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The WorkingHabitat Group

Macomb Township, MI

Tim Calkins

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
None, but we are working closely with Automation Alley and reside on multiple committees within Automation Alley to better surround ourselves with people who can help.

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
Diversified Technologies International, a Troy-based company who needed a data manager registered to The WorkingHabitat portal and searched for a person who fit the requirements. They found a perfect match and utilized the woman for approx. six months both on-site and remotely.

Where did you find your first employee?
We found our first contract worker right on the portal. We needed a programmer and found a highly talented, laid-off Chrysler programmer in the Oakland County area. We simply issue his tasks through the portal's project management system and he has clear and defined direction. It's exactly the way the system is meant to be utilized.

Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?
No, but we are currently working on developing an human resource assessment program in conjunction with workforce and economic development groups in southeast Michigan, that will enable companies across the state to assess and test potential candidates remotely before actually hiring them. This program is designed to help those Michiganders, who have been unemployed for a year or more, prove their skills beyond a resume and interview, thus giving them more and better opportunities to re-enter the workforce.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
We are currently searching for private investors. For those reading this article, please contact me personally if interested at [email protected]

What are some of the advantages to doing business here?
Southeast Michigan has been one of the hardest hit areas in the state over the past few years because of its engineering and manufacturing base. Due to this, I believe the state is doing its best to revive and regain the prominence southeast Michigan once had.

If you could change one thing about this region, what would it be?
It would be to change the mindset of many within the core industry here, automotive. We have over a hundred years of history and tradition throughout many of the major companies. That's both a good thing and bad. I believe that for those companies, who have survived the recent downturn whether through bankruptcy or major restructuring, need to keep an open mind to new ideas and operational practices. Even after restructuring, if they continue to do business in the same manner as the past, they will eventually end up in the same place, facing the same challenges. Specific to what The WorkingHabitat provides, we hope companies take a good long look at remote engineering services. There are incredible cost savings and scalability advantages to having designers and engineers whom you can turn on and off at will. Furthermore, we are in an age of technology that you can effectively manage those resources without having them right in front of you. Even though automotive has been around here for a century, it doesn't mean it can't be as resourceful and savvy as the 'up and coming' industries of tomorrow.

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