On the quiet Keweenaw Bay, an inlet on the south shore of Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, sits one of the largest manufacturers of ceiling tiles in the United States. In this rugged and rural community, CertainTeed has grown to appreciate the local workforce and reliable employees. Recently, the company made a decision to further their investment in the community, and expand operations, bringing an additional 25 jobs to the L’Anse area.
The natural grit and determination of the people who live in the area is attractive to manufacturers like CertinTeed, now one of the area’s largest employers.
They have more than 60 manufacturing facilities throughout the U.S. and Canada and employs more than 5,700 people. The manufacturing plant in L’Anse is home to the ceiling tiles division and produces mainly acoustic ceiling tiles that are found in commercial and residential buildings. Over 70 years, the company has continued to expand operations in Baraga County and now employs 190 people with the recently added jobs.
Village of L’Anse Manager Robert LaFave sees a growing interest in the local workforce by this manufacturer which shows a continued investment in local jobs. He states, “This is a well established employer in the region, they value doing business here, putting great worth on the workforce and our community.” The added jobs CertainTeed brings to Baraga County are high-paying, family sustaining positions that could help bring more hard working talent to the area.
CertainTeed, in their exploration of possible expansion options had alternative locations. State and local leaders helped make the choice easier for CertainTeed, showing their support with a $375,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund, as well as a 50% property tax abatement from the Village of L’Anse. Mary VanTilburg, representing the Baraga County Economic Development Corporation (BCEDC), helped connect the CertainTeed project with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), which resulted in the grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund. “After working with CertainTeed for over 2 years, we are excited to see them make the investment and add jobs.” VanTilburg continues, “They are a very important company in the area, and it is great to see them investing in Baraga County.” The expansion and continued support for the L’Anse community by CertainTeed is expected to generate a total private investment of $10.3 million in addition to the 25 new jobs.
A national brand, CertainTeed shows a continued value on the community and support it receives in the Upper Peninsula. This expansion showcases the strengths and economic advantages of the Upper Peninsula, among which are its workforce, sites, accessible private and public partnerships, and tight-knit communities which are open for business.
CertainTeed Ceilings Corporation was founded in 1904 as the General Roofing Manufacturing Company. Today, CertainTeed is a leading North American brand of exterior and interior building products including roofing, siding, solar, fence, decking, railing, trim, insulation, drywall and ceilings.
InvestUP is a private sector-led economic development organization keenly focused on driving economic growth across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Founded by the region’s leading private sector businesses and the region’s universities, its mission is to deliver business and job growth across the peninsula. www.investupmi.com
Karyn Olsson, InvestUP: