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Brose expansion to add 300 jobs

Brose North America, an auto supplier headquartered in Auburn Hills, is expanding and adding 300 jobs. 

Brose, a subsidiary of Brose in Germany, will be investing $105 million locally over the next five years — the Auburn Hills headquarters and also a manufacturing plant in New Boston. Brose told Metromode the site's expansion is a result of new business that requires welding, paint, and track lines as well as the need to increase seat structure assembly lines.

The company will be hiring for human resources, finance, logistics and engineering, as well as production operators, paint and welding technicians, maintenance workers, and quality technicians.

The investment is part of a $2.7 million grant approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund, which, in 2014 had approved a $4.25 million grant for Brose. In total, Brose will be adding 775 jobs and pumping $202 million into the expansion. 

Brose was founded in Germany in 1908 and established its North American operations in 1993 and manufactures, markets, and supplies auto parts including window, door, and seat systems, according to Brose. It also has a plant in Warren.

The company had a busy 2017 as it opened two new plants: one in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and one in Belvidere, Illinois. The expansion in New Boston, along with an expansion in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, are scheduled to be completed in 2018. Brose also said construction is underway for a new plant in Queretaro, Mexico, that should open by 2018.

OU INC graduates international client company Car Studio

Car Studio, an OU INC client company, recently graduated from its incubator program and international Soft Landing Facility. The company’s success has allowed it to move into a nearby facility in Troy. Headquartered in Europe, Car Studio’s U.S. expansion has led the parent company to decide to keep the U.S. location in Oakland County, thereby adding jobs to the region and becoming a thoroughly successful incubator graduate.

During Car Studio’s time as a client company, OU INC provided incubation and acceleration services to assist Car Studio on their path to success. Car Studio took advantage of the benefits of being located within an incubator and soft landings program, including that of being in close proximity to other growing companies in the expansion phase.

“For us, the best things about OU INC are the spacing, the pricing, and the quiet atmosphere to start a business. OU INC has the warehouse space, which not a lot of places have,” said Andrea Abrami, president, Car Studio North America.

“Though there are many types of businesses in one office building, we all have the same startup business mentality. So, if you need anything or have questions, we’re all in it together.”

Car Studio was founded in 1986 in Europe by Dario Abrami after having gained more than 20 years of experience in the design industry. Expanding rapidly, it became one of the leading companies in the automotive and agriculture sectors. Today, Car Studio boasts experience in many different sectors and can offer a high level of technical competence thanks to qualified collaborators and state-of-the-art IT systems.

OU INC is a designated Soft Landing Facility for international companies through the International Business Association (iNBIA). iNBIA’s Soft Landings network ensures that businesses entering or expanding into a new country are provided with an accelerated introduction to that country’s business practices, regulations, and culture. Soft Landings designees help make contacts in a new country more quickly and efficiently while providing access to the resources necessary to meet their business goals.

Michigan US China Exchange Center launches in Troy


A new industry trade group, the Michigan US China Exchange Center in Troy, has launched and hosted a delegation from the China Wuxi Die and Mould Trade Association on Nov. 8 at the Iroquois Club in Bloomfield Hills.

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Automation Alley Swiss tenant company APAG Cosyst opens office in Madison Heights

