DBusiness Daily Update: Three Companies Offer Boat Tours on Lake Superior, 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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Three Great Lakes cruise companies are offering tours of northern Michigan via Lake Superior this summer. // Photo courtesy Visit Keweenaw

Three Companies Offer Boat Tours on Lake Superior

Three Great Lakes cruise companies are offering tours of northern Michigan via Lake Superior this summer.

Navigate the Portage Canal and see towering mining structures from the late 1800s and pass under the double-deck Portage Lake Lift Bridge. Or embark on a remote adventure to Manitou Island, Keweenaw Point, and High Rock Bay from Copper Harbor’s docks. Also, one can see passing freighters, sunsets, and some of the most beautiful rock cliff faces in the Upper Peninsula with three different boat services this summer.

Noah’s Ark Charters docks at the Bella Vista Motel in Copper Harbor and embarks off the north shore. This boat tour dips into Lake Superior’s waters and takes you to see three historic lighthouses. Cruise the shoreline and admire Brockway Mountain, Keweenaw Point and High Rock Bay or spend hours reeling in coho, trout and walleye. Copper Harbor is a thrilling experience for boating enthusiasts and can be a picturesque place for first timers to try a tour.

Relax on a quiet ride with Copper Country Boat Tours, the Keweenaw’s only fully electric charter. Float by the Quincy Smelting Works and see copper’s last step before shipping on the Great Lakes. The Keweenaw Waterway cuts across the peninsula making for a protected and calm boating experience in summer. Copper Country Boat Tours docks next to the Ramada in Hancock and can take you up and down the Portage Canal. Go under the Portage Lake Lift Bridge on your tour and listen for the hum of traffic above you.

Keweenaw Boat Tours runs a boat tour that offers “an adventurous taste of Lake Superior boating.” For a more leisureful pace, book the luxury pontoon. One can reserve a voyage out of Lac La Belle that goes to Bare Bluff, Montreal Falls, and the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula. See some of the most remote places in the Keweenaw while riding in style with Keweenaw Boat Tours.

SBAM Foundation Launches Small Business Support Hub Grant Program

Michigan small businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic are eligible to receive new support from the SBAM Foundation’s Small Business Support Hub (SBSH) Grant Program.

The program will offer first- and second-stage businesses free programming, courses, events, and support tailored to assist them with business growth, enhance stability, and improve overall efficiency. The initial program categories include strategies for marketing, growth and management development, as well as practical courses in financial literacy and accounting, human resources and IT.

The SBAM Foundation designed the grant program catalog by researching the needs of owners of first and second stage businesses. Other offerings will include CEO roundtables and mentorship opportunities, capital development and compliance, and some certification and licensures.

Direct monetary grants also are offered through the SBSH Grant program to support business stability and growth. Qualifiers must participate and engage in the provided resources within six months prior to applying for the grant. Funding provided by the Small Business Support Hub Grant Program from the SBAM Foundation is in partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

Small business owners can visit sbam.org/hub to begin the application process. It is not necessary to be a member of SBAM to participate.

Stars Line Up to Play in Rocket Mortgage Classic Area 313 Celebrity Scramble

A slew of celebrities and PGA Tour golfers have committed to playing in the 2024 Area 313 Celebrity Scramble presented by Priority Health Total Health Foundation.

Already signed up are Aidan Hutchinson, Calvin Johnson, Chris Webber, and Tom Izzo.

Joining them will be WWE superstar The Miz, Cleveland Cavaliers basketball player Sam Merrill, and PGA Tour players 2023 RMC Champion Rickie Fowler, Min Woo Lee, Tom Kim, Matt Huchar, Will Zalatoris, and a player to be named later.

The Area 313 Celebrity Scramble pits six four-player teams against each other in a three-hole golf exhibition match over holes 14 through 16 at Detroit Golf Club. PGA Tour stars captain each team and are grouped with celebrity athletes and entertainers, players from The John Shippen National Invitational presented by Rocket Mortgage, and corporate partners.

