Michigan’s elected delegation reacts to Trump’s speech

By LISA BOWERS
Mining Journal Staff Writer
MARQUETTE — Federal lawmakers representing the Upper Peninsula had varied responses to President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address Tuesday, expressing concerns about veteran health care, fair wages and the opioid crisis — but the resounding theme was infrastructure.
Trump called on Congress to come up with legislation that generates “at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment we need,” and to leverage funds by partnering with state and local governments and, in some cases, the private sector to permanently fix the nation’s infrastructure deficit.
“Together, we can reclaim our building heritage,” Trump said. “We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways and waterways across our land. And we will do it with American heart, American hands and American grit.”
In a statement posted late Tuesday on his official website, Michigan Republican Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Watersmeet, said by working together in a bipartisan fashion, Congress can rebuild “the nation’s vital infrastructure.”
“A 21st century infrastructure plan should include vital updates in the 1st District of Michigan, namely rural broadband and building a new Poe-sized lock in Sault Ste. Marie,” Bergman said. “Expanding high-speed broadband will invigorate our rural communities, and this is critical to ensuring the 1st District remains an area where families can live, work and receive a quality education.”
Democratic Sen. Gary Peters, who serves as ranking member of the Senate’s Surface Transportation Subcommittee, said in an email statement issued late Tuesday he is focused on promoting federal investment in the modernization of Michigan roads, bridges and ports as well as expanding rural broadband networks.
“A robust infrastructure package has the potential to drive innovation and create good-paying jobs in Michigan and across the country,” Peters said. “Although President Trump campaigned on a promise to improve infrastructure, I’m concerned that his barebones infrastructure proposal lacks meaningful federal investments and instead forces cash-strapped state and local governments to make up for the lack of strong federal support or shifts the burden to American people through tolls and fees.”
Peters said his goal is to craft a forward-looking bill that will make significant investment in critical infrastructure without undercutting fair wages.
“Moving forward, I hope that the president and Republicans in Congress will work in a bipartisan way to address these important economic issues,” Peters said.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow said in her Tuesday statement that she sent a letter to Trump outlining priorities in any federal infrastructure package developed by Congress or the White House.
“At a time when America is deeply divided, it is more important than ever that members of Congress from both parties come together to tackle the big challenges facing our nation,” Stabenow said. “I hope President Trump will make good on his commitment tonight to work with both Democrats and Republicans to pass bipartisan legislation that will rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and support hard-working American families.”
Bergman touted the reduction in tax rates for “90 percent of Americans” that will “allow job growth throughout the 1st District.”
He also reacted to Trump’s comments about the national opioid crisis, and reinforced his pledge to work with Michigan communities to find a “multifaceted approach” to battle the epidemic.
“Rural communities within the 1st District are disproportionally affected by this epidemic, with no signs of that diminishing,” Bergman said. “I’m appreciative of the administration’s commitment in the past on this issue, but I will continue to encourage a more vigorous and engaged approach in the days ahead.”
Peters expressed concerns about wages, trade laws and helping small businesses.
“Ensuring workers can earn middle class wages should be part of a comprehensive approach to economic growth that includes boosting our manufacturing sector and fighting unfair trade practices,” he said.
Stabenow, who recently introduced the Veteran’s Deserve Better Act “to address serious problems with the federal Veteran’s Choice Program,” called health care for veterans a long-standing priority. The legislation would give veterans access to the same preventative health insurance coverage as the general public.
“We cannot take our values as a country or the people who keep us safe for granted,” Stabenow said. “I remain committed to working with Republicans, Democrats and the White House to get things done for Michigan families.”

Lisa Bowers can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. Her email address is lbowers@miningjournal.net.