With assistance from Automation Alley, Michigan’s leading technology and manufacturing business association, another international company is setting up shop in Southeast Michigan. APAG Cosyst of Switzerland has moved out of Automation Alley’s International Business Center in Troy, Mich. and into a facility in Madison Heights, Mich. The company is expected to hire 13 employees for the new location, which will serve as a customer support office. In addition to the Madison Heights office, the company is also seeking a location for a manufacturing site that will eventually house 150 employees.
“We are pleased to see another one of our international tenant companies find a home in Southeast Michigan,” said Noel Nevshehir, Automation Alley’s director of International Business Services. “By attracting foreign companies to our region, introducing them to potential business partners and assisting in site selection, we are driving local economic growth and helping to create new jobs in our region.”
APAG Cosyst, manufacturers and designers of electronic applications for Tier 1 and industrial customers worldwide, came to Automation Alley looking to grow their business in North America, specifically in Michigan.
“We were recently awarded a design program with a major automotive company and saw an opportunity to grow our U.S. design team quickly, which will require more people and space to accommodate them,” said Dan McGregor, APAG Cosyst vice president of sales. “APAG CoSyst LLC is extraordinarily thankful for all the support from the Automation Alley team and specifically from the International Business Center. We have enjoyed, and will continue to enjoy, all the perks of being an Automaton Alley member."
Automation Alley’s International Business Center, located inside Automation Alley Headquarters in Troy, Mich. provides up to 90 days of soft landing space for international companies to use as a home base while exploring opportunities to do business in Southeast Michigan.
Since 2011, Automation Alley has assisted 20 foreign companies in establishing their operations in Southeast Michigan, which has created 694 well-paying, high-value jobs for the region.
Automation Alley’s 3,200-square-foot International Business Center includes three meeting rooms with communications technology, three private offices, an open office area and convenient access to Automation Alley’s International Business Services staff.
In addition to temporary office space, tenants of the International Business Center receive assistance with site selection and introductions to potential business partners, clients and employees to jump-start their business. 
For more information about Automation Alley’s International Business Center, contact Automation Alley at 800-427-5100 or info@automationalley.com.

Exlterra in Hazel Park installs India's first groundwater recharge technology


Hazel Park-based environmental technology company Exlterra announced the installation of its patented Energy-Passive Groundwater Recharge (EGRP) system at the Sushma Medicinal Ayurvedic Research Trust (SMART) EcoPark, an interactive learning space in Mumbai, India. The system has been engineered to work with the surrounding environment to increase water penetration, as part of efforts to revitalize India’s dwindling aquifers.

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2016 Women's Leadership Conference, "Leading with Purpose"

Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce (APACC) hosted its second Women’s Leadership Conference, “Leading with Purpose”. The event was held Wednesday, November 9, 2016, 11:00 AM to 3:30PM at Greektown Casino Hotel located in Detroit, MI.

APACC’S Women’s Leadership Conference was a half-day event of inspiration and empowerment designed with ALL women in mind. The event was Chaired by Linglong He, CIO of Quicken Loans and the keynote speaker was Mina Sooch, President and CEO, Gemphire Therapeutics and CoFounder and Managing Director, Apjohn Ventures.

This was the second time APACC hosted a women’s conference with the premiere event being held in 2014. This year, the event offered attendees a choice of two of four breakout sessions designed to help them grow both personally and professionally.

Breakout session titled, “You’re THE One”, sponsored by Kyyba, Inc. with presentation by Julie Booksh, Licensed Professional Counselor helped attendees learn to be the biggest cheerleader of themselves and assisted in ways to articulate your strength at work.

Breakout session titled, “Grow Your Value”, sponsored by Quicken Loans with presentation by Kristina Kolbas, Senior Vice President, IT Client Platforms, Quicken Loans discussed with attendees ideas on how to elevate their career to next level.

Breakout session titled, “Steps to Financial Security”, sponsored by Comerica Bank consisted of a panel of Comerica Bank experts including Barton Burns, V.P. Wealth Planning Manager, Mary Nichols, V.P. Senior Wealth Advisor, Lee Lien, V.P. Senior Investment Strategist which guided attendees on taking the right steps in planning their financial future.

Breakout session titled, “Reprogram Yourself for Work Life Balance”, sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan with presentation by Cindy Bjorkquist, Director of Health and Wellness, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan encouraged attendees with suggestions on how to handle work, home life and personal goals.

The Crystal Sponsor for this event was Quicken Loans, Wisdom Sponsor - Comerica Bank, Energizing Sponsor - Federal-Mogul Corporation, Enlightening Sponsor - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Inspiring Sponsor - Kyyba Inc., Event Sponsors - Acro Service CorporationDTE EnergyFord Motor Company & General Motors, Keepsake Sponsor - Gardner-White Furniture, Media Sponsor - Corp! Magazine and the Magazine Sponsor – Dbusiness.

