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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announces 25 manufacturing jobs in Northern Michigan


June 16, 2021                                                             

Contact: Kathleen Achtenberg 


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announces 25 manufacturing jobs in Northern Michigan  


  • M R Products investing $4.2 million to expand its operations in Manistee County, receiving Jobs Ready Michigan support for workforce training from the Michigan Strategic Fund 
  • New mixed-use development in Baldwin to boost tourism, bring needed housing to the area 


LANSING, Mich.?- Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) today to announce two projects in Northern Michigan that will create 25 manufacturing jobs in Copemish and provide additional housing in Baldwin have been approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund. 


"As we continue Michigan's economic jumpstart, these two projects help us create good-paying jobs and build more housing in Northern Michigan," said Governor Whitmer. "We are proud to support the continued growth of M R Products, including these 25 new manufacturing projects in Copemish, as well the renovation of a vacant building in Baldwin to further economic opportunity and boost housing supply in the area." 


M R Productsestablished in 1960 in the village of Copemish, is a leading manufacturer of crowd control and visual barriers. The company operates under the trade name Mr. Chain and currently has 77 employees. The company has experienced significant growth, more than tripling in revenue and expanding its workforce by nearly 40 percent over the past year. M R Products plans to expand into another building in Copemish, a project that will generate a total private investment of $4.2 million and create 25 new jobs. The company been awarded a $200,000 Jobs Ready Michigan Grant to support recruitment and job training efforts associated with the expansion in Manistee County. The company currently offers community college training that will provide employees with a transferable certification when completed, giving employees career pathways and opportunities to gain new skills. 


 "This Jobs Ready Michigan Grant will enable M R Products, Inc. to continue to invest in its people, particularly in training for skilled manufacturing trades," said M R Products Chief Operating Officer Ryan Schultz. "After 61 years in business, more than 50 of which have been in the village of Copemish, the expansion of 2021 places the Company in a position to work more efficiently and effectively and hire more northern Michigan residents. We are extremely excited and grateful to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation for its award of this generous grant." 


The?Jobs Ready Michigan Program?is designed to provide grants for business expansion and location projects that lead to job creation and investments in Michigan that have a demonstrated training need, particularly in pursuing new opportunities for high-tech, high-demand, and high-wage jobs. The project aligns with MEDC's strategic goals of creating jobs in the field of manufacturing and providing jobs in an economically disadvantaged area of Michigan. 


"The sustained growth and success of M R Products - a female owned company - in Copemish continues to provide great jobs in rural Manistee County," said Stacie Bytwork, President and CEO of the Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce.  "The announcement today demonstrates the value of working together with businesses, our state partners, county governments, and the Chamber as we took proactive steps to invest in jobs and our communities."    


Vacant building in downtown Baldwin will be renovated into mixed-use development, boosting tourism and bringing needed housing to the area 


876 Michigan, LLC plans to redevelop a vacant two-story building in the village of Baldwin into a mixed-use building with restaurant space on the ground level and three residential apartments with a common area on the second floor. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $1.4 million, supported by a $450,000 Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant. 


The project will increase vibrancy and density in downtown Baldwin by transforming an unutilized building into viable restaurant and much-needed residential space. The development is expected to act as a catalyst to bring additional investment to the area. In addition, though recreational tourism is the number one industry in Baldwin and Lake County, currently there are no traditional dine-in restaurants in downtown Baldwin. The proposed restaurant is expected to help draw tourists and bring new vitality to the area 


The village of Baldwin has approved a 12-year Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act tax abatement valued at $33,692. The village is also engaged with MEDC's Redevelopment Ready Communities program. 


"The Village is looking forward to the successful completion of this project, said Jim Truxton, President of the Baldwin Village Council. "We are excited about the impacts on our downtown. We couldn't have done it without the assistance of the Michigan Strategic Fund and the ability to locally create an OPRA district to give new life to this obsolete property. We hope to inspire other property owners to revitalize their buildings 


"We are working to retain and grow companies like M R Products who are creating jobs in Northern Michigan, as well as developing the vibrant communities that support our tourism industry and are places in which our workforce can live, work and play," said Josh Hundt, Chief Business Development Officer and Executive Vice President at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. "We are proud to work with local officials in Copemish and Baldwin on each of these respective projects to help drive economic opportunity in the region." 


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? Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at?www.michigan.orgJoin the conversation on:?Facebook,?Instagram,?LinkedInand?Twitter. 



Photo courtesy of M R Products