Automation Workz Launches Employer Workforce Survey to Collect West Michigan Triangle Region Data to Accelerate Receipt of Federal Grants

BATTLE CREEK, Mich., July 25, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — West Michigan has 3 battery plants within The West Michigan Triangle Region, from Benton Harbor, Zeeland, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Albion, Battle Creek and Kalamazoo. This new development can provide the catalyst to raise $100 -250 million in Federal/State grants to provide workforce development, entrepreneurship incubation and community wrap-around services to ensure working adults are prepared for high-paying jobs. These Federal grants seek regional collaboration across multiple cities to bolster high-paying tech jobs in rural communities amongst diverse populations. 

“What is missing is regional workforce and economic development data to explain the regional story.” states Ida Byrd-Hill CEO, Automation Workz.

The West Michigan African American Tech Readiness Collaborative is seeking CEOs, HR professionals and Diversity professionals to complete an Employer Automation/ Tech Workforce survey from July 20 – August 20 to determine workforce needs.

The West Michigan African American Tech Readiness Collaborative is comprised of these leaders:

Alex Andrews

Talent First

Federico Conde

Kellogg Corp.

Kellie Hoffman

Northern Initiatives

Alfonzo Hall

Wolverine Assembly

Frances Hogsten


Dr. Matias Soto

Andrews University

Dr. Alisha Davis

Grand Valley State University

Gregory Moore

CMS Energy

Dr. Michael Horrigan

Upjohn Institute

Al Shifflett

Grand Valley State University

Harvey Hollins


Michael McCullough

Calhoun County Broadband Taskforce

Alvin Hills

Midwest Tech Project

Heather Ignash

Battle Creek Unlimited

Pastor Monique French

Washington Heights UMC

Brian DeRoo

Bronson Healthcare

Heidi Groulx


Dr. Nakia S. Baylis

Village Network of Battle Creek

Pastor Chris McCoy

New Level Sports Ministries

Dr. Herman McCall

Homestead Savings Bank

Dr. Preston Hicks

Goodwill Industries

Craig Jbara

Kalamazoo Valley CC

Jakki Bungart-Bibbs

Michigan Works Southwest

Randy Davis

Starr Commonwealth

Danielle Williams

Amplify GR

Joseph Anderson, Jr.

TAG Holdings

Rob Llanes

The Right Place

David Kemp

Old National Bank

Joseph Matthews


Sarah Klerk

Kalamazoo Promise

Deann Crosby


Joshua Hilgart

Kalamazoo Defender

Scott Cubberly

Kellogg Community College

Dr. Dennis Baskins

Kellogg Community College

Kara Beer

Battle Creek Chamber of Commerce

Dr. Sharon Vriend-Robinette

Corewell Health

Dr. Dennis Bona


Dr. Kara Van Dam

Grand Valley State University

Dr. Tino Smith

Kingdom Builders

Erick Stewart


Dr. Keli Christopher

STEM Greenhouse

Virgie Ammerman

Albion Economic Development

Join them in completing this survey. Forward this survey to anyone who is a CEO, HR or Diversity professional.


Ida Byrd-Hill is a graduate of the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor with a BA, Economics and Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University with an MBA. Ida has business experience in HR, Executive Search, Finance, Technology and Wealth Management. She is plowing her expertise into the workforce pipeline, having educated 15,546 persons, in STEM.

Ida is the author of 8 books, including Invisible Talent Market-Solving the Talent Shortage Without Outsourcing and Visas. She serves as a Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, CEO Talent Council, Chair-West Michigan African American Tech Readiness Collaborative and a member of AIAG, ATD, Electric Vehicle Jobs Academy, German American Business Council, NABJ, NMSDC, Society of Automotive Analysts and SHRM.

Contact: Ida Byrd, (313) 483-2126;;

SOURCE Automation Workz