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GM begins promoting Lansing Grand River-built ATS small car

Cadillac is beginning to promote the ATS, a new small call that is being built in Lansing's Grand River plant.

According to excerpts from the article:

And last week, Cadillac debuted a video online promoting the upcoming compact rear-wheel-drive car that is scheduled to begin rolling off the line late next summer at GM's Lansing Grand River assembly plant.

The automaker is adding a second shift of about 600 workers to build the ATS. Some new employees are expected to come in early next year.

Read the entire article here.

Waverly Middle School starts year with a $1.5-million improvement grant

Waverly Middle School began the year with new programming made possible by a $1.5 million grant.

According to excerpts from the article:

The grant, which came as a result of the district's efforts to improve after landing on the state's list of "least proficient" schools in August, 2010, made for some pretty big changes, including a one-week pilot academy last month that served 91 students.

Read the entire story here.

Micro brewery on tap for Delta

Delta Township may soon have its first microbrewery on the corner of Mt. Hope and Marcy Ave.

According to excerpts from the article:

The township board agreed Aug. 15 to rezone the parcel, formerly the home of Joseph's Party Store, from low density residential to local service commercial, paving the way for the EagleMonk Pub and Brewery owned by Dan and Sonia Buonodono of Grand Ledge.

Read the entire article here.

Vietnamese congregation breathes new life into site of former Holy Cross church

The former Holy Cross Catholic Church on Lansing's west side was boarded up for two years, but thanks to a growing population of Vietnamese parishioners from the St. Andrew Dung-Lac church, it is getting new life.

According to excerpts from the story:

The Vietnamese congregation of about 180 families simply grew out of its former building on South Washington Avenue.

The congregation's move to the Holy Cross site on West Oakland Avenue gives the parish room to grow. It fills a neighborhood hole created when Holy Cross closed in 2009, leaving a once-bustling site lifeless. It even helps fill a hole in the heart for former Holy Cross parishioners.

Read the entire article here.

Retired GM Employee Starts Own Faith-Based Fashion Line in Lansing

Ray Jackson, a Lansing resident and retired GM statistician, ventured into the fashion business about seven years ago, aiming to combine evangelism and fashion with his business, Kingdom Dreams.

According to excerpts from the Article:

Jackson, 52, started off about seven years ago with an online business selling T-shirts with the logo for his brand, originally called Kingdom Wear.

He grew the label by selling clothes at Christian music concerts, fashion shows and other events.

In October 2008, Kingdom Dreams, as the company was renamed, expanded into a kiosk at the Lansing Mall, selling sweatshirts, jeans and other apparel.

Now, Jackson has a full line of men's and women's casual and formal clothing he sells online and at a recently opened a 2,020-square-foot storefront in Lansing Mall.

Read the entire article here.

Emergent Biosolutions Contract Could Be Worth $186 Million, 25 New Jobs Planned

Emergent Biosolutions has secured another federal contract, this one worth as much as $186 million. The company plans to add 25 new jobs at its Lansing facilities.

According to excerpts from the article:

Emergent said Friday it signed a contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services worth $51 million during the first two years, with options for three more years.

The company has reported plans to manufacture the next-generation [anthrax] vaccine in Maryland, though Adam Havey, president of Emergent's Lansing operations, said the manufacturing site has not been determined.

Development of the vaccine will be carried out in Maryland and Lansing, he said.

The company employs more than 400 in Lansing, up from nearly 340 at the end of 2008.

Read the entire article here.

Why The Capital Region Is A Great Place To Be An Entrepreneur

According to Doug Stites, of Capital Area Michigan Works!, entrepreneurship is possible for nearly everyone, and the Capital region is emerging as a great place for people to start a new business, take risks and seek out their passion or innovative idea. 

According to excerpts from the article.

Entrepreneur Magazine named East Lansing one of the top 10 college towns to start a business, CNN Money named Greater Lansing one of the 50 most business-friendly cities.

And most recently, well-known financial news organization Kiplinger's named Lansing one of the top 10 cities in the country for young adults.

Incubator space such as the East Lansing Technology Innovation Center, NEO Center and the Hatch is making it easier for individuals with great ideas and solid business plans to put it in action without needing much capital to start.

Read the entire article here.

Lansing State Journal Highlights the Capital Region's Architectural Gems

From the Frank Lloyd Wright home in Okemos to the interior of the BWL building, the Capital region is sprinkled with architectural quality.

According to excerpts from the article:

When sculpture is something more than art, when it’s to be worked in and lived in and played in, we call it architecture. 

Functional sculpture — architecture of significance — is part of Greater Lansing’s landscape from the state Capitol and much written about Frank Lloyd Wright house in Okemos to the bits of gingerbread that dangle from the eaves of your own home.
We are surrounded by it. . . .

“The country is becoming really homogenous,” said Laura Rose Ashlee, communications director for the state Historic Preservation Office. “The older buildings are what sets communities apart.”

Read the entire article here.

Kiplinger Names Lansing One of Nation's Top Ten Best Cities For Young Adults

Lansing is among the 10 best cities for young adults, according to a national financial news magazine. Kiplinger cited Lansing’s low rent and high-paying technology job opportunities in its list of cities, which also included Chicago, Austin and Portland, Ore.

According to excerpts from the article:

We began our search using the criteria we used to select our overall list of Best Cities for the Next Decade: healthy economies fueling new job growth.

We fine-tuned our search using other youth-friendly factors such as large percentages of people under 35, cost of living and rental costs, culture, nightlife, and the time you're likely to spend in traffic.

