US Commerce Secretary Shares the Urgent Need to Re-Invest in American, Michigan Manufacturing

In a discussion hosted by the Detroit Economic Club on Monday, Nov. 29, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo discussed the critical role the manufacturing industry plays in the state and national economic recovery and the imperative to invest domestically in the R&D and production associated with semiconductor chips. While such investment is a priority across the country, Raimondo acknowledged the particular benefits to be reaped in Michigan.

“It [Michigan] is the epicenter and the beating heart of America’s manufacturing industry,” said Raimondo. “Manufacturing is vitally important to America’s well-being. You cannot have a great economy if you don’t make things as a core part of that economy.”

Competing Globally by Investing Domestically

Raimondo touted the success of the bipartisan passage of a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package that will allow the largest ever EV investment in Michigan, along with a host of other improvements to roads, replacement of lead pipes, expansion of broadband, and more – creating thousands of jobs in the process. The next step to make the most of this investment, she said, is passing the Build Back Better bill which will support workforce training, universal pre-k, affordable child care, and more.

“That bill is an investment in our people; It’s an investment in the workforce,” said Raimondo.

As Secretary of Commerce, Raimondo’s focus is on enhancing America’s competitiveness in the global economy. Citing many examples of the manufacturing industry taking hits and losing jobs to other countries, “those are millions of jobs people deserve to have,” here in the U.S.

“In order for our economy to thrive and compete internationally and globally, we need to invest domestically,” said Raimondo.

Taking Back the Semiconductor Industry

The U.S. needs to be investing domestically in bolstering its supply chains, manufacturing sector, and specifically, in revitalizing the semiconductor industry, which was invented in American. Over time, the manufacturing of semiconductor chips was moved overseas. Thirty years ago, the U.S. produced 40% of all chips domestically. Today, we make 0% of leading-edge chips in America and are experiencing a critical shortage of these semiconductor chips. This shortage has particularly damaging impacts in Michigan because of how essential these are to the automotive and electric vehicle (EV) industries. The solution? Create more chips in America.

By making these chips and better semiconductors domestically, the U.S. can make better EV batteries and capture a larger share of the global EV market and create more American jobs. Chips also support innovation in industries beyond automotive. Raimondo stated that strengthening America’s electronics supply chains and manufacturing will boost its GDP by up to $55 billion and add 95,000 jobs.

On what needs to be done to activate this solution, Raimondo called for legislative support of the CHIPS Act, which includes $52 billion that would allow the U.S. Department of Commerce to create a semiconductor fund to incentivize the domestic manufacturing and R&D of semiconductor chips. This cause is urgent.

“We can’t wait, because the rest of the world isn’t waiting,” she said. “American is the best place on earth to do business and start a business. We have the best entrepreneurs, the best scientists, and the best innovators in the world, but we’ve got to get to work making investments. Investing in our infrastructure, investing in American manufacturing, investing in job training, and making sure we do all that with an eye toward equity. If we do do that…we will shore up our economic security and our national security.”

Solving Problems, Expanding Broadband, and Securing the Supply Chain

In a follow-up discussion with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Raimondo reflected on the lessons learned and best practices from her time as governor of Rhode Island that influence her approach to her current role in the Commerce Department. She reached solutions to economic problems by first facing hard truths.

“I didn’t have it in me to be dishonest about the problem,” said Raimondo. “This is math, not politics.”

With American Rescue Plan allocations and funding from the infrastructure plan, Duggan asked Raimondo if a portion will be put toward increasing broadband access and fiber installation programs. She responded with an emphatic “yes.”

“Broadband is no longer a luxury,” Raimondo said. “It’s the difference between working and not, going to school and not, going to the doctor or not.”

Sixty-five billion dollars is coming to the Commerce Department to cities and states to support programs that will enable access to affordable broadband across the country. Michigan will receive at least $100 million and can apply for more.

The conversation shifted to the chip shortage and the fragility of our nation’s international supply chains. Duggan shared insight from conversations with automotive executives, that despite years of rewarding procurement directors for price and timeliness, they weren’t rewarding them for the security of the supply chain or longevity of connections.

