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Powering the Mitten: Manufacturing, electricity and Michigan's future

Michigan's manufacturing economy is on the rebound just as its energy future is in flux. How can the Mitten state maintain a strong manufacturing base while transitioning to cleaner energy?

A more efficient beer: Metro Detroit's greenest breweries

When you consider what it takes to make your favorite microbrew, there's no getting around the fact that it is an energy- and resource-intensive process. Metromode checks in with our most green-minded breweries and what they're doing to make a more sustainable beer.

Best/Worst: Bikes & borders in metro Detroit

Metro Detroit communities struggle with the legacies of the past, the demands of the present, and the needs of the future. Some do a good job of balancing those concerns. Others, not so much. Our newest series points to the good and bad choices local communities make and what we can learn from them. In the cross-hairs this month: Ann Arbor and Grosse Pointe.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Metromode will be off next week to celebrate Thanksgiving, expressing our gratitude to those who have made our lives richer. We'll be back Dec. 4 with more stories of ideas and innovation. Have a wonderful holiday!

How teens are helping program Detroit's contemporary art museum

The MOCAD Teen Council is a select group of young creatives from metro Detroit who come together with museum professionals to produce and plan programming for youth and adults. 

Doing business differently: IdeaLab returns Nov. 14

Over the last five years, IdeaLab has showcased dozens of Detroiters on the vanguard of community and economic development, and this year's Nov. 14 event is no exception.

OpEd: What's next for mass transit

With 65% of voters in SMART communities voting to increase taxes to support and maintain bus service, along with plans for rapid transit on Detroit's major corridors, it's obvious that transportation choices are a priority for Detroiters. Megan Owens, executive director of Transportation Riders United, discusses what to expect by the 2016 elections.

Can metro Detroit plug the brain drain with employee perks?

Trying to compete against the lure of more popular cities or the opulent employee benefits that companies like Google and Facebook offer their employees can be a zero-sum game. Still, the "be grateful you have a job" attitude of the past doesn't cut it in today's fast-changing economy. Metromode looks at a trio of successful local firms and their strategies for attracting and retaining the talent they need.

Collaboration and entrepreneurship: Metro Detroit's most innovative nonprofits

From creative ways of raising revenue to forming partnerships, nonprofits are becoming more entrepreneurial in order to sustain themselves into the next generation. Area nonprofit leaders share the ways and means by which the social sector is becoming more like the business sector.

How downtown Farmington grew a heart

How does someone talk about the heart of your downtown when there isn't one? That was the problem Farmington was facing. But with community involvement and an assist from the DDA, a former downtown parking lot became the Sundquist Pavilion and Riley Park. 

Want to get people back to work? Fill the basic skills gap

Low-income workers like Tawnee McCluskey often lack the basic skills needed to find a good job. To bridge the gap, experts say it's essential to invest in training. Yet despite millions of people out of work, programs are hard to find.

OpEd: The city needs to help Detroiters finance home restorations

The city of Detroit is encouraging the rehabbing of delinquent homes through initiatives such as Neighbors Wanted, but funds are limited and the work timeframe too short. Detroit landlord and Castle CEO Max Nussenbaum offers up more realistic financing ideas.  

Powering the Mitten: As coal plants shut down, where will our electricity come from?

Michigan's aging coal-fired power plants are reaching the end of their life, and new regulations are accelerating timelines for their retirement. So how will Michiganders power their laptops, devices, homes and businesses in the future?

Rouge River recovery? 5 tough questions with Aimee LaLonde-Norman

Four decades ago the Rouge Rover was so polluted it caught fire. Today, it's better but far from okay. What recovery there's been can be attributed to efforts of The Friends of the Rouge River and its volunteers. But with just five staff members and the recent loss of federal dollars, we asked the organization's executive director Aimee LaLonde-Norman what comes next.

Why Michigan is a leader in place-based education

Dr. Doris Terry Williams, executive director of the Rural School and Community Trust, discusses the need for place-based education in both rural and urban environments and how Michigan's Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative is leading the charge.
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