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When Jim Hackett retired from the corner office at Steelcase Inc. in 2014, he told MiBiz the “narrative is still being written” about what he planned to do in the next phase of his professional life.

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) has struggled in recent years amid budget cuts, staff reductions and a breach of public trust after an automated computer system falsely accused 20,000 residents of fraud over a two-year span. Michelle Beebe aims to change that. Beebe was appointed to lead the UIA in late April, following the state’s decision to reassign the former director Sharon Moffett-Massey in the wake of the false-fraud allegations. Beebe comes to Michigan from Utah where she led that state’s unemployment agency since December 2014. After three weeks on the job, Beebe spoke with MiBiz about the challenges the UIA faces in Michigan and how she plans to help improve the agency.

Jackson-based Consumers Energy says it hears loud and clear the message from a growing number of large Michigan businesses that want their electricity to come from renewable sources.

BATTLE CREEK — Through a new partnership with one of the world’s largest commercial airline carriers, Western Michigan University hopes to become a premier institution for training aircraft maintenance personnel.

West Michigan continues to attract people looking to start, scale and grow all manner of business ideas.

His first business presented workshops on renewable energy at elementary schools and included solar power kits students could assemble.

As demand for engineering talent continues to intensify, some West Michigan liberal arts colleges are partnering with larger state-funded institutions to add niche programs to their curricula.

A year after diversifying its focus beyond alternative energy technology, Muskegon Innovation Hub continues to find ways to reach and serve both entrepreneurs and the greater community.

GRAND RAPIDS — With three offers on the table to acquire its under-utilized downtown office building, Kent County officials now have a decision to make: whether to actually sell the facility at 82 Ionia Avenue NW.

Bodman PLC became the second Detroit-based law firm to enter the Grand Rapids market in recent months with the opening of a new downtown office.

LANSING — Farmers in Michigan are becoming increasingly dependent on guest workers to fill a void left by migrant laborers who are opting out of coming to the state to harvest crops.

GRAND RAPIDS — When Edwin Collazo and Dave Petroelje announced plans in late 2015 to launch a craft brewery north of downtown, only one other producer had set up shop in the area.

NEWAYGO — One West Michigan entrepreneur hopes to use data science to make users of medical oxygen systems safer with a handful of new products.

In 2013, the discovery of a large deposit of high-quality potash in Michigan touched off a wave of public attention.

More bank branches closed in Michigan than in 45 other states in the years following the most recent financial crisis.

Giving up a Harvard University education to help develop a high-tech wearable device for elite athletes might sound crazy to some.

MiBiz Growth Report: May 30, 2017

Written by | Sunday, 28 May 2017 16:40 |

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for May 30, 2017: 

• M&A: Grand Rapids-based FEDCom Credit Union, which has three offices in the Grand Rapids area with 7,654 members and assets of $67.6 million, proposed to merge into Midland-based Members First Credit Union. Members First has eight offices, 50,680 members and $480 million in assets. The deal was listed in a monthly activity report issued by state regulators.

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