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Planning and Economic Development


Due to COVID-19, events may be offered as a webinar, cancelled or postponed to a future date.
Please check back often for updates before attending an event.


Featured Events



Standard Work


This class is designed to provide information on a set of procedures for each operational process that documents the most effective, balanced combination of people, machines, materials, and space to meet customer demand.

A key ingredient in the creation of a LEAN enterprise, Standard Work is a set of procedures for each operational process that documents the most effective, balanced combination of people, machines, materials, and space to meet customer demand. Standard Work begins as an improvement baseline. As it is used to improve, it further evolves into a reliable method. Without Standard Work, processes will change for operational convenience, which are often not in the best interest of the organization or customer.

Location: Macomb County Planning & Economic Development, 1 S. Main St., 7th Floor, Mt. Clemens


Building Better Teams


Team building is an activity-based training that will provide participants an understanding of the importance of teamwork. It creates a climate that encourages and values team member contributions towards problem solving and continuous improvement. Through a variety of activities, participants experience challenges teams face. Team members will also learn how to analyze and discuss behavioral characteristics of people. These individual attributes contribute to mutual trust, allowing teams to learn from each other by sharing information, skills and experiences.

Location: Macomb County Planning & Economic Development, 1 S. Main St., 7th Floor, Mt. Clemens


Improving Information Security Through Risk Management



In the current age of cyber crime, the information that is important to our business is continually at risk, and a cybersecurity/information security incident can be devastating. It is vitally important that each business understand and manage the risks to their information, systems and network that support their business.

This class provides participants with the means to identify and mitigate information security risks using the NIST Cybersecurity Framework. By utilizing the five primary framework categories (Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, Recover) participants will learn how to identify information that needs to be protected, improve processes to reduce risk, identify if the information has been compromised and learn how to recover from these compromises.

Location: Macomb County Planning & Economic Development, 1 S. Main St., 7th Floor, Mt. Clemens


8D Problem Solving (CEU Credits: .7)

Monday, June 22 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Many things can go wrong in a manufacturing facility. Common problems are errors in specifications, overrun/underrun of quantities, missing production and shipping deadlines, and much more! Sometimes the solutions are not obvious to the untrained eye and mind. 

But, what is the root cause of the problem?  And, what can be done to solve the problem? Our 8D Problem Solving course presents the necessary tools and teaches how to utilize them. Yield issues, which are internal, and warranty issues, field failure and customer complaints, which are external, are introduced and worked through by teams that identify, analyze and determine root causes so that they can ultimately solve the issues.

You will learn that practical, hands-on exercises utilize standard measurement tools. The final product of this class is a student who understands how to report findings, determine and apply remedies, and solve the problems so they don’t happen again.

Location: Macomb County Planning & Economic Development, 1 S. Main St., 7th Floor, Mt. Clemens

Partner Events



Building & Optimizing Your LinkedIn Company Page for Business Development

Tuesday, May 26 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Looking to create and/or enhance your LinkedIn company to help you with business development? Attend this webinar. During the session, you'll learn:

  • Why you need a company page on LinkedIn, and how it's different than your personal profile and can be used to support your business development efforts

  • How to set up your company page

  • Simple techniques to evaluate your page performance and turn it into a lead generation MACHINE

  • Ideas for posting on your company page to support lead generation

Attendees will also be given access to a monthly Zoom group for networking, Q&A, and to share updates on your progress.

This is a small group training session with no more than 8 participants to ensure you will have the opportunity to receive personal guidance, if needed.

Tech Takeover: Use Scenario Planning to Better Navigate and Pivot Amidst COVID-19 Market Uncertainties

Wednesday, May 27 from 8:30 to 10 a.m.

In a recent survey by the National Center for the Middle Market, 51% of CEOs reported that "ongoing uncertainty is the most difficult aspect of the current environment." 

Join Shepherd Advisors and Automation Alley for a Tech Takeover focusing on utilizing scenario planning to significantly improve strategic decision making over the next 6-24 months, despite ongoing COVID-19 related market uncertainties. Scenario planning is a proven regimen companies use to navigate through profound market uncertainties. Companies that use scenario planning do not predict the future; they envision different futures - and then develop plans to succeed in each. 