For more information about APACC, please visit www.apacc.net or call 248-430-5855.

APACC's mission is to facilitate business relationships among Asian and U.S. based companies and to promote the economic advancement of Asian Pacific Americans.

OU joins global consortium to engage students in study abroad programs

Oakland University is among the newest members of Generation Study Abroad, a global consortium of colleges and universities, educational associations, governments and other organizations seeking to increase the number of college and high school students who participate in study abroad programs. 
“One immediate consequence of our membership is that OU students will now be eligible to apply for tens of thousands of dollars of scholarships for study abroad, from governmental and external sources, that are reserved for members of the organization,” said Alex Zimmerman, director of OU’s Office of International Education. 
“We also hope in future years to secure grant funding which will make study abroad more accessible to Oakland students, while integrating it seamlessly into OU's curriculum so that students from any major can spend time studying abroad without jeopardizing their plan to graduate in four years.”
Generation Study Abroad is a five-year initiative of the Institute of International Education to mobilize resources and commitments with the goal of doubling the number of U.S. students studying abroad by the end of the decade. To date, Generation Study Abroad has more than 600 global partners who have committed to helping boost the number of U.S. students studying abroad.
The organization’s mission dovetails with Oakland’s goal of tripling the number of its students who study abroad before graduating. Through the Office of International Education, Oakland offers students the opportunity to study abroad in more than 40 countries and study away at nearly 200 universities in North America.
To learn more about study abroad and study away programs, visit oakland.edu/ie or contact the Office of International Education at (248) 370-2889.

View this YouTube video chronicling student Jennifer Jacob's study abroad experience at Nanzan University in Japan.

French firms plan visit to Troy to study autonomous vehicles


An event focused on connected and autonomous vehicles for French businesses looking to gain access to America’s autonomous vehicle market will be held next month at Valeo’s North American headquarters in Troy.

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IT provider Stefanini to open innovation center in Southfield


Stefanini, a global information technology provider with its North American headquarters in Southfield, will open an innovation center to offer solutions for companies seeking to integrate new technologies into their businesses. 

"The innovation area will emphasize the importance of innovation, and developing the culture of innovation within the company is very critical to our businesses as well as sustaining growth," says Antonio Moreira, CEO for the North America and Asia Pacific regions at Stefanini.

Read more.

Reasons why impact of culture on international operations matters

Culture drives the way professionals relate to each other, and impacts performance when doing business internationally. Sam Yankelevitch, CEO, Xpress Lingo Solutions, describes the importance of understanding the impact of culture on doing business internationally in his new Audio Interview, “Impact of Culture on International Operations.”

In the 17- minute interview, produced by GlobalBusinessProfessor.com and GlobalAutoIndustry.com, Yankelevitch presents reasons why understanding culture is important and offers examples of situations where misunderstanding cultures can create problems.
Yankelevitch will be facilitating the workshop “MEXICO: Bridging Cultures in Automotive Supply Chain Management to Drive Performance” in person at Automation Alley Headquarters in Troy, MI on February 19 from 8:00 am – 12:30 pm, as well as in Greenville, South Carolina, on February 12. The half-day workshops will present methodologies for incorporating lean concepts such as standard work, PDCA, root cause analysis and A3 thinking to improve intercultural communication. Participants in the seminar will learn how to avoid misunderstandings and reduce waste rooted in language, culture and distance. To register for the seminar to be held at Automation Alley, click here. To register for the seminar in Greenville, South Carolina, click here.
Yankelevitch is an author, entrepreneur, and seasoned business leader and for more than 30 years has interacted with Mexican manufacturers and distributors in automotive supply chain operations.  He is the author of Lean Potion #9 - Communication: The Next Lean Frontier and Lean Communication: Applications for Continuous Process Improvement, which offer solutions for waste in global supply chains.
GlobalAutoIndustry.com and GlobalBusinessProfessor.com 
GlobalAutoIndustry.com is the leading global business intelligence source for the automotive industry, connecting the worldwide auto supplier industry with the resources to effectively do business globally. Through the web site, www.GlobalAutoIndustry.com, auto supplier executives can find insight, solutions and strategies focused on doing business in the world's top automotive markets.

