GEM Central

  • In case you missed the announcement, we are pleased to introduce Jeannine Gant as GEM’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice Officer. Jeannine started with us earlier this month and is looking forward to meeting and working closely with your pillars.  
  • We are excited to share that the GEM social media channels are up and running. Please like, follow, and share with your networks!  All are linked here: LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram 
  • Additionally, GEM Central has created project-specific information sheets for you to use and share within your networks. Each contains information on the focus of the project, contact information, partner information and more. Thank you to everyone who collaborated on these; we hope it will be a valuable piece of your GEM toolkit. You can access them from GEM’s digital download page here.  
  • From a research perspective, the Social Network Analysis Research Study was sent out this week. Your participation is greatly appreciated! 
  • Lastly, please save the date for our first GEM Annual Meeting on November 6, 2023 in Detroit. We are thrilled to have Assistant Secretary of Commerce Castillo as our keynote speaker. More information to come.  

Talent Transformation



  • SEMCA’s Talent & Sector team is continuing its work with Innovative Learning Group on developing learning aids for front line staff and producing informational videos to promote the available GEM training.  It’s also working with SP Grace on designing presentation materials.  We expect all these materials to be ready by mid-October. 
  • The SEMCA Employer Services team is working with Thomas P. Miller & Associates to assist in developing a Mobility Employer Support Network.  They are in their information gathering stage, conducting interviews and focus groups with GEM subrecipient and co-recipient organizations.  We may ask members of the coalition to participate in one of these focus groups or attend our in-person session on October 12. 
  • On August 16, SEMCA coordinated a presentation on GEM to the Mobility and Manufacturing Industry Council of the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC).  Other GEM partners included MEDC/OFME, TechTown, and U of M’s Economic Growth Institute. 
  • On August 17, members of the pillar participated in an EV fleet expo tied to SEMCOG’s Smart Cities and Community Fleet Collaborative (SC2FC) efforts.  The goal of this Expo was to showcase a range of Electric Vehicles available for Community Fleets targeting representatives from local and county governments, school districts, and community colleges, in Southeast Michigan. 
  • SEMCA held a training session on 8/22 with our sub-recipients on our Launchpad CRM System.  This allows them to enter certain activities into the system and create reports on the program metrics. 


Ann Arbor SPARK  

Electric Outdoors, Inc.
EIR Consultant: Phil Swanson 

Project Description: Hardware and software product development and leveraging agile development / service design and platform thinking to deliver platform strategies for our portable, off-grid and solar-powered battery storage destination platform and mapping ecosystems and players.

EIR Consultant:
Brian Van Batavia 

Project Description: Brian will act as interim COO, where he will provide hands on help and expertise on electric vehicles, prototype to production development, experience on sourcing materials/components, valuable connections with the industry members and investors.  

GEKOT Robotics Inc.
EIR Consultant: Wiebke Hagendorf-Schroeter

Project Description: Wiebke will act as a direct mentor to the CEO as the company moves from product validation to commercialization. 

EIR Consultant: Richard Broo

Project Description: Richard Broo will play a crucial role in Snowbotix’s project management efforts, overseeing and coordinating grants related to the development, prototyping, testing, and validation of the company’s all-electric, all-terrain, and all-season multi-utility robots. As part of the project management discipline, Richard will contribute to refining the project scope, creating and executing a comprehensive project management plan, and capturing specific end-user expectations and requirements to ensure the project’s success. 

Ann Arbor SPARK at the 2023 Auto Show

  • Ann Arbor SPARK sponsored a Michigan Mobility Meetup event in Detroit on September 6 with MICHauto and MEDC which included the new Chief Mobility Officer of the State, Justine Johnson.  A2Tech360 runs from September 14-22 and included the Ann Arbor Mobility Summit on September 19. 


Michigan Founders Fund  

  • Michigan Founders Fund wrapped up its summer internship close out session.  They are revamping the internship program for fall to reach more students.  Michigan Founders Fund will be publishing its Annual Report in mid to late September. 


Global Detroit  

  • Global Detroit celebrated the graduation of its Summer Global Talent Accelerator Program (GTA) “Boot Camp” Program. GTA assists international students, both current and recent graduates, looking to succeed in Southeast Michigan’s job market and to grow their professional network. Objectives of the GTA Program are to teach international students the skills needed to promote themselves in the U.S. job market on topics including resume and cover letter writing, networking, elevator pitch creation, mock interviews, and business etiquette. Global Detroit’s Talent Team also provided students with one-on-one coaching and will continue to connect with and support the 15 students who graduated from the program. Most of the students in the GTA program are engineers and computer science graduates looking for opportunities in the region’s mobility sector. 
  • Global Detroit is now accepting applications from international students for the Fall 2023 GTA Program, which will begin in October, and will be offered both virtually and in-person. Employers looking to hire international students should reach out to Global Detroit. We have more engineers and computer science majors and other STEM folks to connect you with. 

