Posts Tagged 'michigan'

Staff Snowpocalypse sledding trip

Snowpocalypse Sledding - Vanessa and Katherine

Who was crazy enough to go sledding down Cascades Hill during the blizzard of 2011?

A small group of American 1 employees, that’s who.

And unlike a lot of places in town, our branches are still open to serve our members on Wednesday, Feb. 2.

Credit unions grow in 2010

Things are looking up for us in the credit union world, according to the Detroit News:

For a second straight year, Michigan credit unions added more than 50,000 members in 2010. That’s nearly three times the 17,000 members added in 2008, then the biggest gain in five years.

Whether it was disgust with high fees, jacked-up interest rates, slashed credit lines or the handing out of billion-dollar bonuses after taking government bailouts, more recession-weary people have decided big banks look too much like Mr. Potter, the greedy banker in Frank Capra’s classic film.

This squares with the reporting from our local on businesses turning to credit unions, too.

Not to brag, but we’ve always thought credit unions were a pretty sweet deal.

Jackson and Grass Lake Christmas parade pictures

Jackson Christmas Parade - All set to go

American 1 particpated in the Jackson, Brooklyn, and Grass Lake Christmas parade this year, and we have a bunch of pictures to share. Check out pictures of the Jackson and Grass Lake parades at our Flickr gallery.

Our friends over at took some great shots of the downtown Jackson parade, too.

Community support: a sense of duty

Brad Flory at the Jackson Citizen Patriot:

Founded in 1950 as the Jackson Co-Op Federal Credit Union, American 1 directly organizes and finances 11 community events each year in Jackson — including the Women’s Expo, the Kids’ Fest and the Teen Idol competition — with all proceeds going to local charities.

The company also gives financial support to many other community events and charities. It is largely responsible for reviving Jackson’s annual Rose Parade, and it gave the Jackson County Fair a much-needed financial boost by purchasing naming rights to the American 1 Fair Events Center.

We’re glad that Flory pointed out the other financial institutions around town that are doing their part to make Jackson a better place, too.

With so much bad news lately, it’s nice to hear about some home-grown businesses that are giving back, doing fun things, and doing it all out of what Flory calls a “sense of duty.”

Busy weekend in Jackson

Rose Parade - Follow me

Summer is, typically, a busy season for American 1. We host a bunch of summer community events – and 2010 is no different.

But this weekend is especially busy: we have both our Summer Sales Event on Friday and Saturday and the Rose Parade on Sunday.

Now that’s a crazy weekend.

At the sale, we invited dependable local dealerships to bring 200 of their best used vehicles on Friday, June 4 and Saturday, June 5 at the Sears parking lot in Jackson. Just in time to kick off your summer fun season.

The Rose Festival activities start on Saturday, but we’re proud of the Rose Parade on Sunday, June 6 starting at 1 p.m. in downtown Jackson. The parade winds its way down Greenwood Ave. and Fourth St. to Ella Sharp Park, where we kick off summer with the Party in the Park. The whole weekend is a celebration of Jackson, and a neat way to see local businesses and organizations show their creative side with all the floats.

If you’re in town this weekend, join us at both events!

Positive Jackson job news

It’s easy to get doomy and gloomy in regards to the local job market, but a few news items have popped up that are worth mentioning.

One, MacSteel is back to full employment power, says the Jackson Citizen Patriot:

Just days before Christmas 2008, 300 workers at Gerdau MacSteel were told they were being laid off indefinitely. Some held little hope the company would survive.

Then last September, the mill slowly began calling people back to work. But as of today, everyone is back on the job.

The company, which opened in 1974 and employed 380 at the time of the layoffs, saw its steelmaking and rolling sections idled as the recession set in and automotive sales dropped.

And today we learned that Tenneco added 185 jobs:

The Illinois-based company, which manufacturers automotive emission and ride control products around the world, will invest a total of $15.6 million by the end of 2011 in Michigan as it expands to make components for gas and diesel pickups, SUVs and crossover vehicles at four of its plants.

The tax credit is worth $1.8 million over seven years, and the state says it will lead to the creation of up to 185 jobs at its sites in Litchfield, Marshall, Monroe and Grass Lake. In order to receive the full amount of the credit, Tenneco has to create the 185 jobs by next year and maintain them through 2017.

Michigan’s unemployment has stuck at 14.1% as of March, still the highest in the nation, though layoffs haven’t been as heavy as they were in 2009.

“The biggest state job losses in the past 12 months have been 28,000 jobs in manufacturing; 22,000 in trade, transportation and utilities; and 16,000 in construction,” the CitPat reports.

So there. Jackson manufacturing companies adding jobs, which means more opportunities for our members who work there.

Crazy Bowl cash grab for $1,000

Congratulations to Echo Reeves of Caro, Mich. for grabbing $150 in our cash machine yesterday.

Echo won Junior Achievement’s Crazy Bowl top prize: a chance to grab for $1,000 in our cash machine. She drove all the way from Caro, about a three-hour drive to Jackson.

“I was pretty excited,” Echo says. “It was totally worth it.”

Echo’s luck was pretty good. She only purchased one ticket in the prize drawing. She took the day off work to head to our Home Office for the cash grab.

While she only grabbed $149 during the minute-long frenzy, we threw in the extra dollar to make it a nice even number.

Check out our pictures from this year’s Crazy Bowl at our Flickr gallery.

Barbara Fletcher named Rose Parade Grand Marshal

The Jackson Citizen Patriot reports:

Barbara Fletcher, 77, first organized the Rose Parade while working for WIBM-AM radio in Jackson during the early 1960s and helped it become a long-running tradition in Jackson.

This summer, she will participate in the parade for the first time in 13 years as its grand marshal…

The parade’s organizers are also seeking the input of local community members to determine this year’s parade marshal, a separate honor.

“We’re asking the community for nominations — it can be anyone,” said Liz Niles, Rose Parade and Party in the Park director.

If you have nomination ideas for Liz, drop her an e-mail at lniles at a1fcu dot org.

Look for an entire weekend of activities with the Rose Festival June 4-6.

American 1 helps replace ash trees in Jackson

American 1 Federal Credit Union is helping to replace city trees with a hefty donation, covering the remainder of the balance left by a Consumers Energy donation.

American 1 is donating $1,947, the balance remaining from the city’s $4,445 cost of replacing ash trees struck down by the emerald ash borer. Consumers Energy gave the city a $2,498 grant to help replace 50 trees, the Jackson Citizen Patriot announced last week.

Hundreds of ash trees had to be removed from the city in recent years because of the invasive ash borer. Tom Steiger, superintendent of cemeteries, parks and forestry for the city of Jackson, is replacing the ash trees with a variety of other native trees.

Without the donations from Consumers Energy and American 1, the funds to plant the replacement trees would have come out of budgeted tax dollars.

“We have had budget cuts,” Steiger said, “so every little extra bit helps.”

Steiger will probably redirect the budgeted funds to cut down a few more ash trees and plant replacements.

“It frees up a few thousand dollars so I can do more things for the city,” he says.

Progress continues at North St.

North St. - materials

Construction is continuing at our new North St. Branch, and we have new photos to share.

O’Harrow Construction now has the base of the building set up, and is working on pouring concrete, setting the roof, and defining walls at the branch location.

For up-to-date photos on our North St. progress, visit our Flickr photo gallery.

American 1 Federal Credit Union