City To Rezone Oakland Community College And Cooley Law School Land

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

A key strategic goal of the City Council is to proactively prepare underutilized properties for redevelopment.  This comprehensive rezoning proposal, along with The Palace of Auburn Hills redevelopment study and rezoning and the rezoning of the Oakland County Animal Shelter Property are excellent examples of the City Council, Planning Commission, and staff working together with private landowners to implement that vision.

In recent years, the City has participated in conversations with representatives from Oakland Community College and WMU-Cooley Law School regarding the re-use of their underutilized property located along Featherstone Road.  Due to significant demand for high-tech land in Auburn Hills that could accommodate corporate headquarters and R&D facilities, it was agreed by all parties that it would be prudent to conduct this rezoning.  The rezoning will allow additional land use flexibility in the redevelopment of the property, if so desired by Oakland Community College and WMU-Cooley Law School in the future.  New development would place the underutilized portions of these tax exempt properties on the assessing rolls, which will generate new property tax revenue and jobs.

The vision is to transform the underutilized land like this “sea of parking” along Featherstone Road into an attractive high-tech business park with corporate HQ and technical center buildings, greenspace, and trees

Thus, the City has initiated a rezoning application, as generally described below:

  1. The WMU-Cooley Law School property located at 2630 Featherstone Road (Sidwell No. 14-26-226-004) is proposed to be rezoned from SP, Special Purpose District to T&R, Technology and Research District.
  2. The Oakland Community College property located at 2900 Featherstone Road (Sidwell Nos. 14-26-226-006, 14-26-226-007, 14-25-101-005, and 14-25-101-004) is proposed to be rezoned from SP, Special Purpose District and O, Office District to T&R, Technology and Research District and I-1, Light Industrial District.

Lastly, it is noted that the rezoning will also facilitate the State permitting and construction of a digital billboard sign, previously approved by the City Council in January 2016, on Oakland Community College’s CREST Center property adjacent to M-59.

Mock-up rendering of the billboard sign adjacent to M-59 previously approved by the City Council

Those interested in learning more about this proposal are encouraged to attend the Planning Commission meeting scheduled for Wednesday, August 15th Wednesday, September 12th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall.  A final decision on the application is anticipated to be made by the City Council on Monday, August 27th Monday, September 24th.

Building A World-Class Workforce

Posted by – Stephanie Carroll, Manager of Business Development & Community Relations

Today I attended an event at Oakland Community College (OCC) that focused on MAT² and apprenticeship programs and how they can help close the skills gap for manufacturing across the region.

Two Auburn Hills companies, Brose and ThyssenKrupp, discussed their experiences and their successes using the program through OCC.  We even heard from students who have graduated and those who are currently enrolled.  It was great to learn that their experiences were so positive.


MAT² is a three-year program with students splitting their time between the classroom and on-the-job training with pay.  This has allowed companies to create their own talent pipeline.  It’s truly a win/win situation for both student and the companies who participate in this innovative program.

The skills gap is widening and this program is helping to address employer demands.  Michigan is leading the way on creating these successful partnerships between industry and community colleges!

Code ReConnect: Technical Training for Today’s Jobs

Posted by – Laurie Renaud, Economic Development Coordinator

Are you looking for the right job, but don’t have the right skills for today’s workplace?  Well, you’re in luck.  A new technical training program is offered to assist participants get the high-level IT Training they need to get the job.

An information session for Code ReConnect will be held on March 19th from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Automation Alley Headquarters, which is located at 2675 Bellingham Drive in Troy.  Click here to register.

The classes will be held April 28th through June 6th, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., at Michigan Technical Education Center on the Oakland Community College Campus, located at 2900 Featherstone right here in Auburn Hills.  Certification testing will be the week of June 9th.

MTEC at OCC in Auburn Hills

MTEC at OCC in Auburn Hills

This program is part of the Technical Talent Development Program through a $5 million grant funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, and is an equal opportunity program.

It includes:

  • 120 hours of classroom instruction and 64 hours of hands-on lab time
  • Employer-driven curriculum leading to industry-recognized certification (Microsoft Certified Professional, MCP)
  • Up to 24 hours of employment preparation skills including resume writing and updating, interviewing skills and mock interview scenarios
  • 16 hours of instructor led exam preparation
  • Access to practice exams
  • Employment opportunities in conjunction with Kelly Services, Inc.

Coursework Includes:

  • Programming in C# with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010
  • An introduction to Web development with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010
  • Developing Web applications with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010

Candidates must meet the following minimum eligibility requirements:

  • Age 21+
  • U.S. citizen and residents of Southeast Michigan
  • Previous C#, VB.NET and development experience
  • High school diploma or GED required
  • Bachelor degree preferred but not required
  • Priority will be given to unemployed candidates and veterans

A $75 enrollment fee is required in advance of the first class. The entire enrollment fee is refundable upon successful completion of the curriculum.

Register now to hone your skills to be competitive in today’s market.  There are many job opportunities available.