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Planning and Economic Development

Focus Macomb



Message from Mark




Hello and welcome to Focus Macomb. It’s officially spring, which means it’s time to get outdoors and enjoy our 27 municipalities and the many parks, trails and natural spaces that make Macomb a great place to call home. Want to explore the many great things the county has to offer this season but don’t know where to start? Visit to find inspiration for your next outing and our Make Macomb Your Home Events Facebook page for all the latest on local events.

The start of spring also means it is time for college basketball’s March Madness. And for the last three years, the team at Macomb County Planning and Economic Development has used that as inspiration to create their own bracket competition. So in case you missed the announcements or social media posts, I’d like to remind you that Mac Madness is underway. We’re in search of the Best Mac in the Mac, or more simply put, the top macaroni and cheese dish made by one of our locally owned and operated restaurants. The best part? The public helps choose the winner, and the winner will receive some great prizes. So cast your vote now through April 3 and help us find Macomb County’s Big Cheese! 

Finally, it wouldn’t be spring without the return of Skywarn classes offered through Macomb County Emergency Management. The seasons ahead often have turbulent weather, so now is the time to prepare our communities. Skywarn is a nationwide network of volunteer weather spotters who are trained by NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) to identify and report significant or severe weather such as severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, hail, heavy snow and flooding. Our team has partnered with the NWS to bring Skywarn Spotter Training to our residents. The next course will be in person on April 4 from 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. at the Macomb Intermediate School District. To register, please call Macomb County Emergency Management at 586-469-5270 or click here.


Thank you, take care and here’s to a great spring season.




Tickets on sale now for the Macomb Business Awards


The 11th annual Macomb Business Awards are just over a month away and tickets are now on sale. The event, which will be held at the historic Emerald Theatre in downtown Mount Clemens on Thursday, May 4, will be emceed by Alicia Smith, 6-time Emmy award-winning anchor and reporter for Channel 7 WXYZ Detroit. Guests will enjoy networking, light bites, a cash bar and the announcement of the Macomb Business Award winners.

“Every year we look forward to the Macomb Business Awards because it gives us a chance to gather and celebrate local organizations that are outstanding in their field,” said Vicky Rowinski, director of Macomb County Planning and Economic Development (MCPED). “I’m thrilled to see this event return for its eleventh year and with several award categories, I’m excited to see who receives top honors.” 

This year’s nomination categories are as follows: 

  1. Hidden Gem: A business with up to 50 employees that offers a unique Macomb County product or service that more people should know about.
  2. Hometown Hero: An organization that goes above and beyond to help their community by providing assistance, donations, volunteer and/or promotional support to a cause or for a local need.
  3. Manufacturer of the Year: A manufacturer of any size in any industry that is achieving success through its efforts to diversify its customer base and implement new technologies or efficiencies. 
  4. Small But Mighty Award: A microbusiness with less than ten employees that is addressing a consumer need through its products or services. Must have a brick and mortar presence in Macomb County.
  5. Trailblazer of Future Talent: A company that c​reates opportunities for the next generation of Macomb County’s workforce to explore career possibilities and experience work-based learning.
  6. Workforce Champion: A company that demonstrates creativity in response to workforce needs, including talent attraction, employee retention and making a conscious effort to build a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace for all.

Tickets for the event cost $35 and are available for purchase here. Sales close April 24. Additional details on the Macomb Business Awards can be found at


Macomb Community Action launches Community Needs Assessment survey


Macomb Community Action (MCA) has launched a community survey to inform areas of need throughout Macomb County. As a component of the MCA Community Needs Assessment, this survey will help determine future investments in Macomb County neighborhoods.

The survey is open to all Macomb County residents as well as individuals who work in or otherwise frequent Macomb County.

“Macomb Community Action is on the ground, every day, providing important support and services to our residents,” said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. “From food and heating assistance, to education programs for young children, their work is essential and helps thousands of individuals and families every year. The results of this survey will inform our team and expand our ability to serve the community. So it’s important that we all take the time to complete it and make our voices heard.”

“MCA understands the importance of having a pulse on pressing issues within our communities. Community participation in this survey is fundamental to ensure programming is as impactful and helpful to community members,” said Joe Cooke, interim co-director & division director, MCA.

Responses will be incorporated as part of a community needs assessment that will be developed later this spring in collaboration with other service providers in Macomb County. The community needs assessment will drive a strategic planning process that will inform programming in the coming years.

“Getting a current snapshot of the community will support continuous quality improvement,” said Linda Azar, interim co-director & division director, MCA. “As we adjust to life post-COVID, we do not make assumptions about the needs of the community.”