Engler to lead Michigan State

LANSING (AP) — Michigan State University is turning to a hard-nosed former governor and alumnus to right the ship following scathing criticism over former doctor Larry Nassar’s ability to molest young female athletes for decades under the guise of medical treatment.
John Engler, 69, led the state for a dozen years from 1991 through 2002. After leaving office because of term limits, he directed business groups in Washington, D.C.
The board of trustees will name Engler the school’s interim president at a public meeting on Wednesday, a week after Lou Ann Simon’s resignation, according to a high-ranking university official involved in the deliberations. The official spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity before the public vote occurred.
The selection was welcomed by allies who said Engler is tenacious, not afraid to ruffle feathers and can steer his beloved “green and white” Spartans through the tumult. He will also have to shake up a culture that critics say led to the university turning a blind eye to victims of Nassar for years. The board will search for a permanent president as Engler navigates mounting investigations, civil lawsuits and a public relations crisis.
“The victims can hopefully rest a little better knowing they’ve got John Engler to straighten the ship. He earns respect. He commands respect,” said Dan Pero, who was Engler’s first chief of staff in the governor’s office. Engler will listen, he said, yet also not be afraid to make tough decisions — having done so when he first won the governorship and, facing a large budget deficit, pushed through cuts to welfare, state mental hospitals and the arts.
“Lord knows there will be many decisions that will need to be made at the school that will upset people,” Pero said. “With change comes pushback. But ultimately with change comes better times.”

Nassar to face another sentence

By ED WHITE
and DAVID EGGERT
Associated Press
LANSING — Larry Nassar, the sports doctor accused of sexually assaulting more than 150 women and girls, will be confronted again by scores of victims as he faces another prison sentence for molesting gymnasts, this time at an elite Michigan club run by an Olympic coach.
Judge Janice Cunningham has set aside several days for roughly 60 people who want to confront Nassar or have their statement read in court. The event starting Wednesday could unfold much the same as a hearing last week in another county that ended with Nassar getting sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison — what a different judge described as signing the doctor’s “death warrant.”
The practice of allowing accusers to speak even if they are not tied directly to a case has raised questions about fairness. But attorneys say the victim statements probably pose little risk on appeal, especially since Nassar pleaded guilty, agreed to allow the statements and is expected to get another long prison sentence as part of his deal with prosecutors.
“If you get what you bargained for, then you really can’t argue that you were prejudiced in any way,” said Margaret Raben, former leader of a Michigan association of criminal defense attorneys.
It’s not uncommon for prosecutors to introduce “aggravating” evidence at sentencing to support their request for a severe punishment. But the parade of victims offering emotional accounts of their abuse to the face of an abuser went well beyond the typical hearing.

Missile alert was deliberate: Worker who sent false alert had problems but kept job

