| Follow Us:
Lansing Center - Photo Dave Trumpie
Lansing Center - Photo Dave Trumpie | Show Photo

Southside : Innovation & Job News

169 Southside Articles | Page: | Show All

Camp helps youth improve athletic movement

Young athletes between the ages of 6 and 10 will have the opportunity to improve their athletic movement through an expansion to the Speed and Athletic Enhancement camps offered by the Spartan Nutrition and Performance Program (SNAPP).

SNAPP supports young athletes in the Lansing area by providing training, testing, sports nutrition expertise and a research library at Michigan State University.

“Physical education has been cut out of the public school curriculum in the last decade,” stated Joe Eisenmann, director of SNAPP and professor in the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State University. “This program is in response to a call out from the community and parents of younger athletes who want to help their children develop fundamental motor skills.”

The FUNdamentals of Athletic Movement is scheduled for every Sunday from 6p.m. to 7p.m. starting April 27, 2014 and ending on May 25, 2014. The camp will be held at Hannah Community Center in East Lansing. For more information or to register, visit SNAPP.msu.edu or call 517-884-6133.

Source: Joe Eisenmann, Spartan Nutrition and Performance Program
Writer: Tashmica Torok, Innovation News Editor

Lansing-area fire initiative honored

Six Lansing-area jurisdictions shared the spotlight at the Michigan Municipal League’s Region 2 Community Excellence Award (CEA) for their winning project, Metro Connection: A Greater Lansing Shared Services Fire Initiative.

“This project was about finding ways to share  policies and procedures that improve the effectiveness of our city’s emergency response teams,” stated City of East Lansing Mayor Nathan Triplett. “Many would be surprised about how differently area fire departments respond to emergencies.”

Participating fire departments included the cities of Lansing and East Lansing, Meridian, Lansing, Delta and Delhi Township.

“This project is unique to the competition in that it is a collaboration between Lansing-area jurisdictions and not a brick and mortar business innovation,” emphasized Triplett. “It’s also a great example of how municipalities can provide high quality public services with significant budget constraints.”

The joint project received top honors at the League’s 2014 Capital Conference and will now go on to compete for the statewide CEA title in Marquette on October 14-17, 2014.
 

Hunt for Points and discover culture in your community

A scavenger hunt app created to help community members discover culture in their own community will be releasing an updated version.  The concept for Pointillism was inspired by the Dirty Feet Adventure race whose tag line is ‘Never Stop Exploring’.

“We wanted to create a similar experience that people could do on their own time,” said Jeff Smith, CEO. “We wanted people to get out into the community and discover it in a fun way.”

 Smith and his team partnered with Lansing Give Camp to create the early stages of the app and eventually developed Pointillism into a mobile map where users could check in to unique local sites and earn points on a leaderboard.
The new version will allow users to create private scavenger hunts with as many points of interest as they want. The potential for commercial use is extensive. Michigan State University is interested in setting up a private hunt for incoming freshman to help them get familiar with the campus. This feature is available for a fee with a cost structure based on the amount of users able to participate.

Pointillism has already been utilized by participants of Be A Tourist In Your Own Town.

 “People may not know the awesome things in their own community. Pointillism works to provide users with an insider’s view on a new community while competing against others.” said Smith.
 
 Source: Jeff Smith, Pointillism
Writer: Tashmica Torok, Innovation News Editor

GTRI and Prima Civitas team up to enhance Michigan's talent pipeline

Global Talent Retention Initiative(GTRI) and Prima Civitas team up to expand Michigan’s talent pipeline in an effort to cultivate greater economic prosperity for the state.

“Our goal is attracting and retaining talent, whether it comes from within our borders or beyond.” said Prima Civitas CEO Arnold Weinfeld. “Michigan is in catch up mode when it comes to having a highly skilled labor force for the kinds of high wage jobs that are present in our economy today.”

Due to the lack of skilled labor in our country, this initiative is one that encourages an enhancement to our statewide diversity while creating a community that is attractive and welcoming to the immigrant population. This diversity is expected to also attract a younger generation that enjoys diverse surroundings and experiences. Additionally, attracting international students and helping employers sponsor them drives up wages in Michigan because of prevailing wages.

“You are losing half of your talent pool if you don’t consider international students,” asserted GTRI's Director, Athena Trentin. “We don’t have enough engineering students with Masters Degrees or PHDs in Michigan right now. “

Currently, 40% of engineering degrees are awarded to international students with 50% of the degrees earned at the PHD level. 

Source: Arnold Weinfeld, Prima Civitas and Athena Trenton, Global Talent Retention Initiative
Writer: Tashmica Torok, Innovation News Editor

Two Men and a Truck launches Career Move Month

Two Men and a Truck launches Career Move Month in March with a goal of accepting 10,000 applications and hiring 1,000 people nationwide, 24 people in the Greater Lansing area.

