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Advance Your Career, Enhance Your Business with MichiganWorks!

Advance Your Career, Enhance Your Business with MichiganWorks! 1200 600 sccadmin

MichiganWorks! is a state-wide workforce development system offering free career-development services for jobseekers, virtual workshops for those interested in expanding skills and, for students age 16-24, internship, tuition assistance, career planning and work-experience opportunities. Businesses can receive support for hiring, training, process improvements, and growth. Employers can take advantage of the Business Resource Network – free to join – and its “success coaches” who work one-on-one with employees to remedy personal challenges so workers can thrive at their jobs.

The Southfield office, located in the City Centre on the Lawrence Technological University campus, is bright and state-of-the-art. Clients are invited to simply walk in during business hours. “You don’t have to be unemployed to use these services,” explains Lisa Straske, manager of the Southfield office. “We serve everyone who walks in the door.”

Clients range from high schoolers eager to create career plans to displaced homemakers ready to enter the workforce, and anyone wanting to make a career change. There’s also the Clean Slate Program, which helps those with criminal convictions clear their public records. Another program offers scholarships for childcare at licensed centers. “We take a holistic, client-centered approach and tailor career plans and services to the particular needs of the individual,” Straske adds.

For more information, visit the Southfield office of Oakland County MichiganWorks! at 21415 Civic Center Drive, Suite 116, Southfield or call 248-796-4583. You also can email the office at this address: and learn more online at

Businesses Proud To Give Back To Community

Businesses Proud To Give Back To Community 1200 600 sccadmin

Southfield City Centre Advisory Board represents the businesses and institutions located in the City Centre. Together they work to promote the economic vitality and quality of life in the city. They also contribute individually through charitable works. “It’s important to the company as a whole to give back to the community that gives so much to us,” explains Brooke McNemar of Etkin Real Estate Solutions. Etkin, owner of Evergreen Atrium and Franklin Center, among other properties, supports Michigan Animal Rescue League, American Diabetes Association, Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, Lighthouse, Brilliant Detroit, Zekelman Holocaust Center, Robert A. Schuele Scholarship, and Alzheimer’s Association-Michigan chapter.

Town Center hosts a major, annual fundraising event for the Michigan chapter of Gift of Adoption, a national organization that helps families cover the costs of adopting a child. “Our funding supports the birth mother and legal fees predominately for domestic adoptions but also international adoptions,” says Clarence Gleeson, senior vice president at Transwestern, the management agent for the building. More than 100 Michigan families received assistance last year.

Dürr Systems, a global mechanical and plant engineering firm, has its North American headquarters in the City Centre. The company contributes donations and  volunteer time to United Way for Southeastern Michigan and Forgotten Harvest. Employee teams participate in Mayor Kenson J. Siver’s annual Big Rake, providing fall lawn maintenance for seniors and residents with disabilities. When the Engineering Society of Detroit hosts its Future City competition for middle-school students, Dürr employees volunteer as team mentors and competition judges. The company also supports LTU’s annual designing, building and racing of a small formula-style racing car and offers free robot path trainings to LTU students in their Training Center.

Friends of Southfield Public Arts, the nonprofit organization that supports the goals of Southfield Public Arts Commission, assists with art acquisitions, such as the sculpture that lines the Southfield City Centre Trail, and exhibitions of local artists’ work on display each quarter in the main lobby at City Hall.

LTU donates a range of courses and professional-development opportunities that benefit Southfield high school students and high school and middle school teachers. Most significant is the $85,000, four-year Blue Devil Southfield Scholarship for Southfield high school graduates. LTU students also volunteer for the Big Rake, snow shoveling and working the polls on Election Day. “Southfield is a shining example of the Town and Gown relationship,” says Lisa Kujawa, VP for enrollment management at LTU. “How we come together shows how we – the university and the city – value one another.”

Lawrence Technological University Cuts the Ribbon on a New Robotics and Factory Automation Laboratory

Lawrence Technological University Cuts the Ribbon on a New Robotics and Factory Automation Laboratory 1200 600 sccadmin

Lawrence Technological University has cut the ribbon on a new robotics and factory automation laboratory that the companies that helped create it say is unique anywhere in the United States.