Issues at agency extend far beyond a troubled employee

By AUDREY McAVOY
The Associated Press
HONOLULU — Hawaii emergency management officials knew for years that an employee had problems performing his job. Then, he sent a false alert warning of an imminent missile attack earlier this month.
The worker had mistakenly believed drills for tsunami and fire warnings were actual events, and colleagues were not comfortable working with him, the state said Tuesday. His supervisors counseled him but kept him for a decade in a position that had to be renewed each year.
The problems in the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency went beyond one troubled employee. The agency had a vague checklist for missile alerts, allowing workers to interpret the steps they should follow differently. Managers didn’t require a second person to sign off on alerts before they were sent, and the agency lacked any preparation on how to correct a false warning.
Those details emerged Tuesday in federal and state reports investigating how the agency mistakenly blasted cellphones and broadcast stations Jan. 13 with a warning that led hundreds of thousands of people to believe they were about to die in a nuclear attack. It took nearly 40 minutes to retract it.
Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Administrator Vern Miyagi resigned as the reports were released. Officials revealed that the employee who sent the alert was fired Friday. His name has not been revealed. A second worker quit before disciplinary action was taken, and another was being suspended without pay, officials said.
“The protocols were not in place. It was a sense of urgency to put it in place as soon as possible. But those protocols were not developed to the point they should have,” retired Brig. Gen. Bruce Oliveira, who wrote the report on Hawaii’s internal investigation, said at a news conference.
A Federal Communications Commission report revealed Tuesday that the worker who pushed out the alert thought an actual attack was imminent. It was the first indication the alert was purposely sent, adding another level of confusion to the misstep that created panic at a time of fear over the threat of North Korean missiles.
The worker believed there was a real attack because of a mistake in how the drill was initiated during a shift change, according to the FCC, which regulates the nation’s airwaves and sets standards for such emergency alerts. The employee said he didn’t hear the word “exercise” repeated six times, though others clearly heard it.
There was no requirement to double-check with a colleague or get a supervisor’s approval before sending the warning statewide, the federal agency said.
“There were no procedures in place to prevent a single person from mistakenly sending a missile alert” in Hawaii, said James Wiley, a cybersecurity and communications reliability staffer at the FCC.
Compounding the issue was that the state Emergency Management Agency had no prepared message for a false alarm. The FCC criticized the state’s 38-minute delay in correcting it.
In addition, software at the Hawaii agency used the same prompts for both test and actual alerts, and it generally used prepared text that made it easy for a staffer to click through the alerting process without focusing enough on the text of the warning that would be sent.
“The reports from the FCC and the state of Hawaii demonstrate systems and judgment failures on multiple levels, and they reinforce my belief that missile alerts should be handled by the federal government,” said U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, a Democrat from Hawaii, who plans legislation to give federal officials that sole responsibility.
The FCC said the state emergency agency has taken steps to try to avoid a repeat of the false alert, requiring more supervision of drills and alert and test-alert transmissions. It has created a correction template for false alerts and has stopped ballistic missile defense drills for now.
Earlier this month, the worker who sent the alert heard a recorded message that began by saying “exercise, exercise, exercise” — the script for a drill, the FCC said. Then the recording used language that is typically used for a real threat, not a drill: “This is not a drill.” The recording ended by saying “exercise, exercise, exercise.”
Once the employee sent the false alert, he was directed to send a cancel message but instead “just sat there and didn’t respond,” the state report said. Later, another employee took over the computer and sent the correction because the worker “seemed confused.”
Gov. David Ige was asked why Hawaii didn’t reveal details about the employee earlier, and he said it would have been irresponsible to release statements before the investigation was complete.
Ige has asked the Hawaii National Guard’s deputy commander to prepare another report on what needs to be changed in the emergency management system overall. The first version of that report is due in two weeks, with a final version due in six weeks.

 

5 top customer service jobs for 2018

Are you looking for your next great job opportunity? If so, then you may want to consider a position in customer service. It’s a growing field with lots of opportunities in a variety of industries and settings, and the great news is that as a customer service professional you’ll build key transferable skills that you […]

Are you looking for your next great job opportunity? If so, then you may want to consider a position in customer service. It’s a growing field with lots of opportunities in a variety of industries and settings, and the great news is that as a customer service professional you’ll build key transferable skills that you can use across the industry and even in other professions if you ever decide to make a major career change in the future.

Need more reasons to consider pursuing a customer service job? According to the most recent Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job openings for customer service representatives span nearly every industry imaginable and are projected to grow approximately 5% over the next decade. There are positions available in a variety of settings, including telephone call centers, offices, and retail stores, and both full-time and flexible part-time positions are possible. In addition, on-the-job training is often provided for individuals interested in pursuing employment in the field.

The following are five of the most promising customer service jobs, based on available opportunities and forecasts for projected growth over the next several years.

1. Computer support specialist

Are you a whiz with computers and enjoy helping people? If so, then consider a position as a computer support specialist. These customer service professionals provide guidance and assistance to individual computer users, companies, and organizations. They help troubleshoot problems, support computer networks, and provide technical assistance as needed.

