Last week I had the opportunity to visit the Senior Thesis Exhibition at the Oakland University Art Gallery where our very own graphic designer, Sarah Lawrence, has her work on display. She is currently sharing the gallery with other student artists who have all put a tremendous amount of work into presenting their art as part of their final projects before graduation.
In Sarah’s case, graduation is this week and she will earn her Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design with a minor in Communication. Sarah and her boyfriend have their own company called Luminous Media which specializes in photography, videography, and small business marketing. We are lucky to have her on staff and to be able to share her talents regularly with our residents, businesses, and visitors alike through her work on producing the city’s newsletter, various brochures, banners, photographs, and more.
Employee safety is of the utmost importance here at the City, and we go to great lengths to make sure our staff and our residents, are safe every time they step foot on our campus. As a local municipality that operates within today’s social climate, anything can happen at a moments notice. Whether it be a work-related injury or a mass shooting, we want to make sure that we are prepared.
Last week, our staff took part in a “Stop the Bleed” training conducted by our Police and Fire Departments, along with guest speaker Anita Barksdale from St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Trauma Services. According to Stop the Bleed, the City of Auburn Hills is among the first municipality to offer and have all of its employees be fully taught within the program as a city-wide effort.
The motto of the day was, “Don’t be a bystander, react.” The entire presentation was focused on how taking action can significantly change the direction of a severe bleeding situation, and ultimately save the life of you or a co-worker.
Members of staff were educated on what to look for in the event of a life-threatening bleed, steps to take during a major event, and how to use bleeding control equipment such as a tourniquet or other resources to be used, if the gear is not available. Most importantly, employees were empowered to help in the event of a bleeding emergency until professional help arrives. As a part of our emergency preparedness and planning initiative, we will be placing “Stop the Bleed” kits throughout our City campus. We value having trained staff during any unexpected situation, and look to accomplish this training for our community as well.
Last week, I attended the MI Career Quest Southeast event held in Novi. This event is the largest one-day career exploration event for high school students ever held in the region. The goal was to present young people with a glimpse of all the in-demand career opportunities out there for them to consider as they think about their futures.
It was incredible day. Nearly 10,000 students from over 100 high schools interacted with exhibitors who displayed more than 125 in-demand jobs in four careers: Advanced Manufacturing, Construction, Health Sciences, and Information Technology. There was everything from welding to a tonsillectomy demonstration.
This event was truly remarkable—seeing the reactions of the students as they learned about careers through hands-on exhibits was so much fun. The event was the perfect opportunity to expose students to what career pathways are available. I can’t wait until next year!
Stephanie Carroll, Manager of Business Development and Community Relations
We love the holiday season here at the City, especially over at the Department of Public Works! Construction season is wrapping up, the holiday decorations downtown and around the City go up, and we prepare for our winter operations. The City has several boom trucks in its fleet. With these trucks, we can install street signs, trim trees and do electrical work. But how about raising a 25 foot Christmas Tree in front of City Hall? That’s where it gets tricky. One truck isn’t tall enough. The other truck is tall enough, however its boom is not designed for lifting materials, just people and so on.
Safety is a huge deal at the Department of Public Works. We deal with a lot of hazardous conditions, heavy equipment, and tools that can easily cause injury if misused. Safety is always on our mind. As you can imagine, we take operating aerial lift equipment very seriously. As we often do, we had a meeting to discuss what equipment and people would be needed to safely do the job, and we concluded that our equipment is not ideally suited. What to do next? This is where the spirit of the holidays comes in, and a little neighborly help. Kaltz Excavating is a family-owned Auburn Hills business which has been in business since the 1970s. They are experts in underground utility construction such as cable, gas, electric, and sewers. As luck would have it, they also have a pretty nice crane in their fleet. When we reached out to them, their owner Terry could not resist the holiday spirit and quickly agreed to provide a helping hand. A crew from Kaltz showed up yesterday morning with their 75’ Peterbilt crane-truck and helped usher our city campus into the Christmas spirit.
Special thanks to our city electricians, grounds staff, roads staff, and the guys from Kaltz for getting the tree installed in a safe manner, with minimum disruption to traffic, for everyone to enjoy! The holidays are a team effort, and it’s nice to have such great neighbors and staff come together to get the job done right!
On Friday, November 16, I was pleased to once again attend the Auburn Hills Chamber of Commerce event titled “WOMEN EMPOWERED.” Three dynamic and inspirational women leaders discussed their career paths to success, including their own personal trials and tribulations along the way. As a man, we sometimes forget about the additional challenges many career women face such as, the incredible balancing act of giving birth and raising children, among other things, while maintaining a successful career that may include ongoing training and development, travel, etc. Listening to the panelists, whether you are a man or a woman, certainly gives you a sense of appreciation for what women leaders endure as they strive for career achievement.
I try to be very intentional about attending this event each year. The event has grown year-over-year under the guidance of our own successful leader, Chamber President Jean Jernigan. Around two hundred people were in attendance and I’m happy to say that there were a number of men in the audience. While there is always discussion about leadership differences between men and women, you also begin to recognize that there is a lot we have in common in our leadership styles and methods.
I was pleased to attend the event with several women leaders from the City staff at all levels and departments of our organization. The City of Auburn Hills continues to maintain a leadership team that is almost nearly equally split between men and women. And it is always important for me to say that this is not necessarily achieved by design, but simply because the best people are in the role in which they serve.
For the second year in a row, the Auburn Hills Morning Optimist Club has expanded its recognition program to include stand-outs in the city from Police, Fire, and Civilian staffs. Each is recognized by the club at one of three meetings in the fall, followed by recognition before the Auburn Hills City Council. Nominations are accepted by a selection committee of the club and the committee then selects a winner in each professional category. Winners are given an award for the contributions they make to their profession and to the citizens, businesses, and visitors to the community that they serve. And each is a wonderful example of being a dedicated public servant.
Congratulations to each of them for receiving their awards and many thanks to them for their outstanding work.
The holiday season is upon us! We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus on Friday, November 30 to join Mayor McDaniel and City Council as we celebrate our 25th annual Tree Lighting Ceremony in Downtown Auburn Hills beginning at 6:00 p.m.
We invite you to join in on the celebration with the many festivities the night has to offer! Participants will enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride, a live performance by the Avondale High School Choir, a magic show, s’mores around the fire pit, a visit with Santa’s reindeer, and more! Following the lighting of the tree, we invite everyone to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus in the Downtown Education Nook (DEN) for photographs and to take a stroll through Downtown to see all the specials our great stores and restaurants have to offer.
Our Downtown is full of holiday magic and now is the perfect time to take a stroll and visit!