"This is an opportunity to showcase the careers and potential for career advancement with Two Men and a Truck,” said President Randy Shacka. “It’s also a way to proactively plan for the busy season between May and September.”

Career Move Month began in 2013 with 1,000 applicants and 550 people hired nationwide.  The local business has seen impressive growth this year signing their largest number of new franchisees and hitting their highest revenues ever. As a system, their focus turned towards improving sales processes and finding the right people to help continue this growth.

“It was the perfect storm of people, processes and technology.  We had to ask ourselves what we could do differently to sustain our growth,” said Shacka, who originally started as an intern with the expanding company. “Companies do not make great companies. People do.”

The diverse positions available will range from movers and drivers to sales and management. The increase in staffing at the Lansing corporate office will require a 7 million dollar expansion of the Greater Lansing home office. 

In addition to the reinvestment in the economic improvement of the Mid-Michigan area, Two Men and a Truck will donate $5,000 to 5 different Dress for Success locations to support career advancement for low-income women nationwide.
Interested candidates can search for existing opportunities at careers.twomenandatruck.com.

Source: Randy Shacka, Two Men and a Truck
Writer: Tashmica Torok, Innovation News Editor


MSU Extension provides fiscal sustainability training for Lansing City Council

The Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce (LRCC) supports a new program facilitated by Michigan State University Extension that offers City of Lansing officials fiscal sustainability training.

“The financial challenges that the City of Lansing is facing right now are significant,” stated Tim Daman, CEO and President of the LRCC. “Providing an additional outside resource and the tremendous amount of knowledge that Dr. Eric Scorsone of MSU Extension brings to the table will help better educate government officials through this process.”

The training is offered in six modules offered over the course of three 2-hour. Although the modules are geared towards helping Lansing City Council officials make educated decisions that will positively impact the budget, any government official is welcome to attend the interactive workshop sessions.

“We have been working very closely with the City of Lansing and we know the fiscal challenges they are facing,” shared Daman. “We need the City of Lansing as strong and fiscally sound as possible to ensure the fiscal sustainability of our government entity.”

Source: Tim Daman, Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce
Writer: Tashmica Torok, Innovation News Editor 

E-commerce community brings student art to area businesses

In October 2013, Victoria Bujney, Ashley Brimley and Caitlin McDonald participated in Startup Weekend Lansing. Within 52 hours they had created a rough concept for Folyo, a social e-commerce community geared toward student artists.

“Even if students had amazing work, they were selling to other students who couldn’t afford their art,” said Bujney, co-founder and CEO of Folyo. “Small and medium businesses don’t have the time or resources to pursue art but they have the budget that can afford student art.”

Folyo creates a bridge between talented artists and a market of small to medium sized businesses that want beautiful original art. The co-founders focus heavily on building a community of art enthusiasts who can get to know and engage with the artists creating their one-of-a-kind piece.  It also provides a space for artists to sell their art as well as an opportunity to learn how to price and eventually market their pieces.

“I think a lot of people, expect something like this to come out of New York and California. We have extreme talent here in Michigan.” said Bujney

Folyo is set to launch in April 2014. There is an open application process for top notch artists in the Michigan area. Visit www.folyo.co for more information.

Ashley Brimley is the Chief Operating Officer and the artist who inspired the idea behind the new venture while Katelyn McDonald serves as the startup's Chief Technical Officer.

Source: Victorie Bujny, Folyo
Writer: Tashmica Torok, Innovation News Editor

4-H Renewable Energy Camp introduces local students to innovative technologies

Local youth between the ages of 13 and 19 are invited to apply to attend the 4-H Renewable Energy Camp.

Starting June 23rd, students will reside in dorms to experience college life and participate in off campus tours around the state to learn about the unique role the state of Michigan plays in renewable energy.

Topics of study will include solar, wind and cellulose power sources. Instructors will show students the process of growing crops like soy beans, corn and sugar cane specifically for the purpose of converting them into energy that can be utilized by the community they live in.

“It will be a dynamic experience that exposes children to renewable energy and how they might be a part of it,” said Jacob Dedecker, Stem Program Leader for MSU Extension. “We provide youth with examples of what careers look like now and what they may be like in the future.”

There will also be a Teen Challenge component of the camp announced in the future.  Participants will work with leading researchers and industry leaders to find solutions to renewable energy problems and make their own experiments.

While creating awareness for the work that Michigan State University and local industries do within the different facets of renewable energy technology, the camp organizers seek to highlight successes and initial endeavors in the field for students interested in pursuing a career in the field.

The application for the camp is available online here. The cost of the camp is $190 for 4-H members and $200 for non-members. The fee includes meals, lodging and camp materials. 