Although the majority of computer support specialists work in full-time positions, there are a variety of different opportunities and arrangements available, including part-time work, contract work, and overnight work. Most professionals in the field have extensive computer experience and a college degree. The typical salary range for computer support specialists is between $49,000 and $63,000, depending on your location, industry, and experience level. Good news—the field is expected to grow approximately 10% over the next decade, and since individuals and companies routinely upgrade their computer equipment and software, you can count on there always being a need for qualified individuals.

2. Financial clerk

Do you have an interest in working in finance? Although financial clerks typically hold support roles in the industry, if you have a capacity for numbers and an interest in the world of finance, then perhaps a position as a financial clerk is a good idea for you. Financial clerks are typically responsible for handling the administrative responsibilities of the organizations that employ them, including recordkeeping, customer assistance, and basic financial transactions.

Most financial clerks are employed in full-time, 9-to-5 positions and are found in bank branches, government agencies, and medical offices, as well as a variety of other industries. Educational levels for financial clerks can vary depending on the field and responsibilities of the role. The average salary for a financial clerk is approximately $38,000 and can vary depending on location, industry, and experience level. Over the next decade, the employment outlook for financial clerks looks promising, with growth around 9% expected over the next decade.

 3. Information clerk

In many ways information clerks serve as the backbones of the companies that they work for, providing vital services such as record-keeping and maintenance, data collection, customer assistance, and more. Nearly every industry employs information clerks to help them operate efficiently, so if you choose to pursue a job in this field you’ll likely encounter a wealth of opportunities.

Most information clerks are employed in full-time positions; education levels required to enter the field can vary depending on the responsibilities of any given role. The average salary range for an information clerk is approximately $32,000 and can vary depending on location, industry, and experience level. Over the next decade, the employment outlook for financial clerks is expected to grow around 3% over the next decade.

 4. Insurance sales agent

Do you have an interest in working in the insurance industry? If so, then pursuing a position as an insurance sales agent might be a good goal for you. Agents often work on the front lines and serve as the crucial primary point of contact with customers who are interested in obtaining various types of insurance products. In addition to explaining the options available to them, agents answer questions and provide guidance during the entire process—which hopefully ends in customers obtaining the right insurance plans to meet their needs.

Insurance agents typically work full-time positions in office settings and travel as needed to meet with clients. Typically, a high school diploma or some level of college is required to enter the field. The average annual salary for an insurance agent is right around $50,000, and the long-term outlook for the field is promising—employment is expected to grow around 10% over the next decade.

5. Wholesale and manufacturing sales representative

A great option for those looking to establish roots in the customer service industry is to go after a position as a wholesale and manufacturing sales representative. Individuals employed in this role typically sell products for wholesalers or manufacturers to other businesses or organizations. They’re expected to handle a wide array of customer service responsibilities, from serving as the primary point of contact to answering questions, to enticing potential customers, to negotiating prices.

Individuals in this field often work on a commission basis; although they constantly feel the pressure of meeting a sales quota, salaries for successful sales representatives can make the effort worthwhile. The typical salary range for wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives is between $57,000 and $79,000, depending on the type of products sold, location, industry, and experience level. Typically, a high school diploma or some level of college is required to enter the field for non-technical product sales; for more technical or scientific product sales, a college degree is typically needed. Long-term outlook for the field is promising—employment is expected to grow around 6% over the next decade.

If you think a job in the customer service field might make sense for you, consider pursuing a position in one of these five top customer service jobs—each has an excellent outlook for 2018 and the foreseeable future. Good luck!

The post 5 top customer service jobs for 2018 appeared first on TheJobNetwork.

Your guide to saving for retirement 

Have you ever heard the phrase “It’s never too soon to start planning for the future”? It’s a good rule of thumb, especially when it comes to financial planning and saving for retirement. Sure, you may be at the very beginning of your career journey. You might feel as if it’s too soon for you […]

Have you ever heard the phrase “It’s never too soon to start planning for the future”? It’s a good rule of thumb, especially when it comes to financial planning and saving for retirement. Sure, you may be at the very beginning of your career journey. You might feel as if it’s too soon for you to have to think about this subject, and that you have plenty of time to worry about planning for your retirement down the road. Still, it might be worth your time to reconsider when you should start.