The Celebrity Scramble tees off Tuesday, June 25 at 5 p.m. at Detroit Golf Club.

The sixth-annual Rocket Mortgage Classic will be played June 25-30, at the historic Detroit Golf Club. Tickets for competition rounds June 27-30 can be purchased at RocketMortgageClassic.com.

Baker College Partners with House of Dank to Develop Cannabis Industry Talent

Baker College in Royal Oak is partnering with cannabis provider House of Dank (HOD) to provide cannabis-related internships in metro Detroit. This collaboration aims to create a robust talent pipeline for the cannabis industry while ensuring students receive comprehensive education and training.

Baker College continues to expand its academic offerings to cater to future-focused industries, introducing three specialized cannabis certificates. These certificates are designed to equip students with essential job skills for a successful cannabis career. Each certificate program takes nine weeks to complete and is offered fully online, making them accessible to a broad range of students.

The cannabis certificate programs are developed in partnership with Green Flower, the leader in cannabis education, and cover three critical areas: Advanced Dispensary Associate Skills Training, Cannabis Manufacturing, and Cannabis Cultivation. These programs address the urgent need for skilled workers in the cannabis industry, providing students with the knowledge and expertise required to excel in various roles.

Downtown Detroit Partnership, Corewell Health Team Up to Deliver Campus Kids Day 

The Downtown Detroit Partnership is partnering with Corewell Health as the presenting sponsor of the inaugural Campus Kids Day at Campus Martius Park from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Father’s Day (Sunday).

It will feature a variety of themed entertainment and engaging activities for families to bond and create lasting memories.

Taking place every third Sunday through Sept. 15 and also on Oct. 6, Campus Kids Day promises a lineup of summer fun and free activities. Geared toward city residents and visitors with young children, Campus Kids Day offers something for everyone, making it the perfect summer destination for family fun and community engagement.

For the first event – Sprout and Shout: A Go Green Gardening Adventure – the partners plan a day packed with fun, perfect for celebrating Father’s Day with the whole family. Kids and parents can enjoy hands-on activities like making flower bombs and crafting paper pots. Make-and-take projects include decorating clay pots, planting sprouted herbs in them, and creating Father’s Day cards.

For a full list of future Campus Kids Day events, visit here.

Boston Company Acquires Ayers Group from Kelly Services in Troy

Keystone Partners in Boston has acquired The Ayers Group, an executive coaching, leadership development, and outplacement services provider, from Kelly Services Inc. in Troy.

Founded in 1975 and headquartered in New York City, The Ayers Group has been a pioneer in adapting companies to change, offering comprehensive guidance on human resources and organizational development. By integrating The Ayers Group’s deep customer relationships, and strong bench of career and executive coaches, Keystone Partners enhances its ability to support professionals and organizations through every phase of the career lifecycle.

Pathway Staffing in Grand Rapids Announces Investment from Sena Info Technologies  

Pathway Staffing, a start-up talent acquisition firm in Grand Rapids, has received an unspecified investment from Sena Info Technologies, an information technology consulting and staffing company also in Grand Rapids. The partnership aims to revolutionize the recruitment landscape by identifying key talent to empower businesses to thrive.

Sena Info Technologies says it recognizes the importance of talent acquisition in today’s rapidly evolving business environment. With the goal of fostering purpose-driven recruiting initiatives, the company has chosen to invest in Pathway Staffing. Through this collaboration, Sena Info Technologies seeks to leverage Pathway Staffing’s expertise in identifying and nurturing top talent to help businesses succeed in a competitive market.

Summer Food Service Program by Gleaners Returns to Provide a Hunger Free Summer 

Gleaners Community Food Bank announced the return of its Hunger Free Summer campaign from June 1-Aug. 31, and the launch of the Summer Food Service Program, with summer distribution sites beginning the week of June 17.

