Lansing commitment will generate more than $156 million of holiday cheer throughout Upper Peninsula
(December 20, 2018) Michigan’s Upper
Peninsula is celebrating the recent appropriation of $119.3 million and the
creation of numerous new jobs by the outgoing Michigan State Legislature. The
approved funds will leverage an additional $37 million of additional public and
private investments, for a total of more than $156 million expected to flow
into the region. The recently passed budget bill is one of the most
economically impactful pieces of legislation for the U.P. in decades. Recipients
range from a local foundry to institutions of higher learning and famed international
appropriations will create 71 new direct jobs in Gogebic County, approximately
one-third of the number lost with the recent closing of the Ojibwa Correctional
Facility. In addition to these direct jobs, the region can anticipate many
indirect jobs in areas such as construction, transportation, painting, and
finishing resulting from funded improvements. Recipients of the appropriations include:
Foundry: The foundry will receive $1.5 million to open a new production
facility in Ironwood. The project is expected to generate total public-private
investment of $4.5 million and create 61 new direct jobs.
- Department of Natural Resources: The DNR will receive funding to support 10 new
full-time state jobs in the Ironwood area.
Locks: The state allocated $52 million for the US Army Corps of
Engineers to design and start initial construction on a new lock that will
allow large lake freighters to traverse between Lakes Superior and Huron. This
is part of a $922 million federally approved project that could bring over one
thousand jobs to the region over the next eight years.
Technological University: Michigan Tech received construction
authorization of $44.7 million toward a new H-STEM
Engineering and Health Technologies Complex to support educational programs
that apply engineering and science to health and other problems related to the
human condition. The state will invest $29.7 million into this public-private
- Northern Michigan University: NMU received construction authorization of $28.6
million to rebuild its Jacobetti Center, which features more than 40 specialized laboratories and classrooms
for education in skilled trades. The
state will invest $20.1 million into this public-private partnership.
- Copper Peak & Pine Mountain: The famed ski jumps in Ironwood and Iron Mountain
will invest $20 million to prepare the jumps for international competitions. The
renovations of these facilities will create a synergy for competitions and provide
for a year round, world class training facility at Copper Peak. The state will invest $10 million into
this public-private partnership.
- Gogebic Community College: An allocation of $2 million will result in a $2.5
million build on the campus for a certificated skilled trades program,
including welding, that will provide a talent pipeline to area businesses.
- Buffalo Reef:
The state appropriated $3 million for the clean-up and removal of waste product
that threatens lake trout and whitefish spawning off the shore of Keweenaw
- Delta County Conservation District: An outlay of $1 million will support ongoing efforts
to complete removal of the Escanaba Bridge and clean up resulting debris and
contamination, paving the way for new development by the township.
Marty Fittante, State
Senator Tom Casperson’s chief of staff, worked closely with a number of local
partners, Governor Rick Snyder’s team, and institutional stakeholders on
behalf of Senator Casperson to ensure these significant projects were included
in the this bill. Starting in January, he
will take the reins as CEO of InvestUp, where he will continue to advocate for
the region as he has in Lansing. Fittante is thrilled with the appropriations.
He says, “I applaud these individuals and interests, especially Senator
Casperson, for their tireless work and foresight in passing this critical
legislation before the end of the year. These very different projects will have
an enormous impact on the region and its people.”