Skip to main content
Email Subscription

To sign up for email updates from Macomb County or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your email address. If you would like to subscribe for text alerts please select Text Updates in the drop-down menu.

Planning and Economic Development

Robotics Collaboration and Innovation Center announces official 501(c)(3) status, acknowledges first $85,000 in contributions

-Posted on March 4, 2020


Workers in the robotics industry are in demand. Especially here in Macomb County. Recent statistics show 13,294 people working as robotics engineers - and 211 job openings. With an average local salary of $94,000, those positions should be filled soon. But what about the next generation? Are they ready to take on these important roles?

This is where the Macomb County Robotics Collaboration and Innovation Center hopes to make an impact. The center, which opened at Velocity in Sterling Heights in January, aims to enhance the social, academic and educational environment of Macomb County and the State of Michigan through support of FIRST Robotics and similar STEM-related programming. To achieve this goal, it provides a collaborative space in which students, local businesses, professional mentors and teachers work together to develop individuals that will fuel the next generation talent pipeline.

In order to continue these efforts, the center has sought out funding from a variety of sources. And it recently announced two big wins:

  • The approval of a 501(c)(3) status 
  • The first donor contributions, including - $50,000 from the Michigan Defense Center, $25,000 from Verizon and $10,000 from AT&T




The announcements came on Friday, February 28 at a FIRST Robotics district competition held at Macomb Community College (MCC). Representatives from the partnership that formed the center (Macomb County, MCC, the Macomb Intermediate School District and the City of Sterling Heights) joined with donors to receive the sponsorship checks.

“The Michigan Defense Center is proud to be a sponsor of this initiative,” said Vicki Selva, executive director of the Michigan Defense Center. “The center will provide students with skills that will take them through a lifetime and create the workforce of the future.”

“As we embark upon the Fourth Industrial Revolution, industrial productivity will be driven by unprecedented innovation and technological advancement,” said Tupac A. Hunter, manager of State Government Affairs for Verizon. “At Verizon, we recognize that developing a strong talent pipeline is critical to our economic growth and global competitiveness. Programs like FIRST Robotics are critical to opening doors of opportunity to young people to learn, explore and create in the STEM space. We are extremely proud to partner with Macomb County to train and inspire future generations of innovators.”

“It is an honor to stand with the leaders of Macomb County and support all that has gone into FIRST Robotics,” said David Lewis, president of AT&T Michigan. “Engaging students in learning is critical to preparing them for a successful future. AT&T is committed to that engagement and very excited to see it on display here in Macomb County."

Surely, this support will help the center in its mission to build the workforce of the future. For more information on the center, click here.

Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for Macomb County Planning and Economic Development.