Lt. Gov. Calley tours U.P. small business

Posted: August 8, 2012

by Eric Kane, TV 6

L’ANSE — On Tuesday morning, Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley continued his U.P. small business tour with a stop at L’Anse Manufacturing in Baraga County.

After meeting with business owners across the U.P., Calley says he”s discovered how overlooked the manufacturing industry is above the bridge.

“The U.P. has a lot of untold stories, particularly about manufacturing,” said Calley. “As we work on public policy goals for the state of Michigan, I think it”s really important we truly understand, celebrate, but then also form public policy around the needs of Michigan”s Upper Peninsula.”

For Mark Massicotte, President of L’Anse Manufacturing, having the Lieutenant Governor spend time visiting was impressive alone. “They’re looking at rural America, not just the large corporations, the large cities,” said Massicotte. “That’s appealing to me because this is where my home is.”

The lieutenant governor’s visit comes during a time of economic hardship in Baraga County. Despite some improvements, the county still has the highest unemployment rate, 13.8 percent, in the state.

Massicotte says in order for companies like his to turn the tide and hire within the community, there needs to be a skilled labor force. “That’s where I”d like to see better attention by the state level, at the school and college focus for training,” Massicotte explained.

Calley agrees and says the governor is committed to tailoring education policy towards the demands of the workforce. “Better coordinating or better integrating our education efforts with the private sector workforce demands, I think will result in much more opportunity for people,” Calley said.

Calley will finish his U.P. tour in Manistique Tuesday night before heading back downstate.

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