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Planning and Economic Development

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eMacomb - Featured Article, Winter 2013

Macomb Business Awards

Department hosts first-ever Macomb Business Awards
Recipients in five categories named

Nearly 300 people gathered on February 12 to celebrate the first-ever Macomb Business Awards.   Launched late last year as part of the new “Home in Macomb Business Retention Program,” the awards program was designed as a way to celebrate the nearly 18,000 businesses that employ more than 280,000 people in Macomb.

Offered in just four categories, the awards program featured an online application process.  In all, 49 nominations  were received and then reviewed by a panel of judges that included Department Executive Director Stephen N. Cassin, Macomb Community College President Dr. Jim Jacobs, Executive Editor for Crain’s Detroit Business Cindy Goodaker and First State Bank President Gene Lovell.

A recipient in each category was named during the awards breakfast and received an impressive crystal award:

“Energy Efficiency Expert” went to General Dynamics Land Systems of Sterling Heights. Recently awarded LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, their Sterling Heights facility has been converted to so that 100% of its annual electrical load comes from renewable sources.  Other efforts to reduce energy included improvements to HVAC systems and motion-sensor LED lighting.  Their efforts have resulting in a documented savings of more than $1,100,000 (and counting!)

 “Champion of Workforce Development” was presented to IBEW-NECA Electrical Industry Training Center.  With more than 4,500 members throughout southeastern Michigan, the center provides a foundation of training for the trade through apprenticeship programs.  In addition, they offer a variety of sector-specific continuing education programs enabling members to diversify their skills base while serving changing market needs throughout the region.

Omega Plastics of Clinton Township was named “Corporate Citizen” for their efforts to engage employees in serving the greater good.  With a dedicated associate to oversee special projects, they are strong supporters of the Hope Center, donate backpacks and schools supplies for children throughout the area, offer space in their building to a faith-based counseling agency and frequently collect food and other needed items for those less fortunate.

Diversification Leader” was awarded to Fori Automation of Shelby Township, a developer and builder of advanced manufacturing machinery for the automotive industry for nearly 30 years.  With successful operations in locations throughout the globe, the company engaged a strategic plan to expand the types of industries it serves.  As a result, they recently dedicated a new 19,000 square foot building to serve their growing customers in aerospace, agriculture and recreational vehicles.

Also named the “Economic Development Partner of the Year” was Macomb Community College.  Citing a partnership that goes back nearly 25 years, the college was recognized for its longstanding collaborative efforts to identify and develop training programs to meet the needs of today’s employers.  Macomb’s entrepreneurial training programs have also been instrumental in helping new businesses begin with a strong foundation.

“The Macomb Business Awards program was a great way to celebrate the many businesses that have made Macomb their home,” said Department Director Stephen N. Cassin.  “I hope learning more about the unique ways that each nominated company worked to increase their bottom line while supporting our community at large was an inspiration for everyone who attended.”

The breakfast event was held at the Best Western Sterling Inn Banquet and Conference Center.  Huel Perkins, Anchor for WJBK Fox 2 served as master of ceremonies.  Mario Impemba, voice of the Detroit Tigers for Fox Sports Detroit, delivered a rousing keynote address related to the value of building an effective team.

Thanks to the support of many sponsors, 100 percent of the direct expenses for the program were covered.


General Dynamics

IBEW-NECA Electrical Industry Training Center

Omega Plastics

Fori Automation