GlobalBusinessProfessor.com is the leading online education company helping corporate professionals and business school students learn practical, up-to-date international business skills. GlobalBusinessProfessor.com offerings include On-Demand Seminars from practicing experts around the world, Audio Interviews, online courses, reports, studies and international business eJournals.

LTU student designs and transports digital fabricating tool to Albania

In keeping with the old proverb, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime,” Lawrence Technological University architecture student Brendon Veldboom has provided a proverbial fishing pole – in this case, a three-by-five-foot, three-axis CNC milling tool that he designed, built, packaged and then reassembled for a workshop in Albania.

It is one of a number of interesting projects to emerge from the makeLab, which opened five years ago in LTU’s College of Architecture and Design when Associate Professor James Stevens and his students began assembling machines to construct physical products, including furniture, graphic displays, and models of architectural projects.

Architecture modeling and design in general is now practiced almost exclusively on computers with sophisticated software, but Stevens seeks to reconnect design to the act and art of making objects. The process starts with computer-aided design (CAD) and the resulting designs are translated into wood and other forms through computer numerical control (CNC) programs. The makeLab now has a laser cutter, a 3-D printer, and two large three-axis CNC machines.

For the past few years Stevens had led workshops at Polis Universiti in Albania. At the conclusion of those workshops, the LTU group packed up their portable CNC milling tools to bring back to the United States. This year Veldboom decided to build a large CNC milling tool that remains in Albania for future students to use.

His project began with hand sketches that were turned into a digital 3-D model using Rhino software. During the prototyping process that involved many tests and revisions, Veldboom used the makeLab’s own three-axis large CNC milling tool to cut components out of high-density plastic. The main design challenge was to build a CNC tool that would meet all government guidelines for international flight and also be robust enough to work at a high-performance level without breaking down.

The machine was designed, built, broken down, packed, and flown to Albania for a 12-day digital fabrication workshop in July. Fifteen students from both Lawrence Tech and Polis Universiti learned how to operate the machine and ran it for more than 30 hours without any problems.

"Facing the challenges of designing, prototyping, and building the machine gave me great respect for the tools we have at Lawrence Tech,” Veldboom said. “Watching the Lawrence Tech and Polis Universiti students be introduced to digital fabrication and the amazing projects that came out of the workshop was exciting to see. … More importantly, it has helped educate others and will continue to do so.”

The milling tool can be used for building objects out of wood, plastic, synthetic plastics, foam, and some construction materials. During the workshop, the Albanian students designed and created pieces for a masonry wall.

As an added benefit, Veldboom also developed a manual and parts list for operating and maintaining the CNC milling tool. The tool was also designed to be easily upgraded as the Polis Universiti program expands.

This project was made possible by an LTU Presidential Undergraduate Research Award of $1,000.

Export sales from Automation Alley trade missions reach $507 million

Automation Alley, Michigan’s largest technology business association, announced that the total amount of export sales made by local companies as a result of participation in Automation Alley trade missions is now more than $507 million. 

“This figure represents the hard work of our team and our past trade mission participants,” said Noel Nevshehir, Automation Alley’s director of international business services. 

“Our goal is to demystify the exporting process for small and medium-sized companies. We’ve experienced great success in that area to date, and we expect similar success in the years to come. With less than one percent of our nation’s 30 million businesses exporting, there is an enormous opportunity for local companies to grow by expanding their business abroad, ultimately leading to economic growth and job creation here in Southeast Michigan.”