“There’s been an obsession for a long period of time around ‘just in time,’” said Raimondo. “But then they leave out ‘just in case.’”

Part of the legislation is an initiative to create a department within the Commerce Department committed to supply chain management to help reduce the vulnerabilities that currently exist for a variety of critical components.

Audience Q&A

In an audience Q&A, Raimondo addressed several more workforce issues, like the current labor shortages the nation is facing. She suggested getting everyone vaccinated, investing in workforce training to fill vast openings in fields like education, advanced manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals, and expanding the labor pool to underrepresented groups like women and people of color, will help businesses fill lingering vacancies. On helping young professionals entering the in-person workforce for the first time, she called on businesses to offer opportunities for students, interns, and entry-level workers to get in-person experience or get creative with remote training to prepare them for the in-person workforce. She also addressed federal support for cybersecurity, citing a new set of standards and best practices for businesses to follow and again emphasizing the need for training and investment in that field. In conclusion, on the question of whether bipartisanship is dead, she said no, and shared the key to success is compromise, finding a middle ground, and staying committed to solving problems.

The Underwater Bubble Show

The Underwater Bubble Show will take place at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center on March 5 at 6 p.m. This modern fairy tale features Mr. B, our overworked and always busy hero, who finds himself transported to a special, colorful, happy place called Bubblelandia. During his imaginary journey, Mr. B meets the inhabitants of Bubblelandia — seahorses, dragon fish, starfish, mermaids, clown fish and others — in this family-friendly show, full of spectacular special effects. For tickets, visit http://www.dearborntheater.com/events/10004301-the-underwater-bubble-show

A Motown Christmas

Scotty Productions presents “A Motown Christmas” on December 18 at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center. This show will feature The Motortown All Stars, a world-class vocal group assembled from members of The Edsels (“Rama Lama Ding Dong”), The Capitals (“Cool Jerk”) and former members of the Temptations (“My Girl,” “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg,” “Papa Was A Rollin Stone,” “Wish it Would Rain,” “Can’t Get Next To You”), Mark Scott’s Miracles (“Tears of a Clown,” Oh Baby Baby,” “Love Machine,” “Tracks of My Tears”), The Marvelettes (“Don’t Mess With Bill,” “Please Mr. Postman,” “Beachwood 4-5789,”) and The Shades of Blue (“Oh How Happy”). Tickets are available by going to http://www.dearborntheater.com/events/10004447-scotty-productions-presents-a-motown-christmas

Nadine A. Hessi and Jeffrey R. May Join Bodman PLC

(DETROIT November 24,2021) Bodman PLC is pleased to announce that Nadine A. Hessi and Jeffrey R. May have joined the firm as associate attorneys.

Hessi is based in the firm’s Detroit office and May is based in the Ann Arbor office. Both are former participants in Bodman’s summer law clerk program.

Hessi is a member of Bodman’s High Net Worth Practice Group. She represents high net worth individual clients in connection with estate planning and related tax and personal business matters and the administration of trusts and estates.

As a law student, she served as an intern to the Hon. Sean F. Cox of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan where she conducted research and drafted bench memos. She also served as an intern at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit where she composed memos on various legal issues for the Hon. Mariam Bazzi of the Wayne County Circuit Court.

Hessi earned her law and undergraduate degrees from Wayne State University. She participated in the Wayne Law Moot Court Program and was a member of the Women’s Law Caucus and the Muslim Law Students Association. She was awarded the WSU Law Scholarship and the Robert and Marie Fayz Endowed Scholarship for academic achievement.

May is a member of Bodman’s Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Group. He represents business clients in complex commercial disputes.

As a law student, he served as a law clerk with the civil division of the U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington, DC, where he assisted with depositions, prepared witnesses for trial, and performed legal research in connection with pending cases.

