All ways, moving forward with Dave Coulter newsletter

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June 9, 2022

Bi-Weekly Executive Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Oakland County got more great news last week during the Mackinac Policy Conference when the World Economic Forum, in collaboration with Automation Alley, Oakland County and the Michigan Department of Economic Development, announced that the first U.S. Center for Advanced Manufacturing will be located in Troy.

This significant announcement continues to cement the county and state’s status as leaders not only in traditional manufacturing as the birthplace of the Arsenal of Democracy but in advanced technology as well.


Mackinaw Conference

The goal of this center, one of 14 in the world, is to support state, regional and nationwide efforts to increase the use of advanced manufacturing tools.


This sends the message that we are no longer the “Rust Belt,” tied to antiquated notions of assembly lines and shuttered factories. By embracing innovation and new technologies, along with the siting of this new Center in Troy, we are poised to lead the nation, and frankly the world, in advanced manufacturing.


Oakland County will invest $3 million over the next three years to support the Advanced Manufacturing Center. This will only help enhance the county’s manufacturing sector, which includes 2,500 businesses, and more than 67,000 jobs.


The U.S. Center for Advanced Manufacturing is an excellent fit for Automation Alley and Oakland County because we are already putting theory into practice with our Project Diamond initiative, which provided $10 million in 3-D printers to 250 small manufacturers. We intend to expand on this investment to accelerate the transition toward advanced manufacturing and help our businesses become more nimble and adaptable in the more competitive and ever-changing global marketplace.


Those 3D printers allowed companies to drastically cut costs to make components and parts more efficiently and quickly, expand into other product lines and work collaboratively with a network of other companies using the 3D printers.


Having the Center in Oakland County gives us the ability to drive transformational projects, and pilots at the local, regional and national levels.


This initiative fits perfectly into our five-year strategic roadmap, which includes building a thriving and inclusive economy where our businesses can succeed and our residents can benefit from the good-paying jobs that will come to the county.


I’m thankful for this new partnership with Automation Alley, the state, and the World Economic Forum. This is a game-changer for our manufacturing sector, which is being challenged on a daily basis to stay ahead of the curve in this highly competitive environment.


With Gratitude,

Dave Coulter

Oakland County Executive

environmental health

Service highlight of the week: Environmental Health


Did you know that there are more than 4,500 public kitchens in Oakland County and the 38 dedicated inspectors and six supervisors in the Environmental Health section of the Health and Human Services department do health inspections on each facility twice each year? That translates into about 180 facilities per employee.

It can be as small as a food truck, as utilitarian as a school or church cafeteria, as fancy as a five-star restaurant or as large as the big banquet facilities scattered across the county, the inspectors are making sure that our food service establishments are clean, safe and working toward reducing and preventing any food borne illnesses.

As we’re turning the corner on COVID and foodies are clamoring for the increasingly busy tables at the restaurants, the county’s inspectors are out there, navigating frequently changing guidelines, frustrated business owners and a stressful economic environment. They’re dealing with the changing business models that have transitioned to more carry-out options and working with new owners as more businesses have changed hands over the last two years.

Claudia Terrell, the chief of Environmental Field Activities for the Health Division, said that very few restaurants closed during the pandemic and temporary closures due to imminent health hazards remain extremely low, maybe five a year. Revocation of a restaurant’s license because of repeated problems is even lower – perhaps two a year, she said.

That’s good news for restaurants as they are All ways, moving forward even in challenging times, and for Oakland County residents, who can feel confident that their dining out adventures are safe and, hopefully, tasty.

The county is committed to transparency and getting the word out about what we’re doing to keep our residents healthy and safe. You can find out about our restaurant inspection program on the county’s website.


Oakland County providing free transportation for veterans

All military veterans who live in Oakland County now have access to door-to-door transportation services from their homes to Oakland County Veterans' Services offices in Troy and Pontiac.

"The goal of the program is to eliminate any transportation barriers that may prevent our veterans from accessing the benefits they earned while serving our nation," Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter said.

In partnership with SMART, free transportation is offered from any point of origin in Oakland County to a Veterans' Services' office and back home. All veterans who make an appointment with the Veterans' Services team will receive contact information for SMART to arrange their transportation.  ADA transportation is available and transportation arrangements should be made at least three days prior to the appointment.

Oakland County Veterans' Services helps veterans and their dependents with disability compensation, pension, healthcare, burial benefits, education, life insurance, home loans and more. From applying for benefits to appealing a finding, the benefits counselors are available to help Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. To book an appointment or learn more, visit or call 248-858-0785 in Pontiac or 248-655-1250 in Troy.

silver challenge winner

Oakland County wins environmental leadership award


The Michigan Green Communities (MGC) program has recognized Oakland County for its environmental leadership. The county achieved silver status for exemplary action in multiple categories, including planning, climate resilience and adaptation, energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation and protection, and mobility.

Since hiring its first chief environmental sustainability officer, Erin Quetell, Oakland County has begun tracking and measuring greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, developed a campus-wide sustainability plan, integrated solar energy in an upcoming renovation, and plans to install electric vehicle charging stations in two parking lot projects.

The county was also recently accepted into the 2022 LEED for Cities program which provides technical assistance to help communities reach their sustainability goals. 

As part of the 2021 MGC Challenge, 44 participating local governments were awarded gold, silver, or bronze seals of achievement reflecting community leadership in areas such as energy efficiency, climate adaptation and resilience, recycling, environmental justice, and more. Ten communities received bronze certification, 12 received silver certification, and 22 received gold certification.


More details about this program can be found at