As a result of the $507 million in export sales by local businesses, 2,817 American jobs have been created or supported. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, in 2014, every $1 billion of U.S. exports supported nearly 5,800 jobs. 

Since its first trade mission in 2001, Automation Alley has led a total of 24 trade missions to regions around the world, including the Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.   To date, representatives from 170 local companies have participated in Automation Alley missions.
Upcoming trade mission destinations include:
  • Mexico: Sept. 20-25, 2015
  • Dubai Airshow: Nov. 6-13, 2015
  • Hannover Messe (Germany): April 25-29, 2016
  • Cuba: Fall 2016
Automation Alley staff handle all mission-related planning and details before, during and after the mission. All Automation Alley trade missions include five-star accommodations, internal transportation, matchmaking meetings, business briefings, welcome receptions and cultural tours. Trade mission prices are discounted for Automation Alley members.

Automation Alley works with organizations such as the U.S. Commercial Service and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to arrange in-country matchmaking meetings with potential business partners, buyers and end users of the participating companies’ products, services and technologies.  

A previous trade mission participant, Cheryl Goin of Vantage Plastics, had this to say about her experience: “This mission was so productive and stress-free. It was a wonderful luxury to just show up at the airport and put yourself in their capable hands! I also really appreciated the high quality of the meetings that were arranged for us in Mexico. We met decision makers with a high level of interest in our products.” 

Prior to each mission, Automation Alley holds country-specific workshops to inform interested companies about the challenges and opportunities of doing business abroad.

Automation Alley has twice been honored by the White House for its significant contribution to increasing American exports, first in 2008 with the “E” Award for Export Service and again in 2013 with the “E Star” Award for Export Service. The “E” Awards are the highest honor presented to exporters and the organizations that support them. 

OU INC earns international designation for helping companies enter U.S. market

The Oakland University Incubator (OU INC) has been recognized for helping foreign companies do business in the United States. The National Business Incubation Association recently added OU INC to its list of approved Soft Landings programs, a designation held by just 17 business incubators in the United States and 12 business incubators internationally. The NBIA is the world's largest association of business incubation professionals, with more than 900 member organizations. 

OU INC received its designation from the NBIA in April of 2015. As an NBIA member, OU INC met the required qualifications based on its ability to successfully serve foreign business clients. Some of the services OU INC offers to foreign clients include: experienced staff to assist foreign companies both on a technical and business growth basis; a large network of partners that specialize in the types of assistance that are unique to foreign companies establishing a U.S. presence; access to faculty and student resources to assist the companies; access to funding tools as they apply to the companies; and affordable space and logistical support for business and technology development. OU INC Executive Director Amy Butler participates regularly in foreign trade missions with key partners to meet with companies interested in locating in Michigan and those that may want to partner with local companies looking to export. She recently joined Michigan’s Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley and Automation Alley in a trade mission to Chile and Columbia. 

“This designation is a significant achievement for OU INC, the University and its strategic partners, including the State of Michigan, Oakland County and the City of Rochester Hills,” Butler said. “It recognizes the success OU INC has achieved in assisting international companies to successfully establish business in the U.S. and Michigan. Bringing in international companies brings new innovation and supply chain solutions to Michigan business and creates opportunity for our students to learn about the global economy.” 

“As an international organization, we feel passionate about facilitating the connection between companies seeking to do business in another country with organizations that have the right entrepreneurial support programs to help them succeed,” said Kirstie Chadwick, President and CEO of NBIA. “OU INC has demonstrated its ability to service foreign entrepreneurs domestically through a strong offering of international business support programs. We are pleased to award them the Soft Landings designation.”

NBIA’s Soft Landings International Incubator designations are effective for two years.