Intended for business leaders responsible for strategy & growth, this event will discuss fundamentals of effective scenario planning, and walk participants through four integrated tools executive teams can use to:

  • Effectively and expeditiously generate different scenarios of the future
  • Develop strategies to succeed in each future
  • Identify and monitor leading indicators that foreshadow the emerging future
  • Act promptly to pivot as the new normal becomes clearer

Registrants will receive a free PIVOT 2020 Guidebook (ebook) in advance that their teams can use to implement four integrated scenario planning tools.


Macomb County Alliance Networking Event

Wednesday, May 27 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

A virtual joint chamber networking meeting.

Tech Takeover: How to Deploy Robotic Automation on Your Own - Livestream Event

Wednesday, June 10 from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Join Automation Alley and READY for a Tech Takeover exploring new technology that enables manufacturers to implement robotic automation on their own. READY is the developer of Forge/OS, a user-friendly programming interface to many robots, and will discuss the barriers that prevent manufacturers from leveraging robotic automation. They will show how No Code programming makes robotic automation accessible to all manufacturers - regardless of size.

READY will present:

  • Their solution to the challenges manufacturers face programming and deploying robots with their existing staff
  • Case studies from two manufacturers who implemented robotic automation on their own
  • A machine tending task developed from scratch in 30 minutes using cross-brand No Code robot programming software

Register now for this Tech Takeover to see how you can leverage these technologies to rapidly deploy robotic automation on your own - with no external resources.

Federal Market Research - 201 - Webinar

June 11, 2020, 9 am - 12:30 pm

The second core class in Macomb Regional PTAC’s Core Series of Federal Government Contracting is Federal Market Research – 201. This training will help you identify who your customer and competitors are, as well as the current and future outlook for your industry. You will learn how to research the consumer by identifying federal agencies who are buying what you’re selling. You will also learn how to research the competition by identifying who is already selling your service or product to the federal government and for how much. And finally, you will learn how to research your industry by identifying what are the federal government’s past, present and future procurement and industry trends. Prerequisite: Introduction to Federal Government Contracting - 101
Location: Webinar

Doing Business in Mexico

Wednesday, June 24 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

COVID-19 UPDATE: Due to the ongoing threat of coronavirus, Automation Alley has made the decision to move this event to June 24. If at that time we are unable to safely meet in person, we will move to a virtual format and you will receive an email with a link to view the livestream. Our goal is to ensure health and safety while providing valuable experiences for our members and the business community. If you have any questions, please contact

Expand your business to Mexico, the world's second-largest market for U.S. exports. Join Automation Alley and a group of international business experts for a discussion on how American companies can succeed in Mexico. Hear first-hand accounts from business owners about their experiences in Mexico and discuss export challenges, opportunities and the support that is available to Michigan companies, including Automation Alley's Trade Mission to Mexico Sept. 20-25.

This event is supported by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Location: Automation Alley, 2675 Bellingham, Troy

Industry 4.0 In Focus Episode 01: Inside the Report—2020 Key Findings & Velocity Index

Monday, July 13 from 11 a.m. to noon

Automation Alley’s Technology in Industry Reveal is going virtual for 2020! Join us this summer, beginning July 13, as we debut Automation Alley’s 2020 Technology in Industry Report, titled Industry 4.0 in Focus, and launch a livestream series featuring Automation Alley Executive Director and CEO Tom Kelly and the report’s key contributors from industry and academia as they break down the report’s emerging technology trends, case studies and action items for industry. 

As we enter a new decade, the opportunities associated with Industry 4.0 are enormous. 5G technology will unlock the bandwidth to make Industry 4.0 truly possible, collaborative robots will become more agile and configurable and artificial intelligence will continue to become more sophisticated. While these rapid technological advancements provide manufacturers with great opportunities for growth, 2020 is also a time of profound uncertainty for business leaders and the global workforce as we face new challenges around the enormous amounts of data we are collecting, disruptive and sophisticated cyber threats and the impact and fallout of coronavirus, the worst pandemic of our lifetimes. 

Join us as we address these most pressing challenges—as well as the greatest opportunities—impacting the business world today. How should companies prepare in 2020 and beyond for the digital transformation and position themselves for long-term strategic success?

Location: This is a livestream-only event.