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The Stories Metro Detroit Tells

Heard any good stories lately? If you live in Metro Detroit there's no excuse for you haven't. Between TED talks and MOTH story competitions and Nerd Nite show and tells, locals have been telling tales worth listening to. Metromode's Nicole Rupersburg rounds up who's yammering where.

OPINION: Change Michigan Law, Not Yourself

Incredibly, if you are lesbian or gay, bisexual or transgender and work in Michigan you can be fired for simply being who you are. Curtis Lipscomb of KICK, a Detroit agency for LGBT African Americans, says the time to change the law is now.

Hand Blown Inspiration

People in glass houses... should probably take a class at The Glass Academy in Dearborn. From local craft brewery fans (who make their own mugs) to healthcare workers to an annual glass pumpkin fest, this innovative small business has found a way to introduce old world skills to new economy talent.

Guest Blogger: Amanda Uhle

Since 826michigan, a nonprofit writing and tutoring center, opened its doors in Detroit it has not only assisted elementary- through high-school students, it's also made a difference for the adult volunteers donating time and smarts to their community. 826michigan Executive Director Amanda Uhle elaborates.

Why They Sit on Their Local School Boards

Let's face it, being a school board member can be a tough and thankless job, especially if you have kids enrolled in the very educational system you help to oversee. To get an insider's view, Metromode's Amy Kuras chats with parents of school-age kids who also serve as school board members in Dearborn, Northville and Royal Oak.

Dearborn Nurtures Tween Entrepreneurs

If chess club, violin lessons and Little League haven't already taken over your kid's after-school schedule, the Dearborn Chamber of Commerce has the next must-attend extracurricular activity: the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. It's a weekly program that teaches teens and tweens how to launch their own start-up.

A New Way to Look at Vacant Spaces in Metro Detroit

Placemaking and land-banking are all the rage these days but neither are easy to measure with any accuracy. So, how do you get the biggest bang for your economic development buck? Enter Nigel G. Griswol, an economic development consultant who has crunched the numbers.

Guest Blogger: Marianne Dorais

It's common knowledge that arts programs are among the first to get the axe when K-12 budgets are cut. The ripple effect: with fewer artists, regions lose their creative and intellectual vibe. Marianne Dorais, executive director of Michigan Youth Arts, makes a case for for creative peoplemaking.

Trade Missions Bring Foreign Markets to Metro Detroit

It's not uncommon to hear about government officials and business leaders going on international trade missions on behalf of metro Detroit. But what exactly does that mean? Metromode's Dennis Archambault demystifies the processes and practices of opening up foreign markets to local companies.

Distilling the Greatness of Michigan-Made Spirits

With all the enthusiasm for locally sourced products, micro-brew culture, and craft cocktails, it seemed inevitable that micro distilleries would be the next big thing. And with recent changes to Michigan's liquor laws it has. Nicole Rupersburg drinks in metro Detroit's growing (and award-winning) spirits industry.

Global Talent, Local Benefits

Local businesses are hiring... but struggle to find the employees they need. Enter Athena Trentin, director of the Global Talent Retention Initiative, who wants to see the international students who graduate from our universities stay here to work. And it says something that she's convinced her pro-union dad that what she's doing is good for Michigan's economy.

Guest Blogger: Regina Bell

Of interns offered full-time employment, nearly 90% of them are still on the job after one year, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Regina Bell, executive director of Intern in Michigan, discusses why internships are a proven way to keep Michigan young.

From Bath City to Tech City: Mt. Clemens

When an old firehouse becomes the new home of eyeWyre Software Studios, you know things are evolving. That's the story of downtown Mt. Clemens, which is increasingly becoming a cool, affordable waterfront downtown for high-tech firms.

Guest Blogger: Tim Ruggles

The flipside of economic development and gentrification is escalating housing prices, where those making moderate incomes can't afford to live in the communities they serve. It is often up to nonprofits to ensure that communities maintain this rich cultural and work ethic. Tim Ruggles, CEO and executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County, fills us in on the housing struggle in one of the nation's wealthiest regions.

Building a World of Glass

From restoration to creation to innovation, Rocky Martina's life is centered around glass. If you've been to the Fox Theatre, you've seen his stained glass work. And like many self-made entrepreneurs, this Oakland County artisan is expanding his interests by helping to launch a new masonry coating start-up.
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