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Planning and Economic Development

Contact: John Paul Rea

Phone: 586-469-5285

Email: JohnPaul.Rea@macombgov.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 07, 2019

Macomb County to highlight technology and talent during North American International Auto Show

Leaders from Macomb County will celebrate several talent and technology initiatives during the upcoming North American International Auto Show - including the county's "Fueling the Talent Pipeline" program, its connected infrastructure system and a new robotics collaboration center that will launch later this year. Together, these initiatives highlight the county's ability to meet the disruptive trends in the automotive industry.

"New technologies are having a massive effect on just about every aspect of our lives," said County Executive Mark A. Hackel. "Whether it's the economy, infrastructure or education, the world is changing and we need to be ready for that. This is why Macomb County is investing in new programs and initiatives aimed at tech and talent. We want to make sure that our communities and residents are prepared for the future in ways that will ensure our success."

"We couldn't think of a better time or place to highlight these initiatives than the North American International Auto Show," added John Paul Rea, director of Macomb County Planning and Economic Development (MCPED). "This show is a testament to our region's ingenuity and ability to grow and innovate. So we're proud to showcase our county's future-focused mindset here."

The first major initiative that county leaders will discuss is a Robotics Collaboration and Innovation Center, a new resource aimed at increasing awareness and opportunity within the robotics environment. The center was submitted by MCPED as a proposal to the Defense Industry Growth Area Grants program through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation in the summer of 2018. It was recently awarded funding and will launch at the Velocity Collaboration Center later this year. Once open, the center's mission will be partnering with businesses, educational organizations, nonprofits and startups to offer tools, programs, expert assistance and open access to an independent, digital- and electronic-based environment for creative people. It will be a facility and ecosystem which offers co-sharing and individual workspaces, computers, software and related technologies. It will also feature a tooling and fabrication shop, engineering and computer science assistance, business development assistance and mentors from leading automotive, defense, manufacturing and technology firms, all in an open, collaborative environment.

"Ultimately, we hope to bring existing engineering talent from major employers across Southeast Michigan into an environment where new ideas and technologies can be created," said Rea. "The possible benefits are endless."

Other major investments that Macomb County leaders will highlight at NAIAS are its recently launched "Fueling the Talent Pipeline" effort - a service platform that will allow employers and educators to connect, share resources and help students become aware of future career opportunities - and its connected roadways strategy. The strategy, which involves the creation of a smart infrastructure network that can communicate with vehicles, bikes, buses and pedestrians, will position Macomb County as a leader in improving the overall mobility experience.

For more information on the above initiatives, visit www.macombbusiness.com.

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