The National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) is an international non-profit organization and global advocate for incubators, accelerators, educational institutions and regional economic development stakeholders. With more than 2,200 members in over 60 nations, the NBIA provides its members with essential information, education, advocacy and networking resources to bring excellence to the process of assisting early-stage companies succeed. Visit www.nbia.org to learn more.
OU INC is a SmartZone Business Accelerator, in collaboration with the City of Rochester Hills, Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), and various industry partners. With a focus on the energy, medical device, and information technology sectors, OU INC provides entrepreneurial resources and strategic business solutions for developing business ventures and accelerating ideas to market.

Bmax USA preps to launch new facility in Pontiac

Bmax USA, a subsidiary of a French tech company called I-Pulse, is setting up its North American presence in Pontiac this year.

The global corporation specializes in technology for metal processing that can be utilized by a variety of industries, such as automotive, energy, aerospace, and packaging. It plans to invest $4.3 million into creating a new facility in Pontiac.

"We considered a number of sites, including Columbus, but decided to go with metro Detroit as we have a potential customer base in the region as well as a large catchment area for the engineering, business, and technical staff we will need," says Paul Lester, director of business development for Bmax USA. "We looked at Wayne, Macomb and Oakland counties and decided upon Oakland County, which has been incredibly supportive and given us many resources to help our start up and continues to do so."

The investment, which comes with a $250,000 grant from the state of Michigan, is expected to create 26 jobs. The firm expects to create those jobs, and probably more, over the next three years.

"I expect to get to that number very much quicker," Lester says.

Work on the next facility at 777 Enterprise Dr. is about to begin. Lester expects the work to wrap up later this year and the firm to begin moving into its new home by late July.

"We will be finalizing the legal paperwork in the next couple of weeks and some remodeling will take place immediately," Lester says.

Source: Paul Lester, director of business development for Bmax USA
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Unitask Software partners for global expansion with Blue Turtle

Building upon the success of its Partner Advantage Program, Unitask Software has announced an International Partnership with Blue Turtle Technologies, a South African Solutions Provider for the delivery of Automation Solutions for the Oracle EBS marketplace.

Partnering with Blue Turtle, a leading integration deployment solutions provider for Oracle EBS application market will allow Unitask Software solutions to be readily available for deployment via the Blue Turtle team in the South African geography. Understanding and designing solutions to meet the automation demands and modernization needs as customers move to the newest versions of Oracle’s EBS R12 Application. This partnership will allow further allow for full transparent integration of Migration and Promotion processes in Enterprise Implementations.

“The Global EBS marketplace has directed us to search out and partner with Best of Breed Partners who are like minded in their determination for timely completion and success. Tom and the Blue Turtle Team fit those criteria as we bring fully implemented, automation solutions to the Oracle EBS world,” said Dale D. Royal, Chairman & CEO of Unitask.

“Unitask’s software solutions add tremendous value to our clients in Southern Africa. The ability to natively manage the development and release processes in an Oracle EBS landscape saves a lot of time and effort compared to what we are seeing customer teams do today with scripts and/or manual work. Unitask automates the movement of code, keeping change packages in sync and ensuring the application and infrastructure teams know exactly what is coming down the line and when. If you have Oracle EBS, you need Unitask.” shared Tom Erlank, Head of Application and Data Management at Blue Turtle.

About Unitask Software
Unitask Software develops and deploys solutions that accelerate the realized value of Oracle E-­- Business Suite Implementations. Based upon over a decade of experience in the Oracle E-­-Business Suite enterprise, Unitask products eliminate implementation and operational risk of the installation, while improving the application quality and usability. For more information, please visit: http://www.unitask.com.

About Blue Turtle
Blue Turtle, one of South Africa’s leading enterprise technology companies is a solutions provider, specializing in Oracle E-­-Business Suite (EBS) automation solutions. Blue Turtle is committed to providing innovative, flexible and professional IT solutions in the areas of Technology Business Management, Information Management and Application Management. With a host of globally renowned technology at their fingertips, Blue Turtle can bring solid expertise and results driven solutions across a broad range of platforms, environments and applications. For more information, please visit: http://blueturtle.co.za/ 
38 Global Oakland Articles | Page: | Show All
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