May earned his law and undergraduate degrees from the University of Michigan. At the University of Michigan Law School, he was awarded the Dean’s Scholarship and the David W. Belin and Constance Newman Belin Law Scholarship. He volunteered as a student attorney with the Veterans Legal Clinic and served on the Law School Student Senate where he chaired the Academic Environment Committee. He also served as a junior editor of the Michigan Journal of Environmental and Administrative Law and participated in the Campbell Moot Court Competition.

May serves on the board of directors of the May Family Foundation, which works to provide opportunities for under-resourced youth. He volunteered for several years as an event co-chair and manager for Outfest, an annual outdoor fundraiser for the Jim Toy Community Center in Ann Arbor.

ABOUT BODMAN
Bodman PLC is one of the Midwest’s leading business law firms, providing counsel to many of the region’s most successful companies and individuals on a broad range of issues. Deeply rooted in the communities they serve, Bodman lawyers provide clients with the personal attention of a small firm combined with the talent and knowledge expected of the nation’s leading attorneys. To learn more, visit www.bodmanlaw.com.
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MEDIA CONTACT:
Anthony J. Allegrina
Business Development Manager
BODMAN PLC
6th Floor at Ford Field
1901 St. Antoine Street
Detroit, Michigan 48226
office: 313-393-7564
email: aallegrina@bodmanlaw.com

Dearborn Symphony Orchestra – Holiday Pops

Join the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra with Rich Ridenour and vocalist Stacey Mason at 8 p.m. on December 17 at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center. The Holiday Pops concert will include a musical jubilee of your favorite holiday tunes. For tickets, call (313) 943-2354 or go to http://www.dearborntheater.com/events/10004478-dearborn-symphony-orchestra-holiday-pops

Whitmer directs members of her administration to work with Legislature on federal infrastructure aid plan

Michigan Radio 
Nov. 23, 2021
Rick Pluta 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a directive on Tuesday. It instructs members of her administration to work with the Legislature to develop a plan to spend billions of dollars in federal infrastructure aid.

The directive appears to be an effort on the part of the Democratic governor to find an opening that could lead to a deal with the Legislature’s GOP leaders.

Brad Williams with the Detroit Regional Chamber praised the directive. He says business leaders want to see that money put to work on roads, bridges and other infrastructure.

“We want to put money in quickly, but we want to put money into projects that are going to make sense, that are going to foster economic growth and are going to be of the most benefit to Michigan, so: quickly, but smartly.”

Bobby Leddy is the governor’s press secretary.

“Now, we still have to work with the Legislature and look forward to figuring out how these funds are allocated, but once we are, then we’ll be able to get all that stuff done.”

The Democratic governor cannot spend those funds without the approval of the Republican-controlled Legislature.

The directive includes a list of priorities such as developing electric vehicle infrastructure and creating roads, bridges and dams that would address the challenges of climate change.

View the original article.

Michigan to get more infrastructure funds

WLNS
Nov. 23, 2021
Samana Sheikh

Michigan expects to get more federal funds to fix the roads and bridges.

The new move is part of the bipartisan infrastructure plan.

“Right now, we have a historic opportunity to put Michiganders first and use the billions in funding we are expected to receive under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to ensure every community has safe, smooth roads and bridges,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “With this executive directive, we are getting ready to build up local roads and bridges across Michigan, create thousands of good-paying jobs for Michiganders, and ensure small businesses, downtowns, and neighborhoods have the high-quality, reliable infrastructure to rely on as we usher in a new era of prosperity for our state. I look forward to working with the legislature to invest these dollars and get the job done.”

Michigan plans to prioritize in-state businesses to fix the state’s infrastructure and focus to make the state’s roads and bridges more resilient to flooding.

“Everyone in Michigan is well-aware of the need to fix our roads, bridges, and critical infrastructure,” said Doug Stockwell, Business Manager of Operating Engineers 324. “And now the federal government has joined Michigan in dedicating the financial investment to make it happen. Effective and efficient construction requires good planning, quality materials, and a highly-skilled workforce like the members of Operating Engineers 324.  Governor Whitmer’s Executive Directive will make sure the planning stage is done correctly, setting Michigan residents up for better roads, bridges, and quality jobs.”

