This Week on One Detroit:

Michigan’s battle against brain drain: Washtenaw Community College FAME program connects students to careers

Michigan has been suffering from brain drain, the loss of in-state college graduates to other states after graduation, according to the Citizens Research Council of Michigan. Washtenaw Community College’s FAME program — the Michigan Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education, a work-and-learn program between the college and advanced manufacturing employers, has been taking steps to help the state change its trajectory. There are several FAME chapters across the nation; Washtenaw Community College started the first Michigan chapter in January.  

“We know there’s, at any given time, 100,000 jobs open in Michigan. We know at any given time, Southeastern Michigan where we’re situated, has probably about 30,000 to 40,000 of those jobs,” Washtenaw Community College Vice President of Workforce Development and Community Engagement Brandon Tucker said. Tucker’s goal is to get more students enrolled in the FAME program and considering staying in Michigan for their careers. Part of that work starts in high school, talking with juniors and seniors about the career options available to them in the region. 

Continuing our exploration into Michigan’s population stagnation and the future of work, One Detroit Producer Will Glover visited Washtenaw Community College’s FAME program for a look at how it’s connecting students to careers in Michigan. Glover talks with FAME student Andrew Denton about how the program has changed his life and Washtenaw Community College graduate Mike Rudisill about his career in advanced manufacturing. Plus, he talks with other students on campus who are exploring different paths, revealing a spectrum of plans – from leaving the state to pursuing careers in Michigan.

Addressing the critical needs of caregivers during National Family Caregivers Month

November marks National Family Caregivers Month, bringing attention to the crucial but often underestimated role of family caregivers who shoulder the responsibility of caring for their loved ones. As the primary source of support for older adults and individuals with disabilities, more than 53 million family caregivers provide unpaid care in America, with an economic value exceeding $600 billion.  

These statistics underscore the significance of National Family Caregivers Month as a dedicated time to acknowledge and honor the tireless efforts of these caregivers, who contribute significantly to their communities.  

American Black Journal host and One Detroit contributor Stephen Henderson recently sat down with Julie Lowenthal, coordinator of volunteer and caregiver services at the Area Agency on Aging 1-B, to delve into the myriad challenges faced by these unsung heroes. Lowenthal shared insights into the critical need for support services and resources tailored to family caregivers, highlighting the pivotal role played by the Area Agency on Aging 1-B in addressing these challenges.   

They also discussed the demanding nature of caregiving, which often leads caregivers to inadvertently neglect their own health and well-being. Plus, they explore legislative policies that could ease the burdens faced by family caregivers.

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November is Native American Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the history, tradition and contributions indigenous people and tribes have on Michigan then and today. Despite being the first to have settled in Michigan, not much of their history is known in the mainstream or taught in schools.   

Today, there are efforts in Detroit to maintain a connection to the land and to keep indigenous traditions alive, such as the Detroit Sugarbush Project, a local group who are trying to bring the Native American tradition of making maple syrup to more people. Other efforts, like Keep Growing Detroit, have found success on a more individualized scale. The nonprofit, whose mission is to help Detroiters grow fruits and vegetables in their communities, supports about 2,300 gardens across the city. 

Before colonialism, Michigan was home to thriving indigenous populations, like the Anishnaabek, which included people of the Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi tribes, also known as the Three Fires. Translated to “first people,” they were the first indigenous people to settle in the Great Lakes region. Iroquois people and people of the Huron-Wendat tribe also shared the region with the Anishnaabek tribes. 

In recognition of Native American Heritage Month in November, One Detroit contributor Bryce Huffman sat down with Antonio Cosme, an organizer with the Detroit Sugarbush Project and Keep Growing Detroit Co-Director of Education and Engagement Rosebud Bear Schneider to learn about Michigan’s indigenous history and efforts to preserve it. 

One Detroit Weekend: December 1, 2023 

Winter is knock-knock-knocking at the door, but even with the chill in the air, there’s still so much to do in and around Detroit this weekend. Cross off some of your holiday shopping at the Winter Markets in Cadillac Square or check out Noel Night coming to the Midtown Detroit. Shoe lovers can browse all the latest sneakers at the Michigan Sneaker Exchange at Huntington Place. Plus, get creative with the Detroit Institute of Arts’ printmaking notecards workshop. See what else is coming up around town on “One Detroit Weekend” with Dave Wagner of 90.9 WRCJ 

List of Upcoming Events:  

  • Support small businesses as you check off your holiday shopping list at the Winter Markets in Detroit’s Cadillac Square. Shopping is open through January 7, 2024. 
  • Marvel in the choreography of Cirque Dreams as they perform their Holidaze holiday spectacular at the Fox Theatre in Detroit Dec. 1-3. The performance blends Broadway-style music with contemporary circus artistry. 
  • Celebrate the holiday season with a visit to Santa, live music, make-and-take activities and more at the 49th annual Noel Night Saturday, Dec. 2 in the Midtown Detroit and Cultural Center District. 
  • Calling all sneakerheads — visit Michigan’s largest sneaker show, the Michigan Sneaker XChange at Huntington Place in Detroit on Saturday, Dec. 2. You can buy, sell and trade your shoes as well as shop from more than 150 vendors. 
  • Hear some of your favorite classic Christmas tunes at the Celtic Women Christmas Symphony Tour, taking place Sunday, Dec. 3 at the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts in Detroit. 
  • Join the queen of Christmas herself, Mariah Carey, who’s bringing her “Merry Christmas One and All” concert to Little Caesars Arena Friday, Dec. 1 
  • Make your own notecards at one of three Detroit Institute of Arts’ drop-in printmaking workshops on Dec. 1-3. Attendees will use foam printing plates, water-based inks and a wooden stylus to create beautiful, one-of-a-kind hand-pulled prints on paper. 
  • Learn about the life of Geddy Lee, Canadian musician and songwriter best known as the bassist and lead singer of Rush, at The Fillmore Detroit on Monday, Dec. 4 for his “My Effin’ Life in Conversation” book tour.

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