Solar energy jobs in Michigan jump 48% in 2016

LANSING – The Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council, a trade association for renewable energy companies, announced Monday that a new report from the Solar Foundation found that jobs in Michigan’s solar industry jumped by an impressive 48 percent from 2015 to 2016.

During that time, Michigan solar companies added more than 1,300 jobs, for a total Michigan solar workforce of 4,118.

This positions Michigan second in the Midwest both in terms of growth rate and number of individuals employed in the solar industry, Nationally, Michigan now ranks 15th in the number of solar jobs, up three spots since 2015. (Ohio leads the Great Lakes are with 5,831 solar jobs, and employment grew there 21 percent in 2016. Indiana had the fastest growth rate, 72 percent, but has the smallest number of solar jobs in the region, 2,700.)

Nationally, the Solar Jobs Census 2016 reported that solar employment has nearly tripled since 2010 and was up 25 percent over 2015, with the industry adding more than 21,000 jobs in 2015 for a total of more than 260,000 solar workers nationally. This is the fourth consecutive year of more than 20 percent national solar job growth. Last year, one out of every 50 jobs created in the United States was in the solar industry. Notably, solar now employs twice as many people as the entire U.S. coal industry, and the same number as work in natural gas.

The Michigan EIBC represents companies across the full range of the advanced energy sector, including advanced materials, biomass and biofuels, energy efficiency, energy storage, lighting, smart grid, solar, transportation, and wind.

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Michigan VEX Robotics State Championships Feb. 19 at MSU

EAST LANSING – Around 500 of Michigan’s youngest robotic masters are coming to Michigan State University in East Lansing for the Michigan VEX Robotics State Championships, Sunday, Feb. 19.

Competitors from 48 high school and 28 middle school teams will gather in Jenison Field House during the tournament that runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Opening ceremonies begin at 9:15 a.m.

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Michigan VC Symposium Issues Call For Presenting Companies

ANN ARBOR — The Michigan Growth Capital Symposium will return for its 36th annual celebration of entrepreneurship and business growth May 16-17 at the Marriott Resort in Ypsilanti.

Organizers have issued their call for presenting companies, who want to offer their visions for innovative products and services to an audience of more than 600 investors, founders, and tech transfer professionals.

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Duo Security Revenue Jumps 135%

ANN ARBOR — Duo Security, the Ann Arbor-based information security provider, provided its first-ever revenue figures this week, reporting $73 million in annual recurring revenue for 2016, a 135 percent increase from the $31 million achieved in 2015.

This is the fourth straight year the company has more than doubled its recurring revenue and the first year the company is cash-flow positive.

Quadrupling its user base to more than five million in 2016, Duo protects more than 8,000 paying customers and manages more than six million authentication events per day.

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MichBio Sets Women’s Networking Session

ANN ARBOR — MichBio, the industry association for Michigan’s biosciences industry, will host a networking breakfast and interactive session on Thursday, March 2 in Ann Arbor with acclaimed networking guru Kelly Hoey, whose book, “Build Your Dream Network,” helps readers build and activate powerful networks to achieve both their long and short-term goals.

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SAE Detroit Sets Chevy Bolt EV Event

SOUTHFIELD — The SAE Detroit Section will host a 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV event Tuesday, March 7 at the San Marino Club, 1685 E. Big Beaver Road in Troy.

SAE member sand guests will have the opportunity to hear a presentation from key members of the GM team surrounding the development of the Chevrolet Bolt.

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GM Reports Record Full-Year Earnings Per Share

DETROIT — General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) Tuesday announced record full-year 2016 results driven by strong retail demand for full-size trucks and SUVs in the United States, continued industry growth in China and effective cost performance across the globe.

The company reported revenue of $166.4 billion for the year, a record, up 9.2 percent from 2015. Net income for the year was $9.43 billion, down from $9.69 billion in 2015. Earnings per share was $6, up 1.5 percent from a year earlier, also a record, up from $5.91 a share in 2015, based on more shares outstanding in 2015.

For the fourth quarter, revenue was also a record, $43.9 billion, up 10.8 percent from a year earlier. Net income was $1.84 billion or $1.19 a share, down from $6.27 billion or $3.92 a share a year earlier. Last year’s net income was aided by a one-time, $4 billion tax gain.

Based on GM North America’s 2016 financial performance, approximately 52,000 eligible GM U.S. hourly employees will receive up to a maximum profit sharing payout of $12,000.

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Leaders and Innovators event at LTU Feb. 16, ‘Starting a Business’

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – If you’re ready to start a business, an event Thursday, Feb. 16 at Lawrence Technological University will help you figure out how.

LTU is hosting the next WWJ Newsradio 950 “Leaders and Innovators” breakfast session Feb. 16 on the topic “Starting a Business: Entrepreneurism.” The event begins with networking and a continental breakfast at 7:30 a.m. The discussion and a question-and-answer session runs from 8 to 9 a.m.

This event will feature expert advice on the steps would-be entrepreneurs need to take to get their businesses up and running. Attendees will find out what resources are available to new companies in the Detroit area.

The event is hosted by WWJ Business Editor Murray Feldman. Panelists are to include Jack Aronson, founder of Clean Planet Foods and Garden Fresh Gourmet, and Karen Evans, director of LTU’s Detroit Center for Design + Technology Business Accelerator.

To register, visit The event is free.

Future Leaders and Innovators events include “Social Media and the Small Business” on Thursday, March 16, and “Work-Life Balance” on Thursday, April 13.

Lawrence Technological University,, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 100 universities for the salaries of its graduates, and U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. 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.

New LTU Incubator, Science Center, SBAM On Monday’s M2 TechCast

ROYAL OAK – The M2 TechCast podcast will launch two new segments with its Monday, Feb. 6 program.

In the first new segment, Tonya Matthews, director of the Michigan Science Center, kicks off her STEM education focused segment. She’ll be visiting the TechCast monthly.

Also a future regular guest is Michael Rogers, communications director for the Small Business Association of Michigan, who will talk about SBAM and the products and services it offers Michigan’s business community.

Also on the show to talk about the new Lawrence Technological University Design Incubator and co-working space – at LTU’s new Detroit Center for Design + Technology at 4219 Woodward Ave. in Midtown Detroit – will be Christopher Stefani, the incubator’s director. The center provides working and meeting space for entrepreneurs in the creative fields.

Rounding out the show will be Greg Doyle from Tech248, the Oakland County-based tech business group, talking about the new Oakland Entrepreneurs Alliance.

The M2 TechCast airs live on the internet from 3 to 4 p.m. Eastern time each Monday at And you can listen to past episodes by clicking on

The M2 TechCast is hosted by Mike Brennan, founder and publisher of Michigan Technology News,, and Matt Roush, director of the university news bureau at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield. Both have covered high-tech in Michigan as journalists for more than 20 years.

The M2 TechCast is part of Podcast Detroit, a network of more than 50 locally produced podcasts on a wide variety of topics, anchored by IT in the D. the nation’s No. 1 tech podcast, which regularly draws more than 500,000 listeners a week. IT in the D airs live Monday nights from 9 to 11 p.m. Eastern time.


AT&T Brings Faster Network to Kewadin Casinos

DETROIT — AT&T Michigan said it had upgraded its 4G LTE network to provide faster, more reliable wireless service at two Kewadin Casino locations.

Hardware upgrades were made at the casino’s Christmas location on M-28 just west of Munising, and at its St. Ignace location, just north of the city east of Mackinac Trail.

The upgrades mean faster speeds and more reliable connections at both locations.

Additional information about AT&T products and services is available at

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