The Rockwell Automation/McNaughton-McKay Electric Co. I4.0 Robotics and Industrial Automation Laboratory features world class control architecture, controller based safety, mechatronics, and more. It’s a million-dollar-plus investment by LTU and its industry partners in training LTU industrial engineering and computer science students how the factories of tomorrow will be designed, optimized, and run.

Inside a steel safety cage, Kuka industrial robots simulate assembly line and warehouse operations, controlled by Rockwell software and programmable logic controllers installed by McNaughton-McKay. Also in the lab is machine vision and inspection technology from Oak Park-based Detect-It and Rochester-based Deepview. The lab also uses Rockwell virtual reality software called Emulate 3D, creating a virtual twin of the lab, where students can test manufacturing simulations before trying them in the physical assembly line.

The lab will be used by several LTU engineering and computer science programs.

In other LTU news:

  • LTU’s Centrepolis Accelerator has received a $450,000 grant from the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation. The grant is intended to help small and medium-sized manufacturers increase their adoption of sustainable business practices that will both improve the condition of the environment and boost their economic competitiveness.
  • New free help is available to a wide range of Michigan organizations looking to reduce waste and improve sustainability and energy efficiency. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy and Lawrence Technological University in Southfield have partnered to launch the RESTART Program @ LTU. RESTART stands for Retired Engineers, Scientists, Technicians, Administrators, Researchers, and Teachers. Under EGLE’s guidance, RESTART offers free onsite energy efficiency and sustainability technical assistance and assessments to small and medium-sized commercial businesses headquartered in Michigan with 500 or fewer employees, and public entities including K-12 schools, municipalities, and not-for-profits. 
  • A grant of $300,000 to Lawrence Technological University’s Centrepolis Accelerator and another grant of $112,000 to the University of Michigan’s Economic Growth Institute has produced a new online database of Michigan’s key renewable energy resources for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. The web pages ares intended for use by elected officials, government employees, business owners, planners, developers, industry and commercial stakeholders, and the public.
  • Faculty in Lawrence Technological University’s College of Arts and Sciences are collaborating with the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program for a fun, hands-on Saturday chemistry program. The LTU-DAPCEP Saturday Chemistry Program is a 3-year initiative for approximately 20 DAPCEP 10th grade scholars on the LTU campus. During the Spring 2023 semester, DAPCEP students will be introduced to basic chemistry concepts and hands-on experiments. In the Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 semester, and in Fall 2024 and Spring 2025, students will learn more advanced chemistry concepts and apply what they learn to complete research projects. Students who complete the program successfully will be eligible to receive a four-year scholarship worth $78,000 if they decide to attend LTU and major in a variety of STEM disciplines.
  • Hyundai-Kia Technical Center Inc. in Ann Arbor has donated battery testing equipment worth an estimated $80,000 to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in Lawrence Technological University’s College of Engineering.The equipment can be used to test batteries for electric vehicles, emergency backup power, and utility-grid-scale power storage.

Participation, Donations Double for Annual “Walk Against Hate”

Participation, Donations Double for Annual “Walk Against Hate” 600 600 sccadmin

For the second year in a row, Southfield City Centre Trail was the location of the Anti-Defamation League’s annual “Walk Against Hate” and fundraiser and the results were inspiring: More than 200 people participated and more than $26,000 dollars were raised in support of the organization. “Antisemitism and all forms of hatred have been on the rise for the last several years,” Carolyn Normandin, regional director of ADL Michigan, said after the September 18 event. “On the day of the walk, we saw the combining of communities, from different walks of life, different religions, different races and ethnicities all saying, ‘Michigan is no place for hate.’ We are standing in solidarity and as long as we do that, we can stand up to hatred and bigotry.”

Arthur Horwitz, long-time area resident, civil rights champion and journalist, was chosen as the inaugural Path to Truth honoree and leader of the walk. He was joined by Southfield Police Chief Elvin Barren, representatives from City of Southfield and Lawrence Technological University and student leaders from several area high schools, along with participants from Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties.

