DBusiness Daily Update: USA Today Puts Meadow Brook Hall Among the Nation’s Top Historic Holiday Home Tours, and More

Meadowbrook Hall in Rochester earned fourth place in a USA Today poll for top historic holiday home tours. // Photo courtesy of Meadow Brook Hall

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

USA Today Puts Meadow Brook Hall Among the Nation’s Top Historic Holiday Home Tours

Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester has earned fourth place in USA Today’s 2023 10Best Readers’ Choice travel awards for the Top Historic Holiday Home Tours.

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The panel selected Meadow Brook Hall as Michigan’s only contender for Best Historic Home Tour from a pool of nearly two dozen historic house museums across the country. The award recognizes the Holidays at Meadow Brook events — Holiday Walk and Winter Wonder Lights.

Two other Detroit institutions were part of the contest in different categories: America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Gardner White took second place in the Best Holiday Parade in America and the Detroit Zoo was named ninth place in the Best Zoo Lights category.

“This national recognition from critics and readers around the country is such a point of pride for us at Meadow Brook Hall,” says Shannon O’Berski, director of external relations at Meadow Brook Hall. “It is a special honor to be ranked among the nation’s magnificent historic house museums for our incredible Holidays at Meadow Brook experience. We are also proud of our fellow Detroit attractions for placing in their categories — the Detroit Zoo and America’s Parade Company. It’s a wonderful recognition for Michigan.”

For more information about the Meadow Brook Hall, visit meadowbrookhall.org.

State Makes Available $5.5M to Help Expand Non-traditional Registered Apprenticeships

The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) encouraging organizations that can provide underrepresented Michiganders with access to life-changing career opportunities through the Registered Apprenticeship Program training model to apply for funding from the $5.5 million State Apprenticeship Expansion 2023 grant program.

The grant program will promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility by providing funding to expand registered apprenticeship opportunities in non-traditional sectors and occupations. It also will promote apprenticeship readiness. The focus of the funding will be to engage those most severely impacted by COVID-19, including women, people of color, individuals with disabilities, English language learners, and individuals without a high school equivalency credential.

Priority industries and occupations include:

  • Care economy (childcare, home care, etc.)
  • Climate and clean energy
  • Educational services (K-12 teachers)
  • Health care
  • Hospitality
  • Outdoor recreation
  • Public sector
  • Supply chain (logistics, warehouse, transportation and manufacturing, including but not limited to the manufacturing of semi-conductors and biomanufacturing)
  • Technology/Cybersecurity
  • Transportation (electric vehicle/advanced manufacturing)

Eligible applicants for this grant opportunity include chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, business/industry/employer associations (representing multiple employers), labor organizations, local units of government, and nonprofit organizations.

LEO anticipates awarding five to 10 grants ranging from $500,000 to $1 million.

Proposals will be accepted through Feb. 7, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. Awards will be announced March 13, 2024.

More information and a recorded pre-bid informational webinar will be available for viewing beginning Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2024, here.

Accounting Aid Society Recruiting 350 Volunteers for Upcoming Tax Season

The Accounting Aid Society, a nonprofit organization that offers free tax and financial services to individual taxpayers and small businesses, aims to recruit 350 people to participate in its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program for the upcoming tax filing season.

The 2024 tax season begins on January 30, so interested volunteers must get involved as soon as possible.

“We are actively recruiting people who can take our tax preparation and filing training course and be certified to prepare tax returns for those who need our help,” says Priscilla Perkins, president of the Accounting Aid Society. “Our valued volunteers, who are supported by our staff, say they are fulfilled when they make a difference in the lives of those we serve, and that they enjoy the camaraderie of our community.”

Volunteers can choose to participate at one of 22 tax site locations in Wayne, Macomb, Livingston, Oakland, and Washtenaw counties. Volunteers are trained to prepare tax returns for low-to-moderate-income taxpayers, at no cost. No experience is necessary to become a VITA volunteer and the Accounting Aid Society provides free specialized training. Volunteer hours are often flexible, with many sites scheduled to operate at night and on weekends.

To learn more about becoming a volunteer, see the Accounting Aid Academy on the Accounting Aid Society website or attend a virtual Volunteer Q&A session at 6 p.m. on Dec. 14. Click here to register. To volunteer, visit here.

Pistons Owner Tom Gores Helps Toys for Tots with Toy Deliveries Dec. 15

More than 7,500 toys will be distributed to families in Detroit by Marines and volunteers of the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Eastern Market’s Shed 5, thanks to a contribution from Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores and his family.

Balance bikes with helmets will be gifted to all children under three. Children ages 4-7 will receive bicycles with training wheels and helmets. Youth ages 8-10 will receive scooters and those ages 11-13 will receive wireless headphones.

Shed 5 at Eastern Market will be transformed into a festive holiday “shopping” experience where families will be invited to select gifts for their children. The Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences Youth Choir will perform three sets beginning at 8 a.m. Hot chocolate, coffee, and cookies will be provided along with appearances from Pistons mascot Hooper and the club’s entertainment team.

Mr. Gores and his wife, Holly, support a number of Detroit-area causes focused on improving the quality of life for families in need and contributing to the revitalization of the region and the state. They both grew up in the area and have supported holiday toy distributions across Michigan since 2006 and delivered more than 155,000 gifts to families, according to a spokesperson for Gores.

Washtenaw Community College Celebrates STEM Scholars; Receives $15,000 Gift to Boost Programing

Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor recently celebrated a new cohort of STEM Scholar students preparing to transfer to a four-year university.

The college hosted its ninth bi-annual STEM Scholar Transfer Celebration with students and their guests.

The STEM Scholars program supports first generation and economically disadvantaged students pursuing STEM-based degrees.

The program received a financial boost recently through a $15,000 Inclusion Initiative gift from the POWER Foundation. The funds support the purchase of supplies for workshops and practicums specific to pre-engineering, biology, chemistry, and computer science students, and MakerWorks memberships for pre-engineering student projects.

The WCC STEM Scholars Program was created to encourage, support, and facilitate success for students interested in STEM careers and seeking degrees in STEM disciplines.

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