Home to five medical schools, two law schools and Michigan State University, Michigan’s capital is a little-known hotbed for young professionals. Granted, this Great Lakes community can’t quite compare to the larger cities on our list in terms of job prospects or things to do. But it has a relatively low cost of living. And its youthful population, downtown renewal projects, and emerging technology sector make Lansing a stand-out in mid-sized cities.

Read the entire article and view the slideshow here.

Lansing Competes For $190 Million GM Plant Upgrade

Lansing hopes to entice General Motors to invest $190 million in a Lansing plant to ramp up for production of a new vehicle.

According to excerpts from the article:

The city of Lansing could end up offering General Motors Co. $9.8 million in tax incentives if the automaker picks a Lansing plant for a new vehicle.

That is the amount of a personal property tax abatement Mayor Virg Bernero wants the Lansing City Council to approve to help persuade GM to invest $190 million to add an unnamed vehicle — and about 600 jobs — to its Lansing Grand River assembly line.

The abatement would be spread out over 25 years — or about $390,000 a year.

GM isn't saying what other sites it's considering for the work.

However, GM has said it plans to bring the work to an existing factory. In addition to Lansing Grand River, GM currently has assembly plants elsewhere in Michigan as well as in Ohio, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Texas and Louisiana.

Read the entire article here.

Capital Region Concerts Work to Build On Area's Quality of Life

As Lansing kicks off its Common Ground Music Festival, the region takes stock of the myriad benefits of its growing concert and festival lineup.

According to excerpts from the article:

From city-sponsored events to events sponsored by arts councils and businesses, organizers say the main goal is to increase the quality of life in the community.

Businesses near free-concert venues also find themselves often benefiting, creating a mix that seems to make free concerts pay off for everyone involved.

The East Lansing Summer Concert Series helps draw people to the downtown business area. But it's also a way for the city to express how much it values community events, arts and culture, and bringing the community together, said Ami Van Antwerp, East Lansing's communications coordinator.

"One of the things people really value about living here is all of the festivals and events you can attend," she said.

Read the article here.

On Earth Magazine Touts Lansing's Entrepreneurial Culture, Sustainability

MSU student and periodic Capital Gains contributor, Kelly Steffen, writes in On Earth magazine about the four key things Lansing is doing to support more innovation, sustainability and young talent in the Capital region.

According to excerpts from the article:

Many people have this perception of Michigan and even more specifically of Lansing, that is clogged with a generic negativity. I will even admit that before I plugged myself into this whole vibrant and innovative scene, I thought only "losers" who couldn't find a job in Chicago or elsewhere, stayed here.

Now, I know I couldn't have been further from the truth. Both young and old students, professionals and entrepreneurs here in Lansing work endlessly to create green cities, collaborative co-working spaces and a vibrant nightlife.

So, before you even start with "there's no opportunities nor a fun nightlife in Lansing (or Michigan)," come hang out with me and my friends for a day, we'll change your mind.

My life is booming with innovative ideas, entrepreneurial resources, incredible mentors, impressive friends in Lansing; yours could be too.

Read the entire article here.

Companies Making Dollars and Sense of Lansing’s Old School Buildings

The national magazine Next American City has taken notice of Lansing’s recent success in turning vacant neighborhood school buildings into spaces for high tech, medical and creative industries. The buildings are being scooped up by companies desiring large, relatively cheap start up space.

According to excerpts from the article:

Nanotechnology, biotechnology, and health care companies are scooping up abandoned school buildings ranging from 20,000 square feet to more than 50,000 square feet in size. After purchasing them for $100,000 to $400,000 or less than $20 a square foot, these firms are rehabbing them and turning them into economic generators.

“Over the last 20 years, we have taken five buildings that had really begun to be eyesores on the community and converted them into offices and manufacturing space,” says James Herbert, founder and CEO of the Neogen Corporation.

Neogen is a publicly traded company that develops food and animal safety products. Each year Neogen manufactures more than $50 million worth of product at its Lansing headquarters, which is divided into two campuses, both of which are situated in old school buildings.

The Lansing School District has sold more than 20 school buildings in the last four decades to a small group of tech companies, including Neogen.

Read the entire article here.

Picture Brightens as Local Auto Suppliers Anticipate Second Quarter Boost

Now that General Motors is kicking up its production, local auto suppliers are preparing for a boost in business.

According to excerpts from the article:
Milwaukee-based Manpower Inc.'s national employment outlook survey shows Lansing-area employers have more optimistic hiring expectations for April, May and June from the first three months of the year.

Manpower reported 61 percent of more than 100 Lansing-area employers surveyed plan to keep their current staffing levels for the second quarter, while 22 percent expect to hire workers and 14 percent anticipate cuts.

That's better than the first quarter, when 70 percent of roughly 150 local employers surveyed said they planned to maintain their existing workforce, 21 percent expected to cut jobs and 6 percent planned to add workers.

Read the entire article here.

Charrette Institute Co-Founder Brings Planning Ideas to 28 Regional Leaders

Charrette anyone? More than 20 urban planners and developers met with the co-founder of the National Charrette Institute to discuss how collaboration could help with Capital region building and zoning improvements.

According to excerpts from the article:

“Charrette” has become the term of art for gatherings of developers, officials, citizens, and anybody else in town with an interest in a proposed redevelopment project or zoning overhaul.

Bill Lennertz, co-founder in 2001 of the Portland, Ore.-based National Charrette Institute, came to Lansing last week to tutor 28 urban planners, developers and students from all over Michigan in the delicate art of running a charrette.

Municipalities sometimes run charrettes, but usually they are run by a team of professional designers and planners who are certified by a trainer like Lennertz.

Read the entire article here.
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