The build-back Michigan agenda will also help communities build electric vehicle chargers statewide.

“A bipartisan coalition passed the once-in-a-generation infrastructure plan in Washington, and the Detroit Regional Chamber urges leaders in Lansing to address the state’s long-term needs with bipartisan cooperation,” said Brad Williams, Vice President of Government Relations for the Detroit Regional Chamber. “Strategically investing in roads, bridges, broadband, and sustainable resiliency will position Michigan businesses, Michigan workers, and Michigan’s economy to thrive in the global marketplace.”

To view the full executive directive, click here.

View the original article.

Gov. Whitmer says ‘additional guidance’ ahead amid Michigan’s COVID surge

The Detroit News
Nov. 22, 2021
Craig Mauger

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Monday she expects her health department to release “additional guidance” directed at the state’s ongoing COVID-19 surge in the near future.

During her first public appearance in Michigan in more than a week, Whitmer said an unidentified hospital leader she spoke with Monday was “not encouraging mandates” but was urging public education about vaccinations.

The number of adults hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state hit a seven-month high at 3,699 Monday, and last week, the percentage of tests for the virus bringing positive results reached the highest weekly rate in more than a year. Michigan continues to lead the nation in new cases per population.

“If you’re congregating with a bunch of people indoors, it’s wise to make sure everyone is vaccinated,” Whitmer said. “And if they’re not, encourage them to do that.

“Take this opportunity to tell your loved ones how much you love them and how much you want to spend Christmas with them. It’s time to get vaccinated.”

The governor said she anticipates the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will release more guidance as the state gets closer to the upcoming holidays. Thanksgiving is Thursday.

On Friday, Whitmer’s health department issued a public health advisory, recommending people wear masks at indoor gatherings regardless of their vaccination status. The recommendation also encouraged establishments to implement policies to ensure that all people entering, including employees, wear masks.

Michigan’s COVID-19 metrics have rapidly deteriorated over the last three weeks. On Monday, the Michigan Health & Hospital Association released a statement, describing the situation as “alarming.”

The state is approaching “the highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Michigan since the pandemic began,” according to the statement, made on behalf of chief medical officers of Michigan’s community hospitals.

“We cannot wait any longer for Michigan to correct course; we need your help now to end this surge and ensure our hospitals can care for everyone who needs it,” the medical officers added.

Last year, during a similar surge, Whitmer’s administration used its executive powers to suspend in-person high school and college classes, and halt indoor dining at restaurants through health department epidemic orders.

This month, however, Whitmer and her health department have relied on recommendations and public calls for vaccinations. Elizabeth Hertel, director of the Department of Health and Human Services, has also declined to impose a statewide mask mandate for K-12 schools.

“A year ago, we did not have access to vaccines,” Whitmer said Monday. “We do now. They are easy to get. They are incredibly effective, and they are free of charge.”

The governor said she’s “imploring” school districts and parents to ensure their children are wearing masks.

Whitmer took questions from reporters Monday afternoon after a press conference announcing 100 new jobs and a $1 million expansion of Crest Marine in Owosso Township.

Last week, she was in Arizona and California as Michigan became the top state in the country for new COVID-19 cases per population. In California, she met with the Semiconductor Industry Association Board of Directors to discuss ongoing efforts to increase domestic chip production and attend the association’s annual event.

View the original article.

Gov. Whitmer Signs Executive Directive Readying Michigan to Effectively Use Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan to Continue Fixing the Damn Roads & Bridges

Governor focused on collaborating with legislature to fix local roads, make every commute safer and smoother, create more good-paying jobs for Michigan workers

Governor Gretchen Whitmer today, in preparation for the billions in federal funds Michigan is expected to receive over the next five years specifically for roads and bridges from the newly-enacted Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan, issued an executive directive (ED) to state departments and agencies to collaborate with the legislature and begin preparing the state to rebuild hundreds of miles of roads, repair hundreds of bridges, and restore high-quality transportation infrastructure for every family, community, and small business.

