Weekly Download Archive

Weekly Download

May 20, 2019

Monday, May 20, 2019

PlanetM Announces Pilots to Address Mobility Challenges

PlanetM, an initiative of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and a multi-sector partnership, is helping address mobility challenges in Michigan as part of their work to develop and deploy mobility technologies for the future.

PlanetM announced last week that it is providing grants to five startups that will pilot solutions to accessibility and transportation challenges across the state.

Bedestrian, based in Ann Arbor, is one of the grant recipients. Working with Beaumont Health and with the support of DENSO, a CMF corporate member, Bedestrian plans to deploy an autonomous (self-driving) drug delivery robot to transport prescription drugs from the Beaumont Hospital’s pharmacy lab to the hospital’s cancer center. The pilot is set to launch in late 2019.

Shadi Mere, CEO of Bedestrian, recently told the Detroit Driven publication that the company hopes to use the robots for more projects that will better support our aging population by delivering medical supplies to homes.

The other startup projects receiving support include an autonomous shuttle service at Oakland University, a secure prescription drug delivery system for rural homes in Battle Creek, an accessible autonomous shuttle to improve transportation services for those who may have disabilities in the area around the Detroit Medical Center and a software-based GPS receiver for autonomous vehicles.

“We’re proud to support projects that have a meaningful impact in our communities, and that serve as a model for mobility startups and corporations globally,” Trevor Pawl, group vice president of PlanetM said. “Providing funding – whether to pilot programs and their partners or for testing opportunities – helps new ideas come to fruition, as well as connecting these companies with the state’s ideal ecosystem.”

We continue to see growth in Michigan’s mobility sector as our state further positions itself as a global leader in mobility and autonomous vehicle development, research and testing.

PlanetM shares that our state has:

  • The largest deployment of freeway and surface street Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I) technology in the U.S. V2I is wireless communication that enables the sharing of location, speed and direction between vehicles and infrastructure.

  • About 120 miles of smart corridors that use cameras, sensors and the “power of big data to help drivers stay safer, avoid construction and spend less time in traffic.”

  • More than 500 miles of roadway equipped for connected vehicle testing by 2020.

More than 4,400 hours of testing have already been done at Mcity, a partner in PlanetM. Mcity is a state-of-the-art controlled testing facility for the performance and safety of connected and automated vehicles at the University of Michigan’s North Campus Research Complex.

Mcity opened in 2015 as the result of a public-private partnership and is supported by dozens of partners including several CMF corporate members: DENSO, Ford and General Motors.

Mcity’s latest numbers show that more than $26.5 million has been invested in Mcity research, development and deployment projects. The facility is working with nearly 60 industry partners to collaborate on future mobility solutions.







What’s Ahead on the Island

Next week philanthropy, business and education leaders and lawmakers will head to Mackinac Island for the 2019 Mackinac Policy Conference.

This year the central theme of the policy conference is One Michigan, with a focus on preparing our state through education and talent, growing our state through economic development and entrepreneurship and loving our state through sustainability and stewardship.

Several CMF members will lead, host and sponsor discussions about work underway to move our state forward in several key topic areas.

If you can’t make it to the island, you can follow all the action online, May 28 to May 31.

Through the support of four CMF members, Detroit Public Television will provide live and recorded coverage of the sessions throughout the conference.

Here are philanthropy-led conversations you may want to check out:

  • 5/29 at 9 am: An Equitable Start: Aligning Early Childhood and K-12 Systems to Maximize Impact featuring The Kresge Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF).

  • 5/29 at 10:30 am: Activate Change: Investing in Local Communities featuring the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

  • 5/29 at 10:30 am: Ready Students, Ready Communities hosted by The Skillman Foundation.

  • 5/30 at Noon: Filling the Skills Gap: An Open Dialogue on Workforce Realignment hosted by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.

  • 5/30 at Noon: Today for Tomorrow: Michigan Opportunities with 2020 Census Partnerships hosted and moderated by WKKF.