Source: Jacob Dedecker, MSU Extension
Writer: Tashmica Torok, Innovation News Editor

CAWLM donates $15,000 to Lansing Promise with partner AT&T

The Capital Area Women’s Lifestyle Magazine (CAWLM) and AT&T donated $15,000  to Lansing Promise.

This is the second year that the CAWLM has chosen Lansing Promise as the beneficiary of their annual 80s Flashback Fundraiser. Dedicated to helping students continue their education after high school, Lansing Promise awards college scholarships to Lansing students.

“Anytime we give back to a local cause there is a larger goal of positively impacting the community as a whole, not just the specific organization we give to," said Emily Caswell, Managing Editor of the CAWLM. ”From the start, the event has been, not only totally rad, but a fundraising event for a community cause.”

During the fundraiser, the University Club’s Henry Center is transformed to give guests the feeling that they’ve been transported back in time. Popular 80s cover band Starfarm provides the entertainment while costumed attendees dance, perform in an 80s Idol Contest, enjoy a candy table and a cash bar with a signature 80s drink. AT&T works as a partner to secure funding for the event.
 
“I believe that students who receive this funding for college or post-high school job training will not forget how their community supported them and in turn, when they are ready and able, will do great things for their community.” asserted Caswell.

The CAWLM 80s Flashback Fundraiser will be held on March 22, 2014 and tickets are on sale now at www.cawlm.com

Source: Emily Caswell, Capital Area Women's Lifestyle Magazine
Writer: Tashmica Torok, Innovation News Editor

Cooley Law School supports legal writing competition

Students across the state will compete for prize money, publication and recognition through the Innovation and Intellectual Property (IP) Legal Writing Competition co-sponsored by the Intellectual Property Law Section (IPLS) of the State Bar of Michigan and Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
 
“Across the world, the industries generating jobs are those based on new technologies,” emphasized Prof. Barry, “This is one strategy to create an environment statewide where those kinds of business can prosper.”
 
Professor David C. Barry is a Professor at Thomas M. Cooley Law School, a private, nonprofit, independent law school and director of the Graduate Program in Intellectual Property Law.
 
“Regardless of where Michigan students eventually practice, they will have more insight into IP and be better equipped to advise their future clients.” stated Barry.
 
Open to all students enrolled in a Michigan law school, the deadline to submit entries is May 15, 2014. The IPLS provides volunteer judges who review the papers and select a winner. In addition to winning prize money, awardees have their original work published in the IPLS Proceedings journal and are recognized at their annual IP seminar in March. 

Source: Professor David C. Barry, Thomas M. Cooley Law School
Writer: Tashmica Torok, Innovation News Editor

Study Finds 'Hip-Hop' Students Face Disciplinary Discrimination

A new study finding that Black and Latino students who identify with ‘hip-hop’ culture face unfair disciplinary practices in urban schools may help shape more equitable school districts in the Greater Lansing area.
 
Professor Muhammad Khalifa performed an ethno-graphic study to understand the full cultural context of schools in Southeastern Michigan over the course of two years. The study gathered individual responses, field notes, school data and involved shadowing subjects to create a more in depth picture than what could have been represented with interviews and surveys.
 
Khalifa, a Michigan State University assistant professor of education completed his investigations during his Doctoral work.
 
“Traditional schools have casted aside ‘hip-hop’ culture as a deviance,” said Khalifa. “There are achievement, suspension and disciplinary gaps that can be resolved if educators begin to view these students as assets instead of burdens.”
 
The findings of this study follow a recent charge from the Obama administration to discontinue zero tolerance policies that critics believe marginalize students that do not conform to their school district's cultural norms. Based on Khalifa’s study, schools can perform an equity audit to determine which students, parents, teachers and non-instructional staff are feeling excluded by the school system.
 
“We are very clear on which teachers are struggling and how to map a plan for improvement,” asserted Khalifa, “Until we have a handle on our equity data and a plan to create a district that is inclusionary instead of exclusionary, than we are not serious about reforming education.”

Professor Khalifa is currently working with a team to provide area schools with access to an online equity audit that can be performed and returned electronically. This inexpensive resource would generate a report giving school leaders and communities an equity benchmark for their school, as well as a way to move forward in an inclusive and culturally responsible way.
 
Source: Muhammad Khalifa, Michigan State University
Writer: Tashmica Torok, Innovation News Editor
 

Grant Award to Fund STEM Education for At Risk Girls

Young girls in the Greater Lansing area will have the opportunity to participate in ‘girls only’ STEM clubs through a new program called 2020 Girls.
 
A partnership between the Information Technology Empowerment Center (ITEC) and the Michigan Council of Women in Technology (MCWT) was recently awarded a $26,000 Women’s Initiative Grant by the Women’s Leadership Council of the Capital Area United Way to support this new program for at risk girls.
 
