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

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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.

Southfield’s Story is on Display

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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

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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

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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.”

Business Accelerator Helps Area Entrepreneurs Develop, Commercialize Ideas

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Attend June 22 Pitch Competition to learn about resources and processes 

Did you know an entrepreneur from Southeastern Michigan competed on ABC’s Shark Tank and received funding for his invention from billionaire investor Mark Cuban? Another launched a company that produces handmade shoes using surplus leather from the auto industry. Yet another has purchase orders with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for products that assist the physically challenged.

The names of these companies are, respectively, MaxPro, Pingree Detroit, and Wareologie. They have one important thing in common: All work with Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University, a full-service, business accelerator for Michigan based businesses, located in Southfield City Centre on the Lawrence Technological University campus.

To date, the Accelerator has helped launch more than 150 new business products and generated more than $24 million in contracts to Michigan suppliers. “Many people in the community are not aware of the resources available to start up or scale up a business,” says Dennis Shaver, an expert-in-residence at the Accelerator. “People have great ideas but then they get stuck and give up. We know how to vet and validate an idea early in the process.”

Centrepolis Accelerator is one of a handful of labs in the United States specializing in assisting inventors of physical products with the designing, developing, manufacturing and marketing required to launch and grow. City of Southfield Business Development and Centrepolis have partnered to establish the Southfield Evolution Lab which encourages the movement of underserved Southfield entrepreneurs – “micro businesses” and “micro-makers” – into a robust community through education and mentoring.

Daniel Hodges was one such entrepreneur when, as a graduate student at Lawrence Tech, he developed a new tool to purify and increase access to clean drinking water. A faculty member suggested he enlist the Accelerator team to develop and commercialize his invention. Hodges, who is founder and CEO of Meknology and also an expert-in-residence at the Accelerator, speaks from experience.  “I can tell you the tools actually work,” he says, “because I’ve used them.”

Those interested in learning more about available resources can visit the Centrepolis Acclerator Programs page.

Those interested in seeing startup and scale-up entrepreneurs as they work to advance their businesses can virtually attend the Micro Makers Evolution Lab Pitch Event on June 22 at Centrepolis Accelerator. The event will feature three-minute pitches by Southfield and Wayne County startup and scale-up companies seeking funding for their inventions and showcasing their companies. The event also will feature a fireside chat with MaxPro founder Nezar Akeel who will discuss his experience working with the Accelerator team to manufacture and launch his MaxPro portable gym. The event is free; register here.

Centrepolis Accelerator has more than 30 experts-in-residence, representing a broad array of industries and expertise. They offer assistance in product design, prototyping, testing, tooling, materials and manufacturing, marketing, business and sales strategy and support, and entrepreneurship training to startups, established small businesses, inventors, product developers and service providers. “We offer one-on-one client service and support,” Hodges adds. To inquire, fill out the form on the Southfield Evolution Lab page. Responses usually come within three business days.

Centrepolis Accelerator represents a partnership between City of Southfield, Lawrence Technological University, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, New Economy Initiative, Oakridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Small Business Administration, Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, William Davidson Foundation and others.

Keep Outdoor Spaces Beautiful

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Southfield’s Community Appearance Director, Tyrice Beeks, is calling on commercial enterprises to comply with the city’s Keep Southfield Beautiful! efforts. Community Appearance is a facet of the Code Enforcement Department. Each spring, the owners and managers of businesses, restaurants, gasoline stations and car repair facilities are reminded of applicable beautification regulations to enhance curb appeal in the city.

“A passerby’s first impression of your property may be a lasting impression of Southfield,” Beeks says. “By following these regulations, you will be doing your part and fulfilling your responsibility to Keep Southfield Beautiful! If we all do our part, we can make a difference.”

Regulations affect all aspects of outdoor commercial areas, specifically: Parking Lots, Dumpsters, Landscaping, Outside Storage, Buildings and Signage/Displays. There is an explicit list of code requirements for each category of enterprise – businesses, restaurants, gas stations/car repair – although there are similarities among the lists.

Beeks says many businesses follow city beautification regulations. However, to assure widespread compliance, all properties will be inspected by the Code Enforcement Department. “It is our hope that any deficiencies you find will be addressed before an inspector visits your site,” Beeks says. “Businesses found to be continuously in violation will be issued a citation or fines.”

