Brighton Firm Gets State Aid To Add 36 Jobs

LANSING — TG Fluid Systems, a subsidiary of Toyoda Gosei North American Corp., is expanding in Brighton with support from the Michigan Strategic Fund, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. said Wednesday.

TG Fluid Systems USA Corp., a subsidiary of Toyoda, is a plastic extrusion and forming manufacturing company. The company has experienced significant growth and plans to expand operations in Brighton. The project will generate a total capital investment of up to $12.9 million and create 36 jobs, resulting in a $150,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant.

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AT&T Extends U-Verse To 3,000+ New Locations In Detroit Area

DETROIT — AT&T Inc. announced that its U-verse high-speed Internet and TV service had expanded to more than 3,000 new local customer locations in October in the Detroit area.

The services include AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet, AT&T U-verse TV and AT&T U-verse Voice. The expansion is part of AT&T’s Project Velocity IP, a 3-year investment plan to expand and enhance AT&T’s wireless and wireline Internet Protocol broadband networks.

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A First Hand Look At Liberia’s Ebola Outbreak From A Former ESD Member

Editor’s Note: This report on conditions in Liberia during the current outbreak of the Ebola virus was written by John Kpehe Boimah, PE, an instructor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Liberia and a geotechnical engineering consultant. Boimah earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from the University of Detroit Mercy. He worked at the Michigan Department of Transportation for about 20 years before returning to his native Liberia. He was a member of The Engineering Society of Detroit while working for MDOT, and took ESD’s PE exam prep course. Today, his former UDM professor, Utpal Dutta, provides lecture materials and books for Boimah’s classes in Liberia.

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The deadly Ebola viral disease has cause havoc in Liberia. Our government had no plan to handle the virus epidemic. The Ebola virus exposed our government’s weaknesses in handling disasters. Infrastructures (roads and medical facilities) were inadequate to handle the demands caused by the virus. Poor road conditions made it very difficult to get help to residences in the remotest areas of our country. Clinics and hospitals were unprepared to handle the case loads brought in daily. And with the virus causing devastation around the country, our government imposed a state of emergency and schools were closed indefinitely.

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Altair HyperXtrude 2015 Brings Extrusion Simulation to the Shop Floor

TROY — The Troy engineering software developer Altair Engineering has launched HyperXtrude 2015, a new version of a simulation tool for extrusion processes.

Altair says the new software allows engineers on the shop floor for the first time to validate die designs using computer-aided engineering techniques directly from computer-aided design models — which, the company says, is a “significant workflow improvement.” With HyperXtrude 2015, Altair says engineers can analyze material flow and heat transfer inside a die during extrusion to validate die designs, reducing costly and time-consuming trials.

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$500,000 Gift To MSU Creates Graduate Fellowship In Biomedical Engineering

EAST LANSING — Michigan State University’s newest academic department has received a $500,000 gift to be used to attract some of the country’s most talented graduate students in biomedical engineering.

Jack and Dottie Withrow of Naples, Fla., longtime supporters of the MSU College of Engineering, have established the Withrow Endowed Graduate Fellowship in MSU’s Department of Biomedical Engineering.

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ESD Tech Tour Results Highlighted On Fox2 News

SOUTHFIELD — The Engineering Society of Detroit’s Fall Tech Tour was the subject of a “Job Shop” news segment on WJBK Fox2 news Tuesday morning.

Fox2 anchor Murray Feldman interviewed Matt Roush, ESD Director of Communications and Public Relations, on the results of the Tour, which was conducted Oct. 30-Nov. 7.

In visits to seven universities over nine days, Roush found that Michigan schools are rapidly boosting enrollment in engineering disciplines — Michigan State University has increased enrollment from 3,000 to 5,000 in engineering since 2010, and Western Michigan University’s $74 million College of Engineering and Applied Sciences building, which opened less than 10 years ago, is within 100 students of being at capacity.

Even Michigan schools not traditionally associated with engineering programs, like Grand Valley State University and Central Michigan University, are seeing huge increases in engineering enrollment and are adding new programs.

However, it still might not be enough — the Congressional Research Office says the United States will add more than a million engineering and science jobs in the decade ahead, and the U.S. is running hundreds of thousands of trained engineers and scientists short of being able to fill them.

Bottom line? It’s a great time to be a STEM student — your skills will be in high demand.

To view the interview segment, visit this link.

New SkySync Software From Ann Arbor Firm

ANN ARBOR — The Ann Arbor software developer Portal Architects Inc. Tuesday announced the availability of version 3.0 of its SkySync software.

The company says SkySync is a powerful but simple tool that enables enterprises to tightly integrate their existing on-premises storage systems with most cloud services in minutes.

With SkySync, organizations can sync, migrate or copy single files or entire folder structures, along with their associated permissions and metadata, across systems, enabling truly hybrid, coexisting storage environments.

SkySync v3.0 includes metadata filtering and mapping; new connectors for Oracle WebCenter and OpenText; SharePoint Authentication enhancements; Documentum user/group mapping and permissions migration; as well as several other new features and enhancements.

Said Steve Woodward, Portal Architects CTO: “Administrators can now use metadata and advanced filters to drive synchronization operations. This opens up a lot of flexibility and power for clients to sync or migrate the content they care about most. Whether you’re migrating content to the cloud or synchronizing your existing on-premises storage systems, SkySync continues to move your most important content with no heavy lifting or disruption of business.”

SkySync is designed the meet the demands of businesses of all sizes, from a single work station to multiple servers transferring terabytes of files. SkySync includes dozens of connectors including Microsoft SharePoint 2007, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013, Microsoft Office 365, Box, Hightail, Huddle, Dropbox, OneDrive-Business, Google Drive, Citrix ShareFile, SugarSync, OpenText, Documentum, as well as Network File Systems, Autodesk Field 360, Egnyte, Alfresco, and SalesForce.