  • 5/30 at 2 pm: The Education Crisis: Michigan’s Response featuring The Skillman Foundation.

  • 5/30 at 4:15 pm: Dynamics of Detroit’s Startup Community hosted and moderated by the William Davidson Foundation, also featuring the New Economy Initiative.

“Michigan has a long and powerful history of public-private partnerships that work. Detroit is one community where we see this in action and the Mackinac Policy Conference agenda this year truly shows how this tradition continues,” Kyle Caldwell, president and CEO of CMF said.

CMF will be on the Island and bring you major developments on our social media channels.

Want more?

Check out the full agenda.

Follow the Detroit Chamber on Twitter for up-to-date information from the conference.

Follow Detroit Public TV on Twitter for conference coverage.






Youth Summer Employment Through an Equity Lens

Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer in Michigan and that means summer job season is just around the corner.

Several CMF members are supporting efforts around the state to connect youth, particularly underserved youth with employment opportunities.

As MLive reports the Grand Rapids Racial Equity Initiative, supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), just held a job fair in Grand Rapids for summer employment. One of the focus areas for the initiative is increasing job creation in low-income and/or diverse neighborhoods to help reduce racial disparities in the city. 

Grow Detroit’s Young Talent (GDYT), supported in part by several CMF members, recently wrapped up its application process. Now in its fifth year, the citywide summer jobs program is aimed at connecting more than 8,000 local youth ages 14 and 24 with summer employment opportunities.

“Grow Detroit’s Young Talent is all about showing your young people that they matter and that all of these business, civic and philanthropic partners are unified in their efforts to help them develop their talent and get on a career path,” Mayor Mike Duggan of the city of Detroit said.

Connecting underserved youth with such opportunities is the focus of a recent policy brief by Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan.

The brief examines the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), a partnership between Washtenaw County, MichiganWorks! and the University of Michigan.

The program employs youth to work in county jobs or in departments at U of M. It is largely focused on engaging diverse youth in high poverty areas where university enrollment has historically been low.

The brief shares how this partnership aligns with U of M’s diversity and inclusion strategic plan and how similar partnerships can connect youth with opportunities and exposure to colleges.

Key takeaways from the brief:

  • All participants received six hours of professional development training and were given 10-week job placements at 20 hours per week.

  • U of M employees received mentoring through success coaches, paid skill development sessions and employer training.

  • 82 percent of participants lived in the two county zip codes with the highest child poverty rates.

  • Two-thirds of participating students identified as African American.

  • In the first year of the program 108 youth confirmed they would participate but 29 dropped out before the first day of work and at the end 75 completed the program. In year two SYEP provided a stipend for pre-employment orientation activities which improved early drop out rates.

  • Following the program, 84 percent of the participants said they felt more prepared to apply for college.

  • This year the program plans to expand to serve as many as 200 youth.

“As universities across the country seek to bridge long-standing community-university economic divides, and broadly invest in the economic mobility of our next generation, engagement in county summer youth employment programs represents a promising opportunity,” the brief states.






William Davidson Foundation funds placemaking initiative, leads to new outdoor space at the Motown Museum

Content excerpted in part and adapted from a Detroit Free Press article. Read the full article.

Dancing in the Street Park, a new outdoor space at the Motown Museum, officially opened yesterday.

In 2018, the William Davidson Foundation provided funding to Project for Public Spaces (PPS) to administer a capacity-building program for its grantees focused on placemaking. Through this effort, PPS provided a grant to the museum for the new space. It’s one part of the major expansion and renovation project taking place at the museum.

Dancing in the Street Park now occupies the space that was once occupied by one of the eight houses that made up Gordy's Motown compound on West Grand Boulevard — the building was destroyed by fire in 1971.

It was unveiled yesterday as part of the museum’s annual Founder’s Day event.

The outdoor gathering that will be activated from May to October with public events and programs.

Other William Davidson Foundation grantees supported through the placemaking initiative are Pewabic Society, Repair the World, and University of Michigan Hillel.

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