The Summer Food Service program will complement Gleaners’ existing food distribution programs through its nearly 400-member partner network and community mobile distribution sites to enhance support for families and children in southeast Michigan while school-provided meals are unavailable.

In Gleaners’ service area of Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston, and Monroe counties, the number of children who meet qualifications for free or reduced meals at school has increased over the past two years. According to the Kids Count Data Center, more than 317,000 students are at risk of hunger when school is out. At the same time, Gleaners has seen sustained increased need, with requests for food support up 30% year-over-year.

The Summer Food Service Program uses two distribution models to provide access to nutritious meals for children 18 years or younger across southeast Michigan.

Mobile sites: These 14 sites will provide children with lunch five days a week (on Fridays, meals will be provided for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), delivered by refrigerated truck at pre-scheduled times to low-income housing neighborhoods.

Stationary meal sites: These 23 sites will offer nutritionally balanced, pre-prepared breakfasts and/or lunches on-site. Meals are provided while children are engaged in scheduled programming (such as summer camps or daycare facilities) at each site.

Community members can support Gleaners’ variety of summer food distributions by donating to the Hunger Free Summer campaign, with Citizens and other generous donors matching donations through Saturday, Aug. 31.

Donations can be made securely online at hungerfreesummer.org or by mail to Gleaners Community Food Bank (P.O. Box 44050, Detroit, MI 48244-0050). Checks should include “Hunger Free Summer” on the memo line to ensure the donation is matched.

Macomb County Chamber, Blue Economy Committee to Host Inaugural Film Festival

The Macomb County Chamber is spearheading efforts with the Blue Economy Committee to host the inaugural Great Lakes Film Festival and Outdoor Expo on June 26 from 5-9 p.m. at Jimmy John’s Field in Utica.

This family-friendly event showcases local vendors specializing in outdoor offerings, two short films that delve into the history and beauty of the Great Lakes region, and live musical performances by the Detroit-based rock band Set ‘N’ Stone.

Big Shots Cornhole also will host walk-up mini-tournaments and the opportunity to receive tips and tricks from professional cornhole players who have been featured on ESPN. Tickets for this one-of-a-kind experience are $5 for children aged 12 and under and $10 for those aged 13 and over. Tickets may be purchased at macombcountychamber.com.

The event will benefit the work of the Blue Economy Initiative, which was launched by the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development to showcase the county’s world-class Great Lakes Coastal Shoreline through environmental stewardship, economic development and quality of life. The Macomb County Chamber is leading the initiative.

Washtenaw Community College Welcomes New Students June 17

Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor will host its second annual Signing Day for the college’s next crop of student apprentices joining Michigan’s Mitten chapter of the Manufacturing Institute’s Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME) on June 17.

WCC is the only Michigan college in the national FAME work-and-learn program that equips students with skills required for the rapidly evolving manufacturing industry.

The program offers paid on-the-job training and mentoring through industry partners and educational pathways to an associate degree in Mechatronics – Robotics and Automated Systems from WCC in fewer than two years. Student apprentices interview with and are hired by participating advanced manufacturing industries located in the region.

Last year’s inaugural cohort of students is continuing through the 18-month program, balancing three work days with their company and full-time classes two days a week.

At the June 17 “Signing Day,” 10-12 new student apprentices are expected to sign their intent to participate in the program.

The ceremony will be from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in Towsley Auditorium in the Morris Lawrence Building on the WCC campus, 4800 E. Huron River Drive.

Four new employers joining the FAME Mitten Chapter this year are C&B Machinery, Flexible Metals, Sensitile, and WestRock. Continuing employer partners are Toyota North America (Research & Development) Orbitform, Caster Concepts, Lomar Machine & Tool Co., and Novi Precision.

Participants in the FAME program can be recent high school graduates, military members transitioning to the workforce, or individuals looking to move into a new career path.