“15% of Computer Science students at Michigan State University are women and 85% are male,” says Kirk Riley, Execituve Director of ITEC. “That’s an incredible disparity.”
 
Since its formation in 2008, the ITEC has worked to provide resources to help students improve their grades in science and math. Their IT based programs are implemented at community locations like the Capital Area District Library, the YMCA and Lansing Community College. Students are given the opportunity to learn robotics, basic programming, digital media and game design.
 
“We try to play to a child’s inner geek and help them learn through play,” Riley said.
 
2020 Girls will have an innovative laser focus on improving the way that at risk girls experience science and math.  The ITEC is proposing that STEM clubs be set up at schools within the Lansing School District were young girls will experiment with building robots, developing apps and designing their own video games. 

The hope is that 2020 Girls will teach young girls 21st Century skills like problem solving, analytical thinking, collaboration and creativity while encouraging them to keep their sights on STEM careers past middle school when they typically lose interest.

Source: Kirk Rily, Information Technology Empowerment Center
Writer: Tashmica Torok, Innovation News Editor

Spoke8 Marketing Grows by 50%; Increases Staffing

Spoke8 Marketing inspires their clientele to think about their marketing in a new way.

As a company touting an Inbound Marketing Certification for 2 years running from Hubspot, it may be their concise approach towards targeting their client’s audience that allowed their company to grow by 50% this year. Inbound Marketing methodology has been proven to increase the impact of marketing efforts for businesses and provide clientele with improved return on their investment (ROI).

The marketing, media, design and web company hired 3 new staff members increasing their total number of employees to 8 in 2013.

“We are looking for a Drupal Web Developer who will be responsible for assisting our current development team and taking our client’s websites to the next level”, says Ann T. Siegle, Chief Executive Officer.

The Lansing area has provided the company with access to a pool of talented young professionals educated locally that enjoy staying connected to peers in similar creative fields of interest. Siegle credits the atmosphere of the city for helping Spoke8 Marketing retain local talent.

“Lansing has a lot going for it,” said Siegle.

Spoke8 Marketing will be listing a position for a full time writer with Capital Area Michigan Works before the end of the year to assist with both short and long form writing assignments. They will also be moving to a larger location in Lansing to accommodate the growth of their staff.

Source: Ann T. Siegle, Spoke8 Marketing
Writer: Tashmica Torok, Innovation News

Capital Strategies growing team, growing impact

Capital Strategies, LLC is a comprehensive financial planning company residing in Lansing. Whether it's accumulation, distribution, or estate planning, they serve those in all phases of financial planning.
 
"Every person has a unique financial fingerprint, so every financial plan we design is tailored to meet individual circumstances," says Shannon Poynter, Business Development Director at Capital Strategies.
 
Capital Strategies helps to identify where clients are financially to help determine if they are positioned to sufficiently meet both current and future needs. They also assist in designing and implementing a plan based on client inputs and their professional recommendations and monitoring the plan once in place.
 
They recently moved to a new office after expanding their team. With a staff of five, Capital Strategies is looking to hire an executive assistant and an additional financial planner in the near future.
 
"The wealth of economic diversity in the area has definitely had a positive impact on our business. Greater Lansing has a diverse group of individuals with unique needs who we have been able to help with their financial needs and goals," adds Poynter.
 
Source: Shannon Poynter, Capital Strategies LLC  
Writer: Veronica Gracia-Wing, Innovation News
 
Have an innovation news story? Send Veronica an email here.

Ayers Basement Systems celebrates 32 years in business, continues in growth mode

After 32 years in business, Ayers Basement Systems has no plans of slowing down. The Lansing-based company provides basement waterproofing and foundation/crawl repair services not only to the Greater Lansing area, but throughout the lower peninsula.
 
"We've been in growth mode for the past 4 years," reports Marketing Manager, Cathy Burke. Ayers currently has a staff of 41 and is in the process of hiring management level and sales representative staff.
 
Ayers is part of a network of more than 300 basement systems dealers throughout North America, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. No strangers to innovation, Basement Systems, Inc. has been awarded 28 patents and 19 innovation prizes on waterproofing products, including a battery back-up sump pump system. "That's innovation Ayers is bringing to the Lansing area every day," Burke says.
 
Spending the past 31 years in the Greater Lansing area has been good to the company, allowing them to cultivate a new, alternative energy branch of the company, Dr. Energy Saver. 
 
Source: Cathy Burke, Ayers Basement Systems    
Writer: Veronica Gracia-Wing, Innovation News
 
Have an innovation news story? Send Veronica an email here.
169 Southside Articles | Page: | Show All
Share this page
0
Email
Print
Signup for Email Alerts