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Ypsilanti : Innovation & Job News

103 Ypsilanti Articles | Page: | Show All

State energy plan calls for 10% of power to be renewable

Michigan has released a new statewide energy plan that calls for 10% of future power generation to come from renewable sources.


Also included in the plan is new, statewide energy efficiency program that would be funded through surcharges on customer bills. The program’s initial funding level would be $68 million, with a goal of $110 million by the third year of operation. The program would fund energy-efficiency measures and education statewide. Large industrial customers that have already undertaken energy efficiency projects could opt out of the surcharge.

Read the entire article here.

MSU launches Great Lakes wiki

Michigan State University has launched the Great Lakes Wiki to encourage residents of Great Lakes states to tell the stories of the region. The wiki was one of ten nationwide that received start-up funding from J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism.


"The Great Lakes represent a complex story often incompletely told or ignored by mainstream media," said Dave Poulson, associate director of MSU's Knight Center for Environmental Journalism. "The story requires many authors with diverse views, intimate knowledge and a passionate stake in nearly 20 percent of the world's fresh surface water."

GLITR's home page is here.

4 local presentations for Al Gore's Climate Project

Residents of Southeast Michigan will have four local opportunities to see the Al Gore-developed presentation, “An Inconvenient Truth.” The presentations will be given by Kathryn Savoie, phD, who was one of 1,000 individuals personally trained by Gore as part of The Climate Project to help spread the word about global warming.

Savoie is an ecologist who is currently environmental program director for Dearborn-based ACCESS. She describes the presentation as “very powerful” and says that it generally generates numerous audience questions.

The first local presentation will be held at the Normal Park Neighborhood Community Center in Ypsilanti on January 31 at 7:30 p.m.

The second, sponsored by Southwest Detroit Environmental Vison, will be held in Southwest Detroit at the Odd Fellows Building on February 8 at 6 p.m.

On February 13, the presentation will be given at the National Arab American Museum in Dearborn. It will also include a discussion with Shadia Wood and Nia Robinson from the Campus Climate Challenge, who will talk about work they are doing with young people across the country.

Then on March 3 at 9 am, An Inconvenient Truth heads to St. Philip Lutheran Church in Trenton. Savoie’s presentation will be augmented with a panel discussion on the church’s role in leading on the issue of global warming.

Source: Kathryn Savoie, ACCESS
Writer: Kelli B. Kavanaugh

Automation Alley membership grows

The networking and training opportunties that Automation Alley offers its members have helped to increase its membership - by 16% in 2006 alone.


One such business is Radian Tool and Engineering of Troy, whose owner, David Tate, recently joined Automation Alley.

"They're expanding the companies that they bring in and I'm specifically interested in defense companies that have joined," said Tate, whose company specializes in machining and assembly. "I really see Automation Alley as a path or a tool to help companies interface."

Read the entire article here.

Next Great Company Project to be chaired by First Gentleman

First gentleman Dan Mulhern is poised to chair a new initiative, the Next Great Company Project, that will work to retain and attract talent to the state of Michigan.


Mulhern said that a company “that is a great place to work serves as a magnet for economic growth, because it attracts and retains highly talented workers, and that leads to corporate success. It can also be a competitive advantage for existing Michigan companies trying to compete in this tough new global economy.”

Read the entire article here.

Career change boot camp to be offered by Ann Arbor SPARK

Career change boot camp workshops are being offered by Ann Arbor SPARK, including sessions on starting a business, exploring career options, and health and IT options.


These Boot Camps will provide an intensive one-day opportunity to learn from area experts, obtain information about resources and obtain one-on-one mentoring. Boot camps are a way to learn about your options with no strings attached.

Read more and register here.

DTE GreenCurrents program to encourage development of renewable energy sources

DTE Energy has issued an RFP to Michigan-based renewable energy providers for its GreenCurrents program in order to begin offering customers the chance to purchase all or part of their electricity from renewable sources.


"The RFP we issued requires that providers be located in Michigan and that their renewable energy facilities be newly constructed," says Trevor F. Lauer, DTE Energy's vice president of marketing. "We want the resources for the GreenCurrents program to be homegrown, and we're interested in signing long-term agreements with developers who share that vision."

Read the entire article here.

Regional economic development collaborative created

Twelve economic development organizations across Southeast Michigan have joined together to create the Economic Development Coalition of Southeast Michigan (EDCSEM). The coalition will be focused on the following efforts within Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw counties:
  • expanding the capacity for entrepreneurialism and innovation in the region,
  • identifying priorities and jointly seeking federal and state resources to advance economic development in Southeast Michigan, and
  • partnering on policy initiatives that support economic growth in the region.
EDCSEM was convened by Detroit Renaissance, whose CEO Doug Rothwell, says, “We are looking at what programs we need, what expanded services we need to provide to facilitate the diversification of our economy.”