“Right now, we have an historic opportunity to put Michiganders first and use the billions in funding we are expected to receive under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to ensure every community has safe, smooth roads and bridges,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “With this executive directive, we are getting ready to build up local roads and bridges across Michigan, create thousands of good-paying jobs for Michiganders, and ensure small businesses, downtowns, and neighborhoods have high-quality, reliable infrastructure to rely on as we usher in a new era of prosperity for our state. I look forward to working with the legislature to invest these dollars and get the job done.”

“Everyone in Michigan is well-aware of the need to fix our roads, bridges and critical infrastructure,” said Doug Stockwell, Business Manager of Operating Engineers 324. “And now the federal government has joined Michigan in dedicating the financial investment to make it happen. Effective and efficient construction requires good planning, quality materials, and a highly skilled workforce like the members of Operating Engineers 324.  Governor Whitmer’s Executive Directive will make sure the planning stage is done correctly, setting Michigan residents up for better roads, bridges, and quality jobs.” 

“A bipartisan coalition passed the once-in-a-generation infrastructure plan in Washington, and the Detroit Regional Chamber urges leaders in Lansing to address the state’s long-term needs with bipartisan cooperation,” said Brad Williams, Vice President of Government Relations for the Detroit Regional Chamber. “Strategically investing in roads, bridges, broadband, and sustainable resiliency will position Michigan businesses, Michigan workers, and Michigan’s economy to thrive in the global marketplace.”

The ED directs state departments to take a range of actions to ensure that Michigan continues fixing the damn roads and bridges, including:

  • Putting Michigan workers and businesses first, prioritizing in-state businesses and workers as the state continues repairing or replacing roads and bridges.
  • Ensuring the new federal funds are used to rejuvenate local roads with the right mix of materials and complement the work in progress under the Rebuilding Michigan plan.
  • Prioritizing projects to revitalize rural and urban communities, accelerate housing and economic development, encourage outdoor recreation, and promote equity.
  • Pursuing opportunities to make our roads and bridges more resilient to flooding.
  • Helping local communities build more efficiently, using the “dig once” principle to complete work on water, high-speed internet, the road, and other utilities simultaneously wherever possible.
  • Continuing to lead the future of mobility and electrification by looking for opportunities to expedite the deployment of electric vehicle chargers while rebuilding roads and bridges.

To view the full executive directive, click the link below: 

Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan 

The historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan, formally known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, will send billions of dollars to Michigan to help Governor Whitmer continue fixing the damn roads, create millions of good-paying jobs, ensure small businesses can safely transport goods, expand the state’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure, replace aging water infrastructure, including lead service lines, and expand high-speed internet access.  

More details on the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act can be found here.

Roads and Bridges Background

Bipartisan Budget to Build Bridges

In September, the governor signed a bipartisan budget to repair or replace nearly 100 local bridges that are closed or in critical condition while creating 2,500 jobs. This investment will complement the work in progress under the Rebuilding Michigan program and will be further expanded on thanks to the billions the state is expected to receive from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

The budget also delivered on kitchen-table fundamental issues that uplift communities and enable Michiganders to pursue their potential. It put 167,000 Michiganders on a tuition-free path to higher-education or skills training, expanded low or no-cost childcare to 105,000 kids, and made the largest one-time deposit ever of $500 million into the state’s rainy day fund.

Rebuilding Michigan

The governor’s billion Rebuilding Michigan program is fixing the damn roads while supporting over 45,000 jobs. The $3.5 billion plan will continue rebuilding state highways and bridges that are critical to the economy and carry the most traffic without an increase at the pump. Rebuilding Michigan seeks long-term road health and improvements to the condition of the state’s infrastructure. The program will help Michiganders drive their kids to school, commute to work, run errands, or go up north more safely and smoothly. Investments in roads and bridges also help small businesses get the resources they need, where they need them on time.

