamtramck and Battle Creek.
  • Breeze — Hazel Park.
  • Cookies — Kalamazoo.
  • Freddie’s Joint – Clio.

Nov. 12 Job Fair to Recruit Coaches Who Train Adults with Disabilities

JVS Human Services in Southfield will be conducting a job fair Nov. 12 to recruit job coaches who will provide training and support to adults with disabilities at businesses throughout metro Detroit.

Open interviews will take place at JVS’ headquarters (29699 Southfield Road) from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The job coach positions offer flexible schedules with morning and afternoon shifts available at assignments located in Oakland, Wayne, and Macomb Counties in cities that include Wayne, Inkster, Canton, and Farmington Hills.

The pay is $15 per hour and to be eligible for the opening, candidates need a high school diploma, clean driving record, and ability to pass a background check.

“Adults with disabilities can develop new skills and increased confidence while working, and job coaches are vital to this program and find it very rewarding work,” says James Willis, vice president of workforce development and rehabilitation at JVS.

Willis adds that job coaching also is an opportunity for college students with an interest in social work, psychology, or education, or for parents looking for part-time work while their children are at school.

For more information on the job fair contact Barbara Evans at bevans@jvshumanservices.org.

Detroit’s Urban Science Awards $25K to ESD to Create Engineering Career Pathways for Girls

Urban Science in Detroit today announced a $25,000 grant to The Engineering Society of Detroit Girls in Engineering Academy to improve academic achievement and increase interest in engineering careers among girls in metro Detroit.

The goal of the program and grant is to narrow the diversity gap in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers. This grant, awarded in observance of National STEM Day, is an expansion of Urban Science’s support of the ESD Girls in Engineering Academy, bringing the company’s total investment to $50,000 since 2020.

In addition to monetary support, Urban Science also will make members of its Detroit-based team available for student mentoring and job shadowing in the future.

“At Urban Science, our vision is a world in which innovation is powered by science and inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit to invent a better future,” says Randall Tallerico, chief marketing officer at Urban Science. “We know our ability to realize this vision begins and ends with continuing to give our next generation of leaders the knowledge, skills and support they need to thrive in STEM fields that are often harder to find – and navigate – for girls in metro Detroit.”

“We proudly support ESD’s efforts to help these future leaders excel in STEM and pursue engineering careers that will continue to drive our city, state and nation forward.”

Each year, ESD selects 30 middle school girls to participate in a summer and academic-year program that delivers math and science enrichment, shares engineering and computer science concepts, improves English and language arts comprehension, and engages students in mentoring, among other curriculum offerings, to increase awareness of STEM and engineering opportunities among participants.

In doing so, the academy helps students forge new avenues to careers that may not have been available otherwise. The academy develops and deploys programming and experiences to make STEM exciting and engaging, and to support students through curriculum — including college engineering school pre-requisites, like calculus — that often becomes a barrier to engineering school admission for young women in Detroit.

“Urban Science’s expanded commitment comes at a time when the pandemic has stifled education — particularly STEM education — in many areas across metro Detroit,” says Robert Magee, executive director of ESD. “This is a significant learning divide ESD can’t close on its own, and support from the business community is critical in helping us position Girls in Engineering Academy students for long-term success. We’re grateful for Urban Science’s willingness to answer our call to service, and for its commitment to lifting up our city’s next generation of female engineers through more than $50,000 in funding to date.”

DTE Energy Foundation Support Domestic Violence Shelters with $1.8M in Grants

The DTE Energy Foundation announced last week it will award a third round of grants to all 45 domestic violence shelters funded by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to help provide safe havens needed by survivors to find hope and heal.

The foundation’s $420,000 donation follows its previous awards, bringing the amount of support to shelters funded by MDHHS to $1.8 million.

“Safe, nurturing homes are the foundation for a healthy, vital Michigan because they enable people to give their full energy toward their families, communities and jobs,” says Lynette Dowler, president of the DTE Foundation. “The DTE Foundation has the ability to step in, bring the domestic violence epidemic to the forefront and make a significant difference for shelters and the Michiganders they support.

“We chose to undertake this grant because many domestic violence victims are forced to seek refuge in homeless centers when domestic violence shelters are unavailable, and these alternative housing options do not offer the necessary training or programs needed for victims. Early intervention can help victims and their children chart a new path of independence and safety.”

The pandemic has exacerbated the problem of domestic violence, with women and children needing access to shelters now more than ever. Domestic violence calls continue to surge during the pandemic. National data shows an 8 percent increase, and Michigan is no exception.

Grants will be awarded to Michigan’s 45 MDHHS-funded shelters based on bed count to support critical expenses at each location. The funds also will allow shelters to deliver holistic survivor-centric services and support that develop independence and empowerment. These initiatives include employment, housing, transportation, and support services that help survivors navigate the complex criminal justice and health care systems – two primary barriers to independence.

Each year, domestic violence shelters receive more than 80,000 requests (primarily for shelter) they cannot meet. Dowler encourages the Michigan business community to join the DTE Foundation in the fight against domestic violence.

Lawrence Tech’s Centrepolis Accelerator Wins $84K Grant from Consumers Energy

The Consumers Energy Foundation has awarded an $84,000 grant to the Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University in Southfeild to support the Accelerator’s mission to grow innovative high-tech manufacturing firms in Michigan.

The grant will be used to assist companies in the cleantech, climatech, and circular economy sectors. In general, these technologies have a positive impact to energy efficiency, generate renewable energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, replace non-renewable materials, preserve clean water, and promote recycling, upcycling, and the circular economy.

Centrepolis will use the grant to add Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIRs), as well as offset some operational expenditures. This will allow the accelerator to engage with additional Michigan companies to bring their product ideas to market.

“The Consumers Energy Foundation is committed to supporting the growth and success of small and minority-owned businesses in Michigan,” said Carolyn Bloodworth, secretary-treasurer of the Consumers Energy Foundation. “We are pleased to support the great work of the Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University.”

Dan Radomski, executive director of the Centrepolis Accelerator, says, “We are both excited and grateful for the grant awarded to Centrepolis by the Consumers Energy Foundation to support our mission of developing and manufacturing physical products including cleantech related products.

“The demand for our services as the only hardware accelerator in the state has grown significantly. The funding will help support our ability to scale to support more clients in commercializing and making their products right here in Michigan.”