The Michigan FAME Mitten chapter is administered by Ann Arbor SPARK, which manages fiscal and operational processes. Michigan Works! Southeast supports the recruitment efforts for both employers and students.

Arts, Beats & Eats Returns in 2024 with New DIA-infused Cultural Initiatives

Organizers of the Soaring Eagle Arts, Beats & Eats presented by Flagstar Bank announced the return of the festival to Royal Oak, Aug. 30-Sept. 2. Oakland County’s annual Labor Day weekend celebration of art, music, food, and community will feature new cultural entertainment programming and collaborative community initiatives from festival partners.

Enhancing the overall experience for families this year is the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). The DIA is stepping up to transform the Kids’ Stage with a variety of curated cultural, educational programming, interactive performances, and engaging activities. This year, the DIA’s Kids’ Stage will offer a fresh and elevated experience that promises to captivate and educate young minds. featured acts will include Great Lakes Rion Taiko, The String Theory Theatre, The Rockin’ Raaga Indian Dance Troupe, The Flying Cardboard Theatre, Ballet Folklorico, The Mathangi Dance Co., The Native American Dance Ho Chunk Nation, Audra Kubat workshop, and more.

Organizers today also debuted a new festival logo, created by designer Kelsey Mendez. The fresh emblem subtly nods to the iconic “guitar-fork” image featured in the original 1998 poster.

The new Arts, Beats & Eats logo is designed to capture the essence of the festival symbolizing the harmonious blend of arts, music and culinary delights that define the event. It perfectly illustrates the core experience of Arts, Beats & Eats: a celebration where attendees can savor the finest food, enjoy outstanding music and appreciate diverse artistic expressions from the region.

For more information, visit artsbeatseats.com.

Remix Detroit Provides New Music Genres for Guests to Create Fresh Beats, Light Shows

Bluewater, an experimental agency that specializes in sensory storytelling across digital and physical canvases, and Bedrock, a full-service real estate firm specializing in innovative city building strategies, invite guests to drop a fresh beat at Remix Detroit, a free, interactive music lab for all ages in downtown Detroit.

This immersive Decked Out Detroit experience will rotate genres and themes including Techno from May 23-July 7.

The 1,400-square-foot space on Woodward Avenue has been transformed into an immersive music lab that allows visitors to experiment with melodies and lights as they rearrange and alternate illuminated spheres and turntables.

Hours are Thursdays and Fridays: 4-8 p.m., Saturdays noon-8 p.m., and Sundays noon-6 p.m.`

Central City Health to Host Health Fair June 25 at Eastern Market

Central City Health (CCH), a Detroit-based nonprofit and Federally Qualified Health Center serving residents of Detroit and Wayne County since 1972, welcomes residents to come out to its Community Health Fair event on Tuesday, June 25.

The event, scheduled from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Eastern Market (2934 Russell Street), Shed 3, offers residents the opportunity to connect with health care professionals for a variety of free health screenings and consultations in the areas of medical, dental and behavioral health care. All services offered at the health fair will be provided regardless of an individual’s insurance status.

Health screenings and services offered at the Community Health Fair event will include:

  • Primary care health screenings and information
  • Mental health screenings and information
  • Dental screenings and information
  • Asthma education and resources
  • Planned Parenthood information
  • Head Start information

Fun also is on the menu at the family-friendly event, which will offer free food, games, music, and raffles for prizes. Food at the Community Health Fair will include hot dogs, chicken, chips, fruits, and juices. CCH’s Medical Mobile unit — which is used to treat residents throughout the city — also will be on display at the event.

Vendors are welcome at the Community Health Fair and may also provide screenings at the event. To become a vendor, contact CCH Community Outreach Liaison Anthony Yanish at ayanish@centralcityhealth.com, or call 313-666-1795, or Community Outreach Director Norris Howard at nhoward@centralcityhealth.com or 313-733-1303.