The group will aim to identify gaps in services that hinder the achievement of their goals. One that has already been discovered, according to Rothwell, is that “There is not enough capital to serve people that want to be starting up their own business or expanding their existing one.” He cites EDCSEM member organizations Automation Alley, TechTown and Ann Arbor SPARK as three examples of the type of programs that need expansion, and also need to be replicated around the region.

EDSCSEM member organizations include: Ann Arbor SPARK, Automation Alley, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, Detroit Regional Chamber, Detroit Regional Economic Partnership, Detroit Renaissance, Macomb County, Oakland County, NextEnergy, TechTown, Tourism Economic Development Council and Wayne County. The group will meet bi-monthly, and staff will be provided by Detroit Renaissance and Detroit Regional Chamber.

Source: Doug Rothwell, Detroit Renaissance
Writer: Kelli B. Kavanaugh

Study says, Energy Star homes save homeowners $1,500/year

Detroit’s WARM Training has released a report entitled “Energy Savings in Michigan Housing” that quantifies energy savings in new Michigan homes built to Energy Star standards.

The study tracked 30 homes that were built in 2005 as the Habitat for Humanity Jimmy Carter Work Project. Jacob Corvidae, green programs manager for WARM, explains the findings. “If it only costs about $2,000 to get homes up to these standards, which is typically the case, and typically they are each bringing back [an average of] $1,500 per year." He goes on to say, "There is no reason why every home in Michigan should not at least be thinking about this.”

Houses being built to Energy Star standards typically include high-efficiency furnaces, basement insulation and improved attic insulation; other possibilities include increased wall insulation and Energy Star windows, appliances and lighting. Corvidae explains, “Needs will vary from home to home. This is not a ‘one-size-fits-all.’”

He stresses the need for homeowners and builders to work with an energy consultant, who will be able to explain what is needed to raise the home’s efficiency and also, certify the work independently once complete.

Corvidae points out that while the study was conducted on affordable housing, there is no reason the numbers would not translate to a market rate product.

You can download the report summary here and the full report here.

WARM keeps a list of local energy consultants that meet Energy Star and Michigan Build! standards at Michigan Build!.

Additional resources are available from the Energy Office of Michigan.

Source: Jacob Vorvidae, WARM Training
Writer: Kelli B. Kavanaugh

Ypsi entreprenuer starts up bamboo clothing company

An Yspsilanti resident, Greg Napolitan, has started up a company called Bamboo Styles to design and sell environmentally-friendly bamboo clothing.


Napolitan contracts out the manufacture of the clothing, mainly to union facilities in the U.S. The overseas facility he uses works in accordance with Social Accountability International 8000 standards.

Read the entire article here.

Newsradio WWJ launches Michigan Future blog

WWJ has launched Michigan Future, a blog that reports on the culture of innovation in Michigan.

Check out the blog here.

Nine community colleges to share $2.15 million grant to develop 'innovation education'

Nine metro Detroit community colleges will share a $2.15 million federal grant to work together to help transform the state’s economy.

The U.S. Department of Labor gave the money to the consortium of colleges for work on advancing manufacturing and alternative energy through the development of core curriculum in “innovation education.”

The colleges sharing in the grant include: Henry Ford, Macomb, Monroe County, Mott, Oakland, St. Clair County, Schoolcraft, Wayne County and Washtenaw County.

Washtenaw Community College will use the money to develop a Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Entrepreneurship and will serve as fiduciary for the grant on behalf of the consortium.

Source: Washtenaw Community College.

Study shows tech sector job growth

Jobs in life sciences continue to grow in southeast Michigan and continue to command the highest wages in the technology sector and despite the auto industry decline, the area's economy is diverse enough to thrive on its own.

The second annual Driving Southeast Michigan Forward report by Anderson Economic Group shows that the region experienced job growth in three of six key technology segments between 2003-2004.

The report concludes that and concludes that despite recent declines in the automotive sector, the Automation Alley region, which includes Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston, Monroe, Genesee, St. Clair and Washtenaw counties, is economically diverse enough to stand on its own.

According to the report, between 2003 and 2004 the life sciences sector experienced the largest employment increase among tech jobs at 2.9 percent, bringing total employment to 34,500 life science technology jobs in 2004.

Wages fell slightly from 2003 but remained the highest in the region’s technology industry at $87,174.

Since 1998, the life sciences sector has increased employment by nearly 25 percent and wages by approximately 24 percent.

In addition to life sciences, two other sectors of the region’s technology economy also added jobs between 2003 and 2004, with the advanced manufacturing sector growing by more than one percent, and the chemical and material sector growing by 0.6 percent.

This growth represents more than 400 new technology jobs. Sectors experiencing job losses during this time include advanced automotive and information technology.

Source: Anderson Economic Group, Automation Alley
103 Ypsilanti Articles | Page: | Show All
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