Director of Automation Alley to Speak at ‘Focus on the Future’ Event

MCCC to Announce College Supporter of the Year, New Partnership with EMU 

MONROE, Mich. – Thomas Kelly, executive director and CEO of Automation Alley, Michigan’s leading technology and manufacturing business association, will speak at the annual "Focus on the Future" event hosted by the Monroe County Business Development Corporation and Monroe County Community College.

The event will take place on Oct. 30 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in MCCC’s La-Z-Boy Center.

Kelly oversees strategic planning and all ongoing activities for Automation Alley, a nonprofit manufacturing and technology business association and Michigan's "Industry 4.0" knowledge center, with a global outlook and a regional focus.  It connects industry, academia and government to fuel Michigan's economy and accelerate innovation.  Automation Alley offers programs and services in business growth, entrepreneurship, talent development, defense and international business, providing resources and knowledge to help its members grow and prosper in the digital age.

In addition to the speech, there will be updates from the BDC and MCCC at the event, and the college will present the 2018 College Supporter of the Year Award and unveil a new partnership with Eastern Michigan University.

The College Supporter of the Year Award will be presented to Joseph Connors and Monroe Plumbing & Heating Co.

The College Supporter of the Year Award is presented annually by the Board of Trustees. Criteria considered includes general support for the college and its programs, volunteer work that supports the college, substantial financial and/or equipment contributions to the college, substantial scholarship donations, and/or extensive participation on college advisory, standing or ad hoc committees.

Connors, chief financial officer at Monroe Plumbing & Heating Co., has provided nearly a half century of exceptional and expert service to MCCC and the greater Monroe community.  Over the past six years, Monroe Plumbing & Heating Co. has been an instrumental partner in two major construction projects on the MCCC campus: the Career Technology Center and the campus-wide geothermal HVAC renovation project.

In 2013 Monroe Plumbing & Heating Co., after the completion of the Career Technology Center, became a major donor to The Foundation at MCCC with a $10,000 gift dedicated to the capital campaign to support the construction of that building, and last year, after the completion of the geothermal HVAC renovation project, the company added to its past generosity with a $20,000 unrestricted gift to The Foundation.

MCCC officials will announce a new partnership with EMU involving a joint promotional campaign for a transfer program in supply chain management. 

Supply chain management is area of expected strong future job growth in Monroe County with the construction of the Gordie Howe International Bridge between Detroit and Canada.  According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Michigan is already the top state in the country for logistician jobs with 8,000, and such jobs are projected to grow by 7.4 percent in the state by 2026.  The average annual salary in Michigan for a logistician is $80,040.

The articulation agreement between MCCC and EMU allows students to complete about two thirds of EMU’s bachelor of business administration degree in supply chain management degree at MCCC.

For Focus on the Future event registration information, contact LuAnn Hogberg at the BDC at (734) 241-8081, ext. 102.

Marketing & Communications

Joe Verkennes
Director of Marketing and Communications
Monroe County Community College
1555 S. Raisinville Rd., Monroe, MI  48161

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