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Focus Macomb - September 2023

Message from Mark


As September comes to a close, there is no better time to “Fall in Love with Macomb”. I encourage you to take advantage of all that this season has to offer while supporting area businesses and our farmers. You can visit one of our apple orchards and cider mills to enjoy a sweet treat with the family. Or you can ride out to the pumpkin patch and pick your own pumpkin or gourd. You can explore one of our many trails or parks to take in the spectacular colors that light up our landscape during autumn. Or you can stop into a local winery or brewery and toast to the season. There’s something for everyone in Macomb County. And to make planning your next outing easy, we’ve partnered with the Macomb County Chamber and Connect Macomb to launch our ‘Fall in Love with Macomb’ campaign, an initiative that promotes the County as a destination for fall fun. The campaign includes our new Fall in Love with Macomb site, which features listings of orchards, cider mills, haunted attractions, events and so much more. I hope you’ll take a look. And more importantly, I hope you’ll get out and enjoy all the things that make Macomb a great place to call home.

In closing, I'd like to highlight the upcoming Senior Fun Fest hosted by our Macomb County Office of Senior Services. The event will be held tomorrow, September 29 from 9 a.m. to Noon at the Lorenzo Cultural Center at Macomb Community College on Garfield and Hall Road. Admission is free, and I’m proudly serving as event emcee. We’ll have vendor tables with information for seniors and caregivers, giveaways, live entertainment, balloon artists, a photo booth raffles, photos with local celebrities – including “Roary” the Detroit Lions mascot, and much, much more. It’s always a nice time, and something I look forward to every year. So join us bright and early for good times with great people. I hope to see you there.

Take care,


Input needed from families, providers and employers to address child care landscape needs

Macomb County Child Care Coalition logo

Seeking to gain a better understanding of how child care impacts the region, Macomb County Planning and Economic Development (MCPED) is studying the issue with a goal of developing a set of recommendations that addresses concerns raised by families, employers and providers.

“We know that finding child care can be an incredible challenge for families,” said Vicky Rowinski, director, Macomb County Planning and Economic Development. “We also know that when care isn’t available, our workforce is impacted and this has a negative effect on employers. So our goal with this survey is to find out what the barriers to child care are and why they exist so we can work on a local level to remove them. It is therefore important that anyone dealing with these issues provide feedback so we can have an accurate picture of care in Macomb County.”

Funded by a grant provided through the Michigan Department of Education, MCPED formed the Macomb County Child Care Coalition in early summer to gain perspective from impacted  stakeholders. Currently, the roster includes more than 60 individuals representing families, providers, employers, municipalities and other agencies. 

The next step is to gain input through surveys designed for families, child care providers and employers. Each survey should take no more than ten minutes and individuals are encouraged to complete more than one, if appropriate, as a parent or guardian of a child, as the owner or manager of a child care program or as an employer whose workforce is impacted by child care issues.

Results of the surveys will be shared with the coalition who will work together to build a report that describes the current child care system and develop a set of recommendations that seeks to alleviate concerns identified by all stakeholders. 

“This will be an ongoing effort,” said Rowinski. “The Coalition is made up of local parents, employers, child care providers and experts that have come together with a common goal of improving child care in our community. So we’ll use the survey data and other input to make care in Macomb County more accessible for all.”

Administered by the Early Childhood Investment Corporation, MCPED is one of 16 statewide recipients of a Regional Child Care Planning Project. The grant is supported by funding provided from the Michigan Department of Education utilizing American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, the Office of Child Care, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

As a means of developing a statewide strategy that addresses the needs of families, child care providers and employers, the 16 regional coalitions will convene to share results and develop statewide solutions that may pertain to access, affordability, quality, workforce needs and more with an overall goals of addressing Michigan’s pressing need for high-quality, affordable child care.

More information about the Macomb County Child Care Coalition and access to the surveys can be found:

Residents and businesses in Macomb County asked to participate in survey on broadband internet access and speed

Broadband Survey

Macomb County officials, alongside officials in Oakland and Wayne counties, are asking residents and businesses to take a 15-question survey about internet service at their households.  

The survey asks whether high-speed ("broadband") internet service is available at a given address, and at what speed.

The goal is to gain a clearer picture of connectivity in the tri-county area and support planning and possible broadband expansion efforts.

"Internet connectivity at home is an essential service no matter your demographic or where you choose to live,” said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. “From applying for jobs, to accessing social services, and even working from home, you need a strong broadband connection to really function in this day and age. So I am pleased to see this collaboration, with all three counties working to ensure no one in the metro area is left behind. Together we can make our region even stronger." 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for broadband has become more evident, with residents working remotely, students attending school online and patients meeting doctors virtually. County Commissioners from the three counties convened in 2022 to consider how to address resident frustration over internet connectivity. In some areas, high-speed internet is unreliable, unaffordable or simply not available.

