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Thursday, August 19, 2021
• Governor attends groundbreaking for new $20.4 million facility that will bring 44 manufacturing jobs to Forsyth Township • Celebration among stops on three-day Upper Peninsula trip highlighting the state’s strong economic jumpstart as Michiganders get back to work
LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined officials from Superior Extrusion, Inc. along with state and local officials to celebrate the groundbreaking for the company’s $20.4 million expansion in Forsyth Township, thanking the aluminum products provider for its continued investment in Michigan and the creation of 44 new jobs that will result.
“Superior Extrusion’s continued expansion in Michigan demonstrates the strength of our business climate and underscores the importance of our state’s talented workforce,” said Governor Whitmer. “As we jumpstart Michigan’s economy, today’s groundbreaking is helping to build the path for economic growth and recovery right here in the Upper Peninsula.”
Whitmer made her remarks today at the groundbreaking ceremony of the company’s new manufacturing facility at Sawyer International Airport in Forsyth Township. The governor is in the Upper Peninsula this week on a three-day ‘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.
Superior Extrusion, Inc., a national leader in extruded aluminum products, announced its plans for the facility in May following Michigan Strategic Fund approval of an amendment increasing the company’s existing Michigan Business Development Program grant to $422,000. The amendment helped secure an additional $20.4 million in investment by SEI in Michigan over competing sites on Iowa and Ohio. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) also awarded the project a state Transportation Economic Development (TEDF) grant in the amount of $660,000 to help fund infrastructure improvements associated with the expansion.
SEI produces and ships more than 3,200 custom and standard profiles from its location in the Upper Peninsula. The company uses multiple hydraulic presses to create the aluminum shapes needed to make vehicle parts, docks, trailers, boats, and many other products. In 2020, SEI shipped more than 35 million pounds of extruded aluminum to customers across the county and currently has 160 employees on the site.
Due to increased business demands, the company needed to expand its operations and is constructing a new facility on land currently occupied by 11th Street, the main route into the airport.
“This is the largest expansion project in the 23 years that we’ve been in business at Superior Extrusion, Inc.,” said SEI Chairman of the Board George LaBlonde III. “We are so grateful for the partners that continue to support and help us to stay in Gwinn and grow. We would not be here today without our dedicated employees providing quality products to our customers in Michigan and the Midwest.”
The project will provide competitive wages and will support continued manufacturing industry growth in the state. The project represents one of the largest manufacturing expansions in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in years.
“Congratulations to the team at Superior Extrusion Inc. on your tremendous growth and success. We appreciate your continued vote of confidence in our state and in our workforce, and look forward to working with you over the coming months and years as you continue to grow and add jobs for Michigan residents,” said Quentin Messer, Jr., CEO of the MEDC and President and Chair of the Michigan Strategic Fund. “We’re proud to join the Department of Transportation, the Lake Superior Community Partnership and other partners as we send the message that we are working to build a championship economy here in the Upper Peninsula.”
MDOT’s TEDF grant will help support work performed by the Marquette County Road Commission including relocating 11th Street, building a new roundabout and road from the existing 11th Street south to 10th Street, resurfacing and adding turn lanes on Kelly Johnson Memorial Drive and 10th Street, and other associated road improvements. The new road going into the Superior Extrusion Facility at K.I. Sawyer will be called Gerry Corkin Drive, after longtime public servant and chair of the Marquette County Board, Gerry Corkin.
“This is another example of how this important economic development program fills gaps in road funding and helps road agencies across the state respond before an important regional business moves assets and jobs out of Michigan,” said MDOT Director Paul C. Ajegba. “These investments by MDOT and the Marquette County Road Commission will not only allow Superior Extrusion to expand at its current location, they will improve the overall flow of traffic for both the company and the general public accessing the airport.”
“It has been exciting to watch Superior Extrusion’s growth over the years,” said Lake Superior Community Partnership Director of Business Development Mary Myers. “We are very fortunate to have them in Marquette County and look forward to seeing their continued success.”
Following today’s groundbreaking, Gov. Whitmer announced that the city of Manistique has received $358,717 in Community Development Block Grant funds for the Multi Family Rehab at 107 River Street project in downtown Manistique.
The project will create new residential space throughout the historic building in the heart of downtown. When completed, the building will include four new residential units, with three of the apartments to be occupied by low- to moderate-income households. The CDBG funds will be used for architecture and engineering, partial interior demolition, construction of new interior walls, and plumbing and mechanical upgrades. Installation of new fixtures, energy efficient appliances, cabinetry, drywall, flooring and painting will also be completed.
The project is expected to generate a total private investment of $123,817 and will revitalize an underutilized historic building into much-needed housing in downtown Manistique. The city of Manistique has committed to supporting the project by funding snow removal and park improvements.
“By revitalizing this historic building, this project will bring new opportunities for economic growth and vibrancy to downtown Manistique,” Whitmer said. “This project is an example of our commitment to creating the places where people want to live, work, visit, and play, and where businesses want to invest and grow.”
“The city of Manistique is proud to support the owners of the project on River St.,” said Manistique City Manager and Finance Officer Sheila Aldrich. “We appreciate that they are making such a big investment in our community and are providing a much-needed housing need.”
About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.
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