In addition to the annual walk, ADL works year-round to train teachers and students in ways to disrupt and redirect any kind of hateful dialogue. “Between January 1 and September 1, we trained more than 1,000 teachers,” Normandin said. “More than 30 schools – elementary, middle and high schools – are participating in ADL’s No Place for Hate, a curriculum that is student-led with guidance from a faculty advisor.” For more information, visit

Southfield’s Story is on Display

Southfield’s Story is on Display 600 600 sccadmin

The October 19th ribbon cutting marked the completion of “Tapestry of a Community,” six large mosaics adorning Lawrence Technological University’s campus along Southfield City Centre Trail. Mayor Kenson J. Siver, LTU President Tarek Sobh, Public Arts Commission Chair Delores Flagg, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jasmine Patton and Director of Planning Terry Croad, together with LTU faculty and administrators, joined Dr. Hubert Massey to celebrate his bold, bright creation. “This has been a truly remarkable time to create a piece of artwork for Southfield,” Massey said. “I always say it’s about celebrating communities – celebrating Lawrence Tech, celebrating the communities of Southfield. Getting people involved.”

Southfield City Centre and the Southfield Public Arts Commission enlisted Massey, acclaimed artist and Michigan native, to tell Southfield’s history through a work of public art. During the pandemic, Massey held two virtual town forums with residents to learn about the city. The mosaics are Southfield City Centre Trail’s newest art additions. They are located on the stretch of trail that parallels southbound Northwestern Highway service drive on the LTU lawn. “Southfield is LTU and LTU is Southfield,” said President Tarek Sobh. “We are very proud of our Town and Gown relationship, which has thrived for the last 10 years, if not longer. Our intention is to continue this partnership and continue to display great works of art and have many other collaborative avenues in the years to come.”

Mayor Siver served as the master of ceremony and welcomed everyone on what was a damp and chilly day. “We’re all about trails,” he said. “We keep doing this because we want to make our city more pedestrian friendly and encourage people to be out biking and walking.” “Tapestry of a Community” and the entire public art collection on display along the trail is meant to attract residents and visitors and promote heart-healthy activity. The 8.75-mile non-motorized pathway, nature trail and public art collection is free and open to the public year-round. Two self-guided tours are available. Download the PocketSights app to your mobile device and search “Southfield, Michigan” for Walking Tour and Art Tour. “I’m so glad to be part of this beautiful day, even though it is very chilly,” concluded Delores Flagg.

LTU Offering Certificate Program in Leadership

LTU Offering Certificate Program in Leadership 800 500 sccadmin

Lawrence Technological University will offer a four-week certificate program in leadership during October.

Certificate classes will be held Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 6, 13, 20, and 27.

The program facilitator is Patricia Castelli, professor in LTU’s College of Business and Information Technology.

The cost of the program is $1,800, or $1,500 for LTU alumni. To register or for more information, visit this link.

Participants will develop critical leadership skills, using the latest research on how self- awareness and reflection develop leadership, ss well as techniques on conflict resolution, delegation, motivation, and trust building.

Castelli has been a management and leadership scholar and practitioner for more than 30 years, training more than 30,000 people in a wide variety of organizational settings. She joined LTU in 1995 after earning a PhD in instructional technology, a division of organizational studies at Wayne State University. Earlier she earned an MBA from LTU. She is the recipient of many academic and professional honors and awards, and is the author or co-author of more than 60 scholarly articles on leadership, entrepreneurship, human resource management, and motivation.

Lawrence Technological University is one of only 13 private, technological, doctoral universities in the United States. Located in Southfield, Mich., LTU was founded in 1932, and offers more than 100 programs through its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, and Engineering. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 11 percent of universities for alumni salaries. The Wall Street Journal ranks LTU among the nation’s top 10 percent. U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best in the Midwest colleges. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.

Landscape Architecture Camp Teaches Design, Sustainability

Landscape Architecture Camp Teaches Design, Sustainability 1200 900 sccadmin

City of Southfield Planning Department and Lawrence Technological University (LTU) teamed up this summer to offer metro Detroit high school students an introduction to landscape architecture. The three-day camp welcomed students from seven area high schools, most of whom admitted at the start they knew little about the field. Yet, come the conclusion, their perspectives had changed dramatically. “I was surprised how broad the scope of landscape architecture is,” explained Rachael Andree, a student at Adlai E. Stevenson High School. “It’s basically everything that’s not buildings.”

Students were instantly immersed in the practice of landscape architecture with a charge to create a teen park at Carpenter Lake Nature Preserve off 10 Mile Road in Southfield. This involved analyzing the site, including assessing opportunities and constraints; developing a schematic design to illustrate the concept or “big idea;” and creating a design development plan necessary for construction. The goal? To enhance community wellbeing and environmental sustainability.

