DBusiness Daily Update: WCC Using Mustang Mach-E to Train Future Workforce, ELMS Files Patent Application for EV Safety System Design, 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.
Washtenaw Community College is using a 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E to prepare the workforce of the future. // Courtesy of WCC
Washtenaw Community College is using a 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E to prepare the workforce of the future. // Courtesy of WCC

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.

WCC Using Mustang Mach-E to Train Future Workforce

Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor is using a 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E to prepare the workforce of the future.

Purchased with State of Michigan Perkins Funding, the vehicle will be incorporated into WCC’s Advanced Transportation Center, which was established in 2014 with a $10 million investment to train students and meet the needs of the transportation and mobility manufacturing industries.

The Mach-E will provide hands-on cross functional learning opportunities for next-generation electric vehicle (EV) jobs, including evaluating functional performance and driving range; diagnostics and servicing EV batteries, motors and powertrain controls, sensors and battery charging performance; cybersecurity coding to protect driver privacy and vehicle infotainment systems; and exploring additive manufacturing processes for select components to provide light weighting recommendations that will impact driving range.

The college is coordinating the vehicle’s purpose with activities of the Center for Connected and Automated Transportation (CCAT), a consortium of five Midwest universities for research and product development on connected and automated vehicles. WCC is the only community college participating in CCAT with the University of Michigan, Purdue University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Akron, and Central State University.

“We are thrilled to have one of the newest electric battery vehicles to train our students for the jobs of tomorrow,” says Rose B. Bellanca, president of WCC. “At any given time, we have an average of 1,000 students enrolled in our mobility-related courses, and this is a big step in our commitment to prepare highly skilled workers and fill a much-needed talent gap.”

The college will display its Mach-E at this year’s Motor Bella Automobili-D Days, Sept. 21-22, at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac. Motor Bella is this year’s bridge event for the North American International Auto Show that usually takes place in Detroit.

ELMS Files Patent Application for EV Safety System Design

Electric Last Mile Solutions Inc. (ELMS) in Troy has filed for a patent for part of its proprietary energy-absorbing front bumper crash protection system for electric vehicles.

The system, which features a honeycomb structure, is designed to improve vehicle and occupant safety and battery stability in the event of a collision.

“This design, just one part of our EV crash protection system, is a testament to our capability to design and engineer leading safety technologies specific to commercial EVs,” says Praveen Cherian, vice president of engineering at ELMS. “Our most recent crash test incorporating the design yielded positive results, and we believe that these indicate we are on the right track to produce the Urban Delivery later this year.”

The design encompassed in ELMS’ provisional patent application allows for the hollow channel bumper, crash boxes, tubular supports, and ring assembly to crumple in stages upon frontal impact to absorb and redirect the energy to protect the occupant as well as the high voltage battery.

ELMS expects to hold its next round of crash tests in August and intends to utilize the energy-absorbing front body vehicle assembly design in the Urban Delivery, which the company intends to launch later this year.

The ELMS’ Urban Delivery is expected to be the first Class 1 commercial electric vehicle available in the U.S. market and will be produced at the company’s 675,000-square-foot plant in Mishawaka, Ind.

Organic 3 in Southfield Rebrands to Smidge Small Batch Supplements

Organic 3, a Southfield-based heath supplement provider, has rebranded to Smidge Small Batch Supplements and launched a line of premium supplements that includes probiotics, digestive enzymes, whole food vitamins, and natural minerals.

The company, which had been in business for more than 10 years as Organic 3, also introduced a more streamlined online shopping experience at GetSmidge.com.

“At Smidge, we believe that food is medicine, you are what you digest, and good nutrition is the root of wellness,” says Daniel Corrigan, co-owner of Smidge. “Our products complement a healthy diet rather than replace it.

“As a brand, first and foremost, we really care. Everyone at Smidge has a genuine, heartfelt concern for the well-being of our customers and their journey back to health. We can empathize with our customers struggling to regain their health because we’ve been through it. We have dedicated our life’s work here at Smidge to help our customers along their unique paths to healing and wellness.”