The survey will be open through April 16 and individuals who complete the survey may enter a weekly drawing for a $25 gasoline gift card. The survey is available in English, Spanish and Arabic and can be completed online at Printed copies can be requested by reaching out to MCA at 586-469-7769 or 


Macomb County forms Elder Abuse Task Force


Under the direction of the Office of the County Executive, the Macomb County Office of Senior Services has coordinated efforts to address elder abuse in the community through a collaborative task force. By assembling a team of elder care experts, the goal is to protect elders through education, collaboration and wraparound support. Participants will include representatives from the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office, local police departments, Adult Protective Services, Legal Aid, senior center directors, senior care providers, the Prosecuting Attorney’s office, the Area Agency on Aging 1-B and Macomb County Community Mental Health. 

"By taking a multidisciplinary approach we hope to better address the complex needs of victims and increase awareness amongst professionals as well as the general public," said Sheila Cote, director, Macomb County Senior Services.

73,000 older adults are victims of abuse in Michigan. One in 10 Americans aged 60+ has been a victim of elder abuse. Estimates indicate up to 5 million elders are abused annually. Elder abuse is drastically underreported with estimates that only one in 24 incidents are reported to authorities 

“The formation of this task force will assist law enforcement to investigate cases of individuals and groups preying on our seniors,” said Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham. “We want to make sure we quickly identify and bring these perpetrators to justice.” 

The goal is to bring awareness to the community and provide comprehensive support and services to victims. Addressing elder abuse is a shared responsibility. By bringing professionals to the table to address elder abuse, the task force will confront the issue from all angles. 

“The Office of Senior Services works directly with the community and it just makes sense that this new initiative is being led by this department, which has a history of working closely with our seniors and is a trusted resource throughout the community,” said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. “Let us all stand together for our seniors to protect their dignity, health and well-being.” 

The task force will be valuable for both seniors and caregivers in that it brings a greater understanding of how to protect vulnerable seniors before abuse, neglect or exploitation occurs. The community benefits in terms of increased awareness of the ability to identify potential abuse and how to report it.


Health Department announces Environmental Health Services Portal


The Macomb County Health Department’s Environmental Health Division recently launched an online services portal that provides custom-tailored service offerings and the ability to issue permits and inspection reports electronically. Current services offered include septic permits, well permits and well water testing.   

“We have given a lot of thought and effort in the development of this resource, and we were able to successfully pilot this service in 2022,” said Tom Barnes, director of the Macomb County Health Department’s Environmental Health Division. “Now we’re making it available on a broader basis and will continue to look for opportunities to expand our capabilities with the portal. Hopefully, this new, secure online system will help elevate our customer service, accessibility and convenience for residents who need these services.”  

Residents who do not have access to a computer are still able to apply for these services and permits using “hard copy” applications and documentation that has been used prior to the portal.

The online services portal can be viewed at If you have any questions regarding the portal, please call the Macomb County Health Department’s Environmental Health Division at 586-469-5236.


Industry 4.0 workshop series continues with “What’s the big deal about big data” event


Macomb County Planning and Economic Development (MCPED), in partnership with Velocity, has announced the second event in the yearlong Macomb Next Industry 4.0 series. The workshop, titled ‘What’s the big deal about big data,’ will examine system integration, big data and analytics and will be held Thursday, April 13 from 8 a.m.-10 a.m. at Wayne State University’s Advanced Technology Education Center (14601 12 Mile Rd.,Warren). It will feature keynote speaker Ratna Chinnam, Ph.D, professor and chair of the Industrial & Systems Engineering Department at WSU. There will also be a panel discussion with business leaders who will provide their experiences with the implementation of these technologies. 

“These events are for manufacturers of all sizes,” said Vicky Rowinski, director, MCPED. “Those involved in making key operational decisions are encouraged to join us for breakfast followed by an opportunity to listen, ask questions and network.”  

Industry 4.0 (I4.0) is the ongoing automation of manufacturing and industrial practices, using modern smart technology. I4.0 helps manage and optimize all aspects of the manufacturing processes and supply chain. It provides access to real-time data and insights necessary to make smarter, faster decisions, which can ultimately boost the efficiency and profitability of an entire operation.

The nine pillars of I4.0 include: 

  • Additive manufacturing (3D Printing)
  • Advanced robotics and automation
  • Advanced simulation
  • Big data and analytics
  • Cloud computing
  • Cybersecurity
  • Internet of Things
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR)
  • System integration 

The April 13 event will focus on the adoption of big data and analytics in manufacturing, which allows for deeper process evaluation. This can lead to real-time decision making around increasing production quality, reducing waste and increasing productivity. The event will also cover system integration, which examines how technology can play a role in external and internal connections that can take a business to the next level. 

There is no cost to attend the April 13 workshop, but seating is limited. Visit to register and to learn more about upcoming events.


    Save the Date



Sprint and Splash

Saturday, August 12, 2023
Lake St. Clair Metropark



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