Global Detroit Team

  • Global Detroit is also super excited to announce the hiring of two critical new staff to help us connect talent international students to Southeast Michigan’s mobility sector: 
    • Dr. Theodore (Ted) Jones will be the Senior Director of Global Detroit’s Talent Initiatives. He comes to Global Detroit after six years of working in the Detroit Public Schools Community District Central Office, where he helped lead board relations and policy development. Ted has experience in legislative affairs and community engagement and is a former Detroit Revitalization Fellow, while holding a Ph.D. in Education. 
    • Dennis Beste joins Global Detroit as the Director of the Global Talent Retention Initiative, where he will lead international student retention work. Dennis has a background in workforce development and strives to positively affect the lives of others by creating paths towards advancement. He has earned an MA in Counseling and an MBA. Before joining Global Detroit, Dennis worked for numerous institutions of higher education and cross-cultural organizations.


Detroit Regional Chamber/MICHauto  

  • Moved into their new offices at 1 Kennedy Square overlooking Campus Martius in early August.  On August 22, they hosted a mobility cluster meeting and an alignment call on September 7 with representatives from at least seven other mobility training initiatives across the state.  The Chamber is very involved with the auto show which includes partnering with the Michigan Mobility Talent Consortium to host students and educators for a tour of the show on September 14. 


Detroit Future City  

  • Is interviewing for Program Manager. They are working with U of M’s Employment Equity Learning & Action Collaborative on the development of a symposium focusing on advanced mobility and advanced manufacturing for Q1 next year,  DFC will be reaching out to their partners in the next couple months to come on board as panelists.  They are finalizing meetings with contractors to launch focus groups for later this year. These will be on workforce development, workers & learners, support agencies to help employers identify what are the gaps and opportunities to ensure equitable outcomes for HEC workers within advanced mobility. 


The Michigan Works Agencies  

  • Have been staffing, attending mobility events including the auto show, and making preparations with their job centers for launching their programs once the job aids and presentation materials have been created this fall.  A complicating but welcome issue each office is working through is how to best implement the new EV Jobs Academy grant from the State of Michigan with the Federal training dollars from the GEM grant.  In addition, Oakland County Michigan Works is looking for companies to participate in MI CareerQuest event in November (Expecting over 5000 HS students!) 


Supply Chain Transformation Center

STC is actively recruiting companies:

  • Currently 26 companies have applied for assistance 
  • STC has completed 14 company assessments with Opportunity Plan and Valuation 
  • Currently have 16 technical assistance projects in process 

STC has attended or will be attending several events:  

  • Battery Show/Electric Vehicle Technology Expo-Sept 13 
  • NAIAS – helped with booth-Sept 14 
  • Ann Arbor Mobility Summit: Sept 19 
  • AutoTech – Electrification Summit – Oct 17-19 

STC working at the GEM Auto Show booth


VIP by DRP: Site Readiness

  • VIP by DRP released an RFP for Site Scoring and Identification on August 30th, held a Q&A session on September 6th with 23 prospective bidders, and proposals were due on September 20th.  The RFP is designed to retain a consultant to score approximately 235 vacant industrial sites in DRP’s proprietary database, then rank order which sites should be prioritized for entry into the program and for future investment in the sites for physical site studies. 
  • The DRP real estate team held its first VIP Advisory Council meeting on August 2nd with ten council members participating. The council is made up of utility providers, industrial real estate developers and brokers and will meet quarterly with the next meeting scheduled for November 9th. This is an invite only council with members being nominated. 
  • The Flint Commerce Center, a 350-acre brownfield site formerly known as Buick City in Flint, MI, recently went live on the VIP website with all due diligence and wrap-around data. The site and the VIP program were recently featured in a Click on Detroit news story, link here. 
  • The VIP team is currently reviewing all Phase 2 strategy draft deliverables with Plante Moran REIA, including an updated desktop due diligence report template, an offering memorandum template, and the strategy workflow documents. 
  • VIP by DRP participated in the Midwest Real Estate Journal’s Industrial Summit on Wednesday September 20th Birmingham, Michigan. Shannon Selby, VP of Real Estate, spoke on the Regional Economic Development Opportunities for Developers & Investors panel along with partners from Oakland County and DTE.  DRP business development team members Justin Robinson, Alan Weber, Marco Salomone, and Ayesha Miah also attended. 
  • Midwest Real Estate Journals also recently released an article about the VIP program and the brownfield sites in the program, link here.