Overall, the camp aimed to advance diversity, equity and inclusion within the landscape architecture field. It was sponsored by the Michigan chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects and Southfield City Centre. Professionals from area firms eagerly participated, including Bob Ford, Landscape Architects & Planners; Mark Hieber, HED; Joane Slusky, Juno Solutions; Kyle Verseman, Landscape Forms; Chad Brintnall, Lauren Leighty and Tom Mroz all of SmithGroup; Architect Beverly Hannah Jones, Artist Hubert Massey, and Delores Flagg, chair of Southfield Arts Commission. Leading the effort were members of Southfield’s Planning Department: Terry Croad, director of planning; Souzan Hanna, sustainability planner; and Sarah Mulally, assistant city planner.

For the students, it was learning by exposure. Instructors facilitated walking tours of LTU, Southfield City Centre and downtown Detroit. In Detroit, students were exposed to examples of large-scale landscape architecture projects, including Detroit RiverWalk and Capitol Park. These designs “gave me inspiration for our presentation boards and widened my scope, my perception of landscape architecture,” said Jacob Akinbode, a student at University High School.

Students were divided into two teams and told to come up with a name for their landscape design firm. Then, on the final day, each team pitched its design to several instructors who served as their client audience. “I was surprised how much time and effort it takes to make a park,” concluded Katelyn Fletcher, a student at South Lyon High School. “Everything is thought out and designed.”

Pathways Support Residents, Students, Business Community

Pathways Support Residents, Students, Business Community 1200 900 sccadmin

The last leg of Southfield’s City Centre Trail expansion has been completed. The final one-half mile stretch, meandering past Eaton Corp., runs southbound along Northwestern Highway service drive between Lahser and Civic Centre Drive. This new segment now makes it possible for walkers, joggers, cyclists and those relying on wheelchairs and strollers to safely travel 2.6 linear miles from Lahser to Nine Mile Road. “Ultimately our goal has been to connect Southfield City Centre to the Downtown Development Authority district and to connect Lawrence Technological University and the Municipal Campus with Ascension Providence Hospital and Northland City Center – all by non-motorized pathway,” says Terry Croad, director of planning for City of Southfield.

Creating safe pathways for non-motorized transportation has been a longstanding priority for the City. Residents wanted heart-healthy trails for year-round exercise. The business community wanted amenities for their workforces, including the ability to get to work, dining and recreation without needing a car, and LTU students wanted to walk and bike safely beyond their university campus. “During the last decade, the City has added more than 20 linear miles of new pathways,” Croad explains.

The Planning Department has a formula for identifying where to locate pathways and how to create a consistent look and feel. First priority is determining areas that offer a high density of residents and businesses and also strategic connections to regional pathways. Next step in its formula is infrastructure – actually building the pathway – and then layering on the distinctive attributes that contribute to safety, engagement and enjoyability: signage, trail markers, interpretive panels, trees, pedestrian respite stations (benches and waste receptacles), bike facilities (repair and rental stations), and placemaking features such as public art, whimsical birdhouses, dog treat stations and waste receptacles. Currently these features are being added to the new stretch of trail that encompasses Eaton Corp.

In addition, two half-mile segments are just getting underway. One will extend Southfield City Centre Trail by another half mile along southbound Northwestern Highway from Nine Mile Road to Cornell in the Magnolia neighborhood. Eventually this pathway will reach the perimeter of the soon to be redeveloped Northland City Center. A second half-mile stretch will border Bauervic Woods Park on Nine Mile and contribute to the City’s next pathway development priority: creating a Nine Mile corridor that connects Southfield with Oak Park and Ferndale to the east and Farmington to the west.

In addition to facilitating healthy living and advancing economic development, Croad likes to make the case that well-used pathways for non-motorized transportation also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and curb climate change. He cites four statistics:

  • Almost half of all car trips in U.S. cities are three miles or less.
  • About 20 percent of car trips in U.S. cities are less than one mile.
  • For every gallon of gasoline saved, the atmosphere is spared 22 pounds of additional CO2, a greenhouse gas.
  • On average, adults burn 100 calories for every mile walked.

“The average American can walk a mile in 20 minutes or bike a mile in five minutes,” Croad explains. “We can eliminate almost one-half of auto trips in cities IF we provide the pathways and accessibility and safety for people to do that. And that’s my ultimate goal.”