More information and a free trial are available at http://www.skysync.com.

Companies Get State Aid For Expansion

LANSING — The Michigan Economic Development Corp. Tuesday announced Michigan Strategic Fund approval of support for business expansion projects that will result in $53.9 million in new business investment in Michigan and the creation of 130 new jobs in the state.

The MEDC also announced a $22.5 million investment in a new private equity fund that will provide growth funding for Michigan automotive suppliers.

The support for business projects were as follows:

* Fullerton Tool Co., founded in 1942 in Saginaw, manufactures solid carbide cutting tools for the medical, aerospace, automotive, power generation, heavy equipment, recreation, firearms and mold and die industries. The company is experiencing high demand for its products and plans to build its second Saginaw County plant in the Great Lakes Technology Park in Thomas Township. As a result, the company has been awarded a $400,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. South Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky all solicited Fullerton’s investment, but the company chose Michigan. Saginaw County provided 35 acres of shovel-ready property to support the project. Individuals interested in career opportunities with Fullerton Tool should visit http://www.fullertontool.com. Said Fullerton Tool president Patrick H. Curry: “The Fullerton West Facility will enhance our product offerings and allow us to continue the momentum of strong growth through diversification of product and customers.” Curry thanked the MEDC, the economic development agency Saginaw Future, the Saginaw County Economic Development Corp., Thomas Township and the city of Saginaw for their support.

* Canal Street Brewing Co., LLC (dba Founders Brewing Co.) began in Grand Rapids in 1997 as a small tap room and brewery. Today the company has increased its production by almost 50 times and its tap room sales by about 10 times. The company is expanding its property on Grandville Ave. SW in Grand Rapids, investing $40.4 million and creating 72 jobs. As a result, the company has been awarded a $250,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. The City of Grand Rapids is offering support to the project in the form of property tax abatement. Individuals interested in positions with Founders Brewing Co. should visit http://foundersbrewing.com/jobs/. MSF also approved an amended Act 381 Brownfield work plan submitted by the Grand Rapids Brownfield Redevelopment Authority for school and local tax capture valued at $4,281,805 for demolition, site preparation, infrastructure improvements, and streetscaping for the project.

* Covisint Corp., founded in 2000 by the Detroit Three automakers as an online marketplace, and later acquired and then spun off by Compuware Corp., is a provider of cloud-based collaboration and information sharing systems. Covisint plans to lease space and establish a new headquarters in Southfield, investing up to $5.5 million and creating 50 jobs. As a result, the company has been awarded a $1.5 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Texas and North Carolina. The City of Southfield has offered support to the project in the form of property tax abatement. Individuals interested in career opportunities with Covisint should visit http://www.mitalent.org.

Also, the MSF approved $22.5 million in loan funding under the MEDC Capital Conduit Program to Grow Michigan Holdings, LLLC, to be invested in Michigan Capital Partners, a new private equity fund. MCP, a collaboration of public and private funding, will be capitalized by a number of private investors from across the state to provide growth funding for Tier 2 and Tier 3 automotive and transportation suppliers with a presence in Michigan. The targeted private investment fund will total $125 million, creating more than $4.50 in private investment for each public dollar invested. It will make investments in companies with $20 million to $200 million in revenue in the transportation value chain: machining, forming, tool and die making, supply chain support and technology. Companies considered for the fund’s investments will be headquartered or have operations in Michigan with plans to expand their facilities and create new jobs in the state.

In addition, MSF approved an amendment to the Events Center Project bond authorizing resolution that was passed at the Sept. 17 board meeting. The amendment removes the bond rating requirement, allowing the bonds to be sold as unrated. MSF also approved an inducement resolution for issuance of $70 million in tax-exempt bonds to purchase the basement through the seventh floor of the Capitol View Building in Lansing to be used for Michigan Senate offices.

The Michigan Business Development Program provides grants, loans and other economic assistance to qualified businesses that make investments or create jobs in Michigan, with preference given to businesses that need additional assistance for deal-closing and for second stage gap financing.

The MSF considers a number of factors in making these awards, including: out-of-state competition, private investment in the project, business diversification opportunities, near-term job creation, wage and benefit levels of the new jobs, and net-positive return to the state. Business retention and retail projects are not eligible for consideration of these incentives.

For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit michiganbusiness.org. For Michigan travel news, updates and information, visit michigan.org. Michigan residents interested in seeking employment with any of Michigan’s growing companies should check mitalent.org, where more than 85,000 jobs are currently available in a variety of industries.

CMU Scientists Track Spread Of Invasive Snail

MT. PLEASANT — Before the zebra mussel, before the quagga mussel, the invasive faucet snail hitched a ride from Europe to the Great Lakes.

Central Michigan University’s Institute for Great Lakes Research is currently tracking and mapping the spread of these creatures. They’ve been here since the 19th Century — but their numbers and locations appear to be growing, and they threaten waterfowl in Great Lakes coastal wetlands.

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UM Forecast: Michigan Recovery To Continue At Least 2 More Years

ANN ARBOR — The state of Michigan’s economic recovery, now five years old, will continue at least another two years, according to economists at the University of Michigan.

In their annual economic outlook, UM economists George Fulton and colleagues Joan Crary and Donald Grimes say they expect Michigan’s economy to create 59,400 new jobs in 2015 and 73,200 new jobs in 2016.

Professional and business services are expected to contribute a quarter of the jobs created in Michigan over the next two years, and two-thirds of those jobs are in the highly compensated professional, scientific, and technical subcategory.

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