Smidge Small Batch Supplements promises better, cleaner, proven nutritional supplements by returning to the minimalistic fundamentals of nutrition and a more holistic approach to health. As the name implies, Smidge Small Batch Supplements are not mass-produced. Every Smidge supplement is crafted with the utmost care using only the cleanest formulas, such as honest-to-goodness, premium, real food ingredients clearly listed on the vitamin labels.

“We’re meticulous so our customers don’t have to be,” adds Corrigan. “They can be confident that they’re getting the right product at the right dosage in the purest form. Even though we’re a supplements company, we don’t believe everyone should be popping supplements for every little issue. We take a more holistic approach. We care about the whole person, and we empower our customers to get back into balance and heal themselves slowly, with small doses of essential nutrients, because a little bit makes a big difference.”

Bally Sports Detroit to Screen “The Other Boys of Summer” at Campus Martius

Bally Sports Detroit, the Detroit Tigers, and Tumbleweed Pictures will present a free showing of “The Other Boys of Summer” at 7 p.m. July 28 on the outdoor screen at Campus Martius Park in Detroit.

The event kicks off the Tigers’ Negro Leagues Weekend Celebration at Comerica Park.

Produced by Lauren Meyer, “The Other Boys of Summer” is a documentary that portrays the history of segregation and civil rights in America through the eyes of the Negro League baseball players.

The film is narrated by actress Cicely Tyson.

For more information, visit here.

Paul W. Smith Golf Classic Planned for Aug. 2

The 18th annual Paul W. Smith Golf Classic, which benefits a number of metro Detroit charities assisting some 55,000 Detroit youth, is set to take place Aug. 2 at Detroit Golf Club.

Considered one of the most successful fundraisers of its kind in Michigan, the event has raised more than $7.2 million to date and has increased both the number of charities and children who benefit from the generosity of supporters.

“Our nonprofits are still dealing with challenges from COVID, yet they have never given up on the families they serve,” says Smith. “In fact, the services our charities provide are more important today than ever. We are most grateful for the support we receive from our corporate community and from individual donors. Their active support helps our charities provide critical health and behavioral health services, athletic and school enrichment programs and medical and therapeutic services for children with special needs.”

Returning as Title Sponsor is News/Talk 760 WJR. The Tournament Sponsor is Ford Motor Co. All Presenting Sponsors are returning including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, DTE Energy Foundation, General Motors Co., Lear Corp., Stellantis, and Toyota Motor Sales, USA.

New corporate supporters include Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Clements & Church, Howard & Howard Attorneys, ITC Holdings, Jeffery King Interiors, Michigan Medicine, National Electrical Contractors Association, Near Perfect Media, One Magnify, and Price Waterhouse Cooper.

Beneficiaries include The Children’s Foundation, The Children’s Center, Variety the Children’s Charity of Detroit, and Detroit PAL, the original charity.

A limited number of sponsorships are still available. Smith invites the public to help support the nearly 55,000 youth served by these charities by becoming a Paul W’s Caring for Kids Club member.  Memberships start at less than $10/month and are available here.

DesignConnect Planning Fundraising Gala Sept. 10

DesignConnect, a Detroit nonprofit providing career pathways in creative design for Detroit students through experiential learning, mentoring, and financial assistance, is planning its Dress for 2050 Fundraising Gala on Sept. 10 at Center for Creative Studies’ Taubman Center.

Sponsored by CCCS, the annual gala will highlight fashion design. Guests are encouraged to come dressed to impress in their most futuristic and imaginative fashions. Strolling hors d’oeuvres, and premium wine and cocktails will be served. A fashion contest, dancing, auctions, raffles, and live performances will be on the agenda at the gala.

Various levels of sponsorships are available from $500 to $10,000. Visit here for more information.

DesignConnect also is hosting its Design Our Future Competition Awards Ceremony on Aug. 28 at Beacon Park in downtown Detroit. This year’s competition centers around designs that foster human connection and improve mental wellness. It is sponsored by DTE Beacon Park Foundation and Downtown Detroit Partnership.