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Manufacturing tech center awarded federal grant

December 31, 2012
By JOHN PEPIN - Journal Staff Writer ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - A $1.1 million U.S. Department of Commerce grant was recently awarded to the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center to fund its operations across Michigan for the coming year.

U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, co-chair of the Bipartisan Senate Manufacturing Caucus, and Carl Levin, D-Detroit, announced support for the center's efforts to help small and medium-sized manufacturers throughout the state expand and create new high-tech jobs.

The center is headquartered in Plymouth with affiliate offices in Grand Rapids, Saginaw, Traverse City and its office at Northern Initiatives in Marquette.

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"The Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center is helping small and medium-sized manufacturers across our state make new cutting-edge products and create high-tech jobs," Stabenow said. "We have seen consistent job growth in manufacturing over the past few years thanks in part to the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which helps our manufacturers grow their businesses and stay competitive in the global economy."

The Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center is the Michigan affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership. The partnership is a public-private network of centers that assist small and medium-sized manufacturers with innovative strategies to create new advanced manufacturing jobs, expand operations into new markets, and become more efficient.

"Manufacturing is the backbone of Michigan's economy and the nation's," Levin said. "This grant will help the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center provide vital assistance to manufacturers across our state to help them compete nationally and globally."

In 1985, Northern Initiatives began as an academic department of Northern Michigan University in an effort to stem the tide of migration from the region. Today, Northern Initiatives is a private nonprofit community development corporation that provides small rural businesses in Michigan and northeast Wisconsin with access to capital, information and markets, according to the Northern Initiatives' website.

Northern Initiatives partners with NMU and the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center.

Across Michigan, the center represents roughly 13,600 small manufacturers. In the U.P., the center, through Northern Initiatives, is associated with about 400 small manufacturers with woodworking the largest industry. For more information on the center, visit

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206.



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