To review the complete list of regulations by category, follow the links below:




Parking Lots

  • Striping – parking spaces must be double striped. You will be asked to restripe your lot if it is only single striped
  • Sealing – surface should be uniform in nature
  • Patching of holes and cracks
  • Resurfacing when needed
  • Bumper blocks place properly and not broken



  • Properly enclosed and spaced on site according to site plan
  • Enclosure well maintained
  • Free of litter and debris



  • Replacement of dead or dying trees/shrubs and other plant material
  • Landscape beds and right of way free of weeds and litter
  • Adequate wood chips
  • Grass cut and well maintained


Outside Storage

  • Items may not be stored outsides except in approved, designate industrial zoned areas of the City
  • No storage of pallets
  • No storage of vehicles



  • No peeling paint
  • No broken/cracked glass
  • Gutters/downspouts well maintained
  • Awnings well maintained



  • Well maintained




  • Dumpster lids must be kept closed to decrease the chance of blowing litter. Please make sure your staff breaks down boxes before placing in the dumpster.
  • The area around the dumpster and enclosure must be kept free of litter and debris. Nothing should be placed outside of the dumpster.
  • Other trash receptacles on your property must be emptied frequently to avoid overflowing litter from customers.
  • The parking lot, grass and landscape areas must be kept weed, litter, and debris free. This includes any right of way area. Please have a daily staff schedule for the removal of litter and debris on your property.




  • Property must be in compliance with your approved site plan and perpetual maintenance agreement.
  • No parking of damaged motor vehicles except on a temporary basis for seventy-two (72) hours or less.
  • Junk parts and junk vehicles shall not be kept on the outside of the building.
  • No outside storage or display of any kind except for the display of new merchandise related to the primary use of a gasoline stations for retail sale during the hours of operation of the gasoline station (for example, no selling of wood chips, plants, etc.).
  • No storage or display of any kind in the street right of way area
  • Tow trucks must be parked only in designated areas and are not permitted in the corner clearance area.
  • All vehicles must be parked in designated parking areas and not double parked.
  • Unlicensed vehicles or vehicles for sale are not permitted.
  • Dumpster lids must be kept closed to decrease the chance of blowing litter. Please make sure your staff breaks down boxes before placing in the dumpster.
  • The area around the dumpster and enclosure must be kept free of litter and debris. Nothing should be placed outside of the dumpster.
  • Other trash receptacles on your property must be emptied frequently to avoid overflowing litter from customers.
  • The property, grass and landscape areas must be well maintained and kept weed, litter, and debris free. This includes any right of way area.

Fitness Amenities Tops at Southfield Town Center

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For employees of companies located in Southfield Town Center, an updated Fitness Center and new Sports Club awaits in the 3000 Building. Locker rooms have been renovated, equipment has been replaced, and new management has assumed operations.

“We are probably one of the few office complexes in Southeast Michigan that offer a fitness center with this level of cardiovascular equipment, exercise machines, free weights and a full range of fitness classes,” says Clarence Gleeson, senior vice president for onsite project leasing and marketing at Transwestern, the management agent for the building.

The Fitness Center is located on the second level of the 3000 Building, adjacent to the two-story Garden Atrium. The Sports Club – featuring a professional-size basketball court and lounge – is directly below on the first level. “Our expectation is that, as the population returns, companies will use the basketball facility for intra-company events,” Gleeson says, adding that the wood floor can be protectively covered and the space used to host meetings and gatherings.

Within the Fitness Center, men’s and women’s locker rooms each offer eight showers, a sauna and massage services. A variety of classes will be available as employees return to offices, as will personal training for individual and small group sessions.

About 6,500 people work at Town Center when the four skyscrapers are at maximum capacity. The complex is owned by S. L. Town Center/601W Companies. Currently new leases are being signed and existing tenants, including Plante Moran and Alex Partners, are bringing their
staffs back to the office as the pandemic recedes.

The pricing structure also has been updated. Instead of a monthly fee, members pay a $99 annual fee. Gleeson says the change reflects Transwestern’s desire to promote usage and convenience and position the Fitness Center and Sports Club as an amenity for everyone working at Town Center.

For more information, contact or visit