How to Shop Small Business Saturday in Metro Detroit, Nov. 27

Holiday shopping season is in full swing. Whether you’re looking to treat yourself or find perfect, thoughtful gifts for the people you care about most, a great place to start is a local small business. Small businesses are the cornerstones of our communities and offer unique, one-of-a-kind goods that stand out from other retailers.

In the spirit of supporting these special businesses, American Express created “Small Business Saturday” in 2010 to encourage shoppers to support local businesses during the holiday season. This year, it falls on Saturday, Nov. 27. There are a host of special activities and deals to explore across the region, and we’ve outlined a sampling to check out below.

Macomb County

Win-Win: Enter to win a $150 Gift Card Through Shop Local Macomb and Help Your Favorite Local Businesses Win Funding
There are nearly 1,600 independently owned and operated retailers in Macomb County. The Shop Local Macomb contest offers shoppers a chance to win one of ten $150 gift cards, donated by First State Bank, and the opportunity to help businesses receive a $1,000 grant. Customer-submitted photos highlighting businesses will automatically enter the respective business to win a grant. Winning shoppers and businesses will be announced on Monday, Dec. 6.

To find local Macomb County businesses to check out, use the interactive Shop Local Macomb map. You can even search the map by merchandise sold or location.

Learn more about the program and its supporters: First State BankMacomb County ChamberSterling Heights Regional ChamberAnchor Bay ChamberEastpointe-Roseville ChamberGreater Romeo Washington Chamber, and Richmond Chamber of Commerce.

Oakland County

Each community and downtown area in the County are hosting deals and special activities for Small Business Saturday. Some highlights include:

Get in the Holiday Spirit While Shopping in Birmingham
There are several events going on for Small Business Saturday in Birmingham. Enjoy complimentary hot chocolate, a Santa Walk, and scavenger hunt during which you could win a $250 Birmingham Bucks gift card. Learn more and register.

Explore Shopping and more in “Frosty Ferndale”
In Ferndale this weekend, shoppers can celebrate Small Business Saturday and join Dale the Ferndalien in his quest for the perfect holiday gift. A city-wide scavenger hunt will run from noon to 5 p.m. followed by the Annual Tree Lighting at 7 p.m. The day will also feature live music, giveaways, and more. Learn more.

Win a $500 Shopping Spree in Downtown Rochester
To enter this local contest, make any purchase at a Downtown Rochester Business from Nov. 26-27 and save your receipt. Text, “SHOPSMALL” to 866-603-4005 and receive a confirmation text. Next, text a picture of your receipt from a purchase made at a Downtown Rochester Business from Nov. 26-27 to enter a drawing. A winner will be contacted on Wednesday, Dec. 1. Learn more.

Wayne County

Enter to Win Prizes When Shopping in Downtown Dearborn
Starting Saturday, Nov. 27 through Sunday, Dec. 5, more than 30 Dearborn businesses will offer special in-store deals. To enter, shoppers can scan the Shop Small QR Code at each retailer’s point-of-sale and submit their contact information. Submit your check-ins by Sunday, Dec. 5 to qualify. Learn more.

#ShopSmallDetroit this Holiday Season with Detroit Means Business and The Spirit Card
Find small businesses in Detroit to shop, dine, and enjoy this holiday season and beyond, or submit your own to be featured on the Detroit Means Business (DMB) #ShopSmallDetroit website. DMB curated a list of local businesses that create jobs, support their community, and provide Detroiters with goods and services right in the city. Check out the businesses and their special offers. You can also buy The Spirit Card to support participating Detroit restaurants and retailers.

Decked Out Detroit’s Holiday Markets: Meet the Local Vendors
Located in Cadillac Square, the market is open every Wednesday through Sunday until Dec. 31. Get to know the 18 small business vendors and their gift recommendations, ranging from clothing to home decor, scents, and treats for you and your pets on the Let’s Detroit blog.

Celebrate Small Business Saturday in Wayne with Virtual Shop Tours and a Downtown Shopathon
The City of Wayne is offering a unique opportunity to support small businesses virtually through Facebook Live tours and features. To support in person, register to join a downtown Shopathon between Nov. 23-Dec. 16.