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Gov. Whitmer touring Upper Peninsula

Tuesday marks the start of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s “UP Jobs Tour.” She is expected to focus on small businesses throughout the region, including locally. The governor will be joined by representatives from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Last week, both MTEC SmartZone CEO David Rowe and Houghton City Manager Eric Waara mentioned that representatives from the MEDC were expected in the area, as the schedule continues to be finalized.

Whitmer plans on being in Houghton Wednesday, with the spotlight on placemaking projects, such as the new downtown pier scheduled for completion in 2022. Tuesday will focus on the forestry industry. The full press release is below.

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Starting Tuesday, Governor Whitmer will embark on the ‘UP Jobs Tour’ across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to showcase Michigan’s Economic Jumpstart plan and how her administration is preparing and training the 21st Century workforce. The governor’s plan includes $1 billion to jumpstart Michigan’s economy by investing in businesses, workers, and organizations across our state.

“I am always excited to get an opportunity to visit the Upper Peninsula and work closely with the extraordinary Yoopers that enrich our state’s culture and are helping us continue our economic jumpstart,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, economic relief programs we set up supported more than 25,000 companies and retained more than 200,000 jobs across all 83 Michigan counties. I am eager to get out and meet Yoopers and visit as many small businesses as I can on this UP Jobs Tour. Together, we can take advantage of the historic opportunity we have to create more good-paying jobs and make lasting investment in childcare, education, housing, infrastructure, and more in the UP.”

Governor Whitmer and her delegation will travel to the Western U.P. on Tuesday to meet with local government and elected officials along with leaders from several area businesses in Michigan’s $20-billion forest products industry. On Wednesday, she will meet with leaders from two defense manufacturing companies and will participate in a tour featuring several economic development and placemaking projects in city of Houghton.

The governor will spend Thursday taking part in the groundbreaking ceremony of a new manufacturing facility. She will then spend time highlighting postsecondary skills opportunities for local residents and discussing innovative health care pilot programs to help get more Michiganders vaccinated.

Michigan Economic Development Corporation CEO Quentin Messer and other MEDC officials, as well as officials from the governor’s cabinet, will be participating in the governor’s mission.

“Nowhere else is Michigan’s grit and resiliency as apparent as it is in the Upper Peninsula, where even in the wake of a global pandemic, there is plenty of reason for optimism as we continue building a championship economy,” said Quentin Messer, Jr., CEO of the MEDC and President and Chair of the Michigan Strategic Fund. “I’m pleased to join Gov. Whitmer as we partner with businesses and employees in jumpstarting Michigan’s economy and helping accelerate economic growth, recovery, and transformation in the U.P. and throughout the entire state.”

Support for small businesses represents a key component of the administration’s Economic Jumpstart Plan which would allocate millions in federal relief funding to support and invest in working people in Michigan.

As part of that plan, the state is helping people go back to work and support their families while giving them the peace of mind to know that their children are safe and learning. Critical to that approach is the administration’s focus on supporting small businesses by providing access to available, affordable childcare along with strong benefits to encourage families to utilize expanded childcare options as Michigan’s recovery picks up steam.

The state also continues to build on its economic jumpstart by having achieved the fastest GDP growth in the Midwest and boasting an unemployment rate that ranks lower than the national average. As testaments to this growing economic momentum, Michigan continues to be recognized in various national business rankings, including maintaining the No. 1 spot for automotive manufacturing by Business Facilities Magazine, the No. 3 spot for sustainable development in Site Selection Magazine and being ranked a top state for FDI job growth by Global Business Alliance.

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