The truth is, most people put off saving for retirement way too long, and the end result is endless anxiety and fear that they’re ill-equipped to afford retirement. Unfortunately, in many cases, they may be correct.

According to a recent Business Insider article, Americans just aren’t saving enough for retirement. Based on a study of over 5,000 individuals conducted by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave, one-third of all adults have zero retirement savings and 23% have less than $10,000 tucked away, an insufficient sum to last through one’s retirement years—especially considering that advances in health care and elder care are making it easier to live longer lives. The article reports that the average American’s retirement goal is to have “security and the ability to live comfortably without fear of running out of money,” yet they are not doing the type of planning and saving required to make that a reality. Business Insider reports that the major reasons why so many folks struggle with retirement planning are as follows:

  • Most people don’t have any financial role models. Half of pre-retirees age 50 and older say they don’t have any positive role models when it comes to handling finances. Though some say they can turn to a parent or financial adviser for advice, 40% still don’t understand basic terms associated with retirement savings, such as IRA and 401(k).
  • Most people consider money too taboo to discuss openly. Even in the era of Facebook oversharing, 57% of Americans still consider money a distinctly private matter. However, this mindset is shifting: In every category, millennials were more open to discussing taboo topics than people 50 and older.
  • Financial decisions are second-guessed more than any other major life decision. The study found that 39% of people think twice about money decisions more than anything else. Only 18% of people give pause to career-related choices above all else, and even fewer—a mere 15%—second-guess decisions about their health the most.

You don’t have to have all of the retirement planning answers when you’re just starting out, especially since your financial needs, plans, and resources will likely evolve over time. That said, it is a good idea to start building responsible financial habits and behaviors early on and to always operate under the mindset that the money you earn is a valuable commodity and resource that you should treat responsibly. And above all—don’t forget that time tends to fly by faster than you think. Retirement isn’t quite as far off as it might seem.

Consider taking advantage of the following strategies to help you jumpstart your retirement-saving planning.

Get comfortable with saving.

There’s an unfortunate tendency among young adults who are just starting out in their professional paths to treat each paycheck as a reservoir of disposable income, a specific amount of money that they have to spend until the next paycheck arrives. It’s a bad idea to get used to treating your income this way. But once it becomes a habit, it’s a tough one to break.

Instead, try getting used to saving a percentage of your paycheck each week. 10% is a good place to start for most individuals. It’s okay to start small; the goal here is to get comfortable with the notion of saving. Try increasing the amount you save over time, or whenever your take home pay increases. Do your best to avoid dipping into this growing pool of money for discretionary purposes. However, if you do hit an unexpected and unavoidable life expense, you’ll have this money to help see you through if needed.

Explore workplace retirement savings options.

The good news is that many companies offer retirement savings options as part of their employee benefit packages. Do you know what your options are? If not, spending some time researching your benefits or talking to an HR professional at your company is a wise investment. If your company offers a 401(k) savings plan, and any sort of fund matching benefit (even better), it’s certainly in your best interest to take advantage of the plan as soon as possible. Once you get through the initial paperwork to enroll, your contributions will be automatic—all you need to do is keep an eye on it periodically and make adjustments as needed. The value of your 401(k) will build over time, so it stands to reason that the earlier you start, the more money you’ll have saved for retirement down the road. Trust us, you’ll thank us later.

Explore additional retirement savings options.

Contributing to your company 401(k) is a great idea, but it’s often not enough—depending on your retirement needs, your plans should include some level of diversification. Although your may just be beginning to explore your retirement savings options, it’s never too early to get comfortable with the various investment vehicles available to you. These include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and a Roth IRA account, in addition to your personal savings and 401(k). Once again, the key is diversification—spreading out your money in various areas in an effort to reduce your overall risk exposure in any one area.

We recommend that you learn about how these investment tools work in general and how you can make them work for you as part of your long-term investment portfolio. There’s a wealth of research and information available online, and you may want to consult a financial professional to help you get started. As your savings grow, consider using one of these investment tools to allow your money to grow over time.

Are you ready?

Just thinking of retirement can be scary, let alone trying to figure out how to make it financially feasible. If you’re just getting started in your professional journey, the good news is that you do have some time to thoughtfully prepare for how to save for retirement—but the sooner you start, the better off you’ll ultimately be. Use the strategies presented here to help you kick start your retirement planning. Best of luck!

The post Your guide to saving for retirement  appeared first on TheJobNetwork.

Iowa customers could see $147M in utility savings

DES MOINES (AP) — The federal tax cut could save up to $147 million in utility bills for Iowa residents as the state’s investor-owned utility companies pass along some of their giant tax reductions.
Investor-owned utility companies in Iowa such as MidAmerican and Allian will save millions as part of the new tax law signed by President Donald Trump in December. Legislation lowering the corporate federal income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent took effect Jan. 1.
Companies have yet to decide how they’ll return savings to customers.

Youth Correction Center workers assaulted by juveniles

MANDAN (AP) — Five workers at North Dakota’s Youth Correctional Center outside of Mandan were treated at a medical center for undisclosed injuries and released after being assaulted by a number of juveniles over the weekend.
State Corrections Department spokeswoman Michelle Linster said that “several” juveniles were involved in the attack at the facility Sunday night. She declined to comment on the nature of the assault.
The incident is still under investigation.

Park Service seeks further review of North Dakota refinery

DICKINSON, N.D. (AP) — The National Park Service wants further review of an oil refinery proposed near North Dakota’s Theodore Roosevelt National Park to see how emergency flaring could affect air quality.
The Park Service’s request is among about 11,000 emails received by the North Dakota Department of Public Health during a comment period for the refinery’s air quality permit, which ended last week.
Meridian Energy Group wants to build the Davis Refinery near Belfield, which is about three miles from the park. The health department is reviewing a permit for a refinery capable of processing 55,000 barrels of oil per day.
An analysis by the National Park Service’s Air Resources Division found that the refinery wouldn’t significantly impact the park under normal operations, the Bismarck Tribune reported . But the Park Service said more evaluation is needed on the impact of flaring, which could significantly increase emissions.
“Based on our analysis, emissions from the refinery could cause visibility impairment at Theodore Roosevelt NP under upset conditions when blowdown emissions are exhausted through the flares,” the Park Service wrote in a letter.
Wendy Ross, the park’s superintendent, said the Park Service is also concerned about future impact if Meridian wants to expand.
Meridian Energy Group has said it would be the “cleanest refinery on the planet.”
The Environmental Protection Agency has also been involved in the refinery’s permit review process. The federal agency submitted technical comments and recommended that the health department analyze air quality impact from phase one of the refinery, which will process 27,500 barrels of oil per day.
Terry O’Clair, director of the health department’s air quality division, said reviewing and responding to comments and making a final recommendation will take about two months.
Health officials said that the project’s review process has been more rigorous than required because of public interest.

Bead museum in Michigan to be renovated

DETROIT — It was 22 years ago that artist Olayami Dabls was gifted a row of townhouses on the city’s west side to house his extensive African bead and artifact collection.

Within those townhouses and on the surrounding land at the corner of Grand River and West Grand Boulevard, Dabls’ MBAD African Bead Museum grew into a cultural institution. Each year, 35,000 people come from all over the world to see the beads, artifacts and outside art installations.

Despite the museum’s growing popularity, the buildings fell into disrepair over the years.

