- Message from Mark
- Macomb County to offer free career training in high-demand fields
- Free tax preparation available for Macomb County veterans, income qualified individuals
- Regional infrastructure problems, solutions discussed at workshop
- Business Shoutout: Macomb Powersports
- Event Calendar
- Macomb in the News, Macomb Business Blog
Message from Mark
Hello and welcome to the January edition of Focus Macomb. I hope you all had a restful holiday season and that your new year is off to a great start. In 2022, I plan to find healthy ways to stay active in my community. Whether this means exploring a local trail on a mountain bike, or simply getting outdoors in my neighborhood and going for a walk – all movement is good movement. And it’s not just for physical reasons either. This time of year can be especially hard on our mental health. The days are short, the weather is cold and sunlight is limited. All of these factors can negatively impact your well being – but research shows that exercise can reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety. So the benefits are quite clear, and it’s why I’m committed to staying active this winter, and this entire year. I encourage you to join me, and please know, resources are available to help you along the way. Our Make Macomb Your Home website lists parks, trails and places for recreation. And for those looking for more non-traditional ways to stay active, our site has that too. From sledding hills to ice rinks, there are plenty of opportunities for fun in our 27 communities. So let’s make this winter a good one.
Take care, stay safe and have a Happy New Year.
Macomb County to offer free career training in high-demand fields
‘How do we find the right people, with the right skills, to fill the open positions at our organization?’ It’s a question asked by countless managers, business owners and HR professionals across every industry. But thanks to a new educational opportunity in Macomb County, help is on the way.
Funded by a $515,000 “Regional Talent Innovation Grant” from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and $906,000 of Community Development Block Grant - CARES Act funds, Macomb County and its partners will offer free career training to individuals in specific, high-demand occupations.
Eligible students will be low- to moderate-income individuals who have experienced a COVID-related hardship with an interest in increasing their earning potential by obtaining industry-recognized credentials in a variety of fields. Coursework will be provided by Macomb Community College and focused on two key sectors with several credentialing options:
- Health Care: Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Dental Assistant, Laboratory Assistant, Phlebotomy
- Engineering & Advanced Technology: Controls Technician, Industrial Maintenance Technician, Robot Programmer, Robot Technician, Class A CDL Truck Driving and Marine Maintenance Technician
“We see a large number of open positions posted each month from great employers looking to hire right here in Macomb County,” said Vicky Rowinski, director of Macomb County Planning & Economic Development. “So our goal is to help fuel the talent pipeline and fill those jobs. Additionally, and partly due to COVID-19, our businesses now have less capital available to dedicate toward training programs. So we are encouraging our employers to refer otherwise hopeful applicants to the program as well.”
The ability to earn a credential in each of the offered programs ranges from 4-17 weeks. Tuition assistance also covers the costs of any needed books, supplies and/or testing fees.
“We are excited to partner with Macomb County to provide training that connects our residents to workplace opportunities and connects businesses to highly skilled employees,” said Donald Ritzenhein, provost and vice president for the Learning Unit, Macomb Community College. “These short-term programs provide graduates a jumpstart into high-demand fields that address the immediate workforce needs of area business and industry while launching graduates onto more career pathways as well.”
Other project partners include Macomb Community Action, which will take responsibility for securely verifying income eligibility, and Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works!, which will refer the program to the employers and individuals it serves.
For more information about the program and access to an application, visit www.macombgov.org/careertraining.
Free tax preparation available for Macomb County veterans, income qualified individuals
Macomb County Veterans Services has partnered with Macomb Community Action and the Accounting Aid Society to offer free tax help for local veterans and low-income individuals and families through its IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Services will be available at a variety of locations across the county through appointments and walk-in opportunities.
The tax program is offered annually and typically serves about 2,500 people. Individuals can qualify for help if they meet the following criteria:
- Their annual family income is less than $57,000
- They do not have corporate returns
- They do not have foreign income
“The Internal Revenue Service has said that this will be a challenging tax season due to the advance child tax credit,” said Laura Rios, chief veterans services officer, Macomb County Veterans Services. “Knowing this, we hope to help as many individuals as possible in navigating the complexities of the system and getting the returns they deserve. This year we will accomplish this goal through a variety of options. From in-person to virtual, we’re here to help.”
In-person appointments can be made through the county’s online scheduler or by calling 586-463-2537. Virtual appointments can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, booking through the Accounting Aid Society’s online system or by calling the Society at 313-556-1920.
Walk-in opportunities where no appointment is required are also available at the following locations:
- Macomb County Family Resource Center (196 N. Rose St., Mount Clemens) on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- VerKuilen Building (21885 Dunham Rd., Suite 10 Door F, Clinton Twp) on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- VVA Chapter 154 (18025 E. 15 Mile Rd., Clinton Twp) on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Individuals must have several items with them for service, including identification, income documentation, a letter from the IRS with the total of advance child tax credit, a letter from the IRS showing the amount of the 3rd economic impact payment, proof of expenses, direct deposit information and the past year’s completed tax returns. More specific details can be found here.
Regional infrastructure problems, solutions discussed at workshop
In December, the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development hosted a two-day workshop in support of the Detroit Arsenal Regional Defense Assessment of Resilience (DAR2) study. Nearly 40 individuals attended the event and took part in the discussions.
As background the DAR2 study is funded through a grant from the federal Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation (OLDCC). Its focus is identifying vulnerabilities across southeastern Michigan and its defense communities. From natural disasters to cyber attacks, the project group will work to identify and develop concepts and implementation plans to strengthen regional resilience.
The workshop, which was put on in cooperation with the U.S. Army Garrison Detroit Arsenal and the OLDCC, was held at the Welsh Activity Center at Lake St. Clair Metropark. Its objective was to bring together public and private stakeholders, including the Department of Defense, critical infrastructure owners, emergency management and response professionals and other local and federal government organizations from southeastern Michigan to discuss infrastructure interdependencies, common problems, threats and solutions.
A public report, which captures action items and next steps outlined during the working sessions, will be released this year - so stay tuned for further updates and additional information.
Business Shoutout: Macomb Powersports
Have you heard? Macomb Powersports moved into a beautiful new space at 46301 Gratiot in Chesterfield Township and we helped! If your favorite speed is VROOM, this is your place. They sell and service all manner of machines including ATVs, dirt bikes, watercraft, scooters and more. Business Development Specialist Jack Johns of the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development was able to assist with workforce solutions, municipal connections and zoning recommendations. Want to learn more about our free and confidential business help? Get in touch! 586-469-5285
Macomb in the News
Macomb Business Blog