Home internet connectivity prior to the COVID-19 pandemic was viewed by many as a luxury. Now it is a necessity, like electricity and clean water. The Tri-County Summit recognized this and has committed to surveying residents and businesses to identify gaps in internet service. To accomplish this, the three counties have partnered with Merit Network to develop a survey and promotional materials aimed at reaching all properties in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties.

“When we look at all the major transformations that are happening in the tech revolution, it is so important that we get this infrastructure in play,” said Vicky Rowinski, director, Macomb County Planning and Economic Development.

Merit Network, a Michigan-based nonprofit, is conducting the service as part of its Michigan Moonshot initiative.

Visit to complete the brief survey. Paper surveys are available upon request by calling (313) 625-0029.

Newly constructed Garfield Road opens in Macomb County

Garfield Road Update

The Macomb County Department of Roads (MCDR) announced that work on the newly constructed extension of Garfield Road, between 22 Mile Road and 23 Mile Road in Macomb Township, was recently completed and is now open to traffic.

“Macomb County takes a comprehensive approach to managing our transportation network by making strategic investments and maximizing our community partnerships to enhance our roadways,” said Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel. “We will continue to work with our local communities to strengthen our transportation infrastructure and advocate for the funding we need to help fix Macomb County’s roads, bridges and transportation network.”

The project included constructing a new road that connects 22 Mile Road and 23 Mile Road, traffic light installation, new drainage infrastructure, utility modifications, and restoration work.

“Garfield Road is an important corridor that provides north and south access through Macomb Township and throughout Macomb County,” said MCDR Director Bryan Santo. “Extending Garfield Road will help improve traffic flow and ease congestion by adding much needed capacity to the transportation network.”

Phase one of the $4.5 million Garfield Road extension project began in May and was completed on time and on budget. The total construction cost included $1.8 million from the Department of Roads and $2.7 million from Macomb Township.

“The Township is thrilled to see the completion of phase one of the Garfield Road extension. It’s been a long process to get here, but thanks to the hard work and collaboration of the Macomb County Department of Roads and the Macomb Township Land Development team, we are now able to open this very important north and south connection,” said Macomb Township Supervisor Frank Viviano. “The extension of Garfield Road up to 23 Mile Road provides much needed relief to our residents as we prepare to tackle phase two and other critical road improvements.”

Phase two of the Garfield Road extension project, between 23 Mile Road and 25 Mile Road, is anticipated to take place in 2024 with an estimated construction cost of $8.27 million. Once both phases of the project are completed, Garfield Road will be a complete corridor that will serve the region for decades to come.

For a complete list of 2023 Macomb County construction projects, maps, and information, visit Motorists can stay up to date of what's happening on the roadways by signing up for Department of Roads lane closures and construction updates.

Cybersecurity the focus of fifth Macomb County industry 4.0 workshop

Cybersecurity event

Increased connectivity and increased communications mean an increase in outside threats. Businesses must carefully consider the security implications to have a successful Industry 4.0 journey, since protecting against threats is a full-time job.

Cybersecurity is therefore the focus of the fifth and final Industry 4.0 workshop presented by Macomb County Planning and Economic Development and in partnership with the Velocity Center in Sterling Heights. The workshop will take place Thursday, Oct. 19, from 8 a.m.-10 a.m. at Velocity (6633 18 Mile Road).

Attendees will learn how to stay protected and benefit from the implementation of the pillars of Industry 4.0. The workshop will cover the identification and management of security risks, protection of assets, detection of potential threats and the proper ways to respond to an incident.

The keynote speaker is Michelle M. Matte, an information systems security engineer at the U.S. Army CCDC Ground Vehicle Systems Center. Panelists include Jeff Smith from Dynics, Raj Patel from SensCy, Karen Kiewski from Systems X and Veronica Baginski, a cybersecurity specialist.

A light breakfast will be served with ample time for networking and visiting with exhibitors that offer related products and services. There is no cost to attend, but seating is limited and pre-registration is required.

The cybersecurity workshop is the fifth in a series of five offered by MCPED in 2023. The first event, held in February, discussed cloud computing and the Internet of Things. The second event in April focused on big data. The third event in June focused on augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR), and the fourth workshop in August discussed 3D printing, advanced robotics and automation.

Each of the workshops addresses individual I4.0 pillars and how interconnectivity, automation and real-time data can be implemented into a facility. To learn more check out out Macomb Next page.

 Save the Date

Senior Fun Fest
Senior Fun Fest

Friday, September 29, 2023

Lorenzo Cultural Center



Macomb Next Cybersecurity Workshop
Industry 4.0 Workshop on Cybersecurity

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Velocity Center


Department:Planning and Economic Development