The roofs above the townhouses leaked and the basement was damp. A separate building that fronts the property on Grand River was in such poor shape that the roof caved in.

“The floors had dropped six inches,” Dabls said of the townhouses. “Everything had to be put back in place, which is a lot of work.”

Over the years, the museum has received funds for renovations, including more than $110,000 from a Patronicity crowdfunding campaign last month that includes a match by the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

“I was elated, surprised and kind of excited that it happened the way it did,” Dabls said.

Dabls is working with a Los Angeles/Detroit based architectural design firm Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects and Allied Media Projects on the renovation of the museum’s three townhouses and a separate neighboring building. The goal is to provide indoor programming during colder months.

The museum is hard to miss on Grand River with its exterior adorned with a colorful mosaic of mirrors and beads. It sits in the Northwest Goldberg neighborhood, which is roughly bounded by the John C. Lodge and Interstate 94 freeways, West Grand Boulevard and Grand River. The Motown Historical Museum and Henry Ford Hospital share the neighborhood, which has areas of abandonment.

Dabls began collecting beads in the 1980s after admiring the beads a vendor wore at the African World Festival in Detroit. He offered to buy the beads from the man, who took offense. The man told them the beads had been in his family for five generations.

From there, Dabls’ interest grew. He’s amassed a large collection that includes beads, belts, masks and grave markers. Some of the countries represented include Nigeria and Cameroon. On a recent day, Dabls showed off some of the collection he was hoping to display soon.

“Most of our people have never seen this stuff,” Dabls said. “Because normally Europeans collect it and put it in their private collection, and that’s it. That was my main reason for doing this museum. To make these pieces available for people who would never see them.”

Architect Lorcan O’Herlihy met Dabls a few years ago while his company was in town for business on other city projects. They talked about his mission for the museum, O’Herlihy said.

“That led to us brainstorming about the building in the front where the roof had collapsed,” he said. “How to create a gathering space inside that space. In the winter, people can also engage the museum.”

One of the townhouses holds the bead gallery displaying rows of colorful beads — many of them for sale. The other two townhouses are used for storage. Dabls envisions the townhouses holding rotating exhibitions of African material culture and space for an artist’s residence on the second floor.

This is the second phase of funding the museum has received. The first — a $100,000 challenge grant from the Knight Foundation in 2014 — funded the new roofs and waterproofed the basements.

With the latest funding the plan is to begin work on the interior of the townhouses as early as March, O’Herlihy said, adding he hopes this phase will be complete by June.

The project will include repairing and refinishing the interiors, building new gallery spaces and creating gathering spaces. The project will also install an ADA access ramp and create shelves in the basement for collection storage.

The museum raised $61,701 in the Patroncity campaign that ended Dec. 31, exceeding its $50,000 goal, The Detroit News reported. The MEDC will match $50,000 of it through its Public Spaces Community Places program. The majority of campaigns, which are first vetted, are successful, but don’t usually exceed their goal by as much as the museum did, said Katharine Czarnecki, MEDC senior vice president of community development.

“I think that the bead museum is something we haven’t seen before,” she said. “It’s African-American heritage. We haven’t seen a lot of history of certain cultures. I think this will add value to this area of Detroit.”

The bead museum is a pillar in the community, said Daniel Washington, a resident of the NW Goldberg neighborhood and founder of the nonprofit Original Creativity organization.

Washington said that while the area has been underserved and slowly eroding over the years, renovation of the museum will help beautify the corner.

“It sits right on Grand River and is one of the first things you see,” he said. “A lot of people don’t know the history that’s in the building or the man that runs it. He’s been maintaining that corner.”

Washington said the museum provides something unique for Detroit. Investment in the museum is a step toward revitalizing the neighborhood.

“I hope to see it progress over the next couple of years,” he said.

Jeanette Pierce, executive director of Detroit Experience Factory, said she considers the museum an asset. The group provides tours throughout the city and the bead museum is sometimes one of the stops.