ROCK — The Superior Trade Zone held their inaugural meeting earlier today at the Rock Lion’s Club.
The purpose of Tuesday’s meeting was to get everybody who was a part of the government inter–local agreement to the Superior Trade Zone together to get an overview on what they will be working towards in the future.
Escanaba City Manager Jim O’Toole said, “We’re working together becoming the central voice of the central U.P. for economic development and trying to get projects launched and concepts launched and job creation will be a primary function of the board.”
The primary focus of the Superior Trade Zone is to attract and retain businesses and industries to a region. So far these counties are off to a great start.
“The collaboration between the units of government in Delta and Marquette County has been phenomenal,” added O’Toole, “and to that end we have created some partnerships that we think are going to pay dividends for years to come.”
After five years of preparing, the ball is officially rolling for this exciting economic opportunity. Each of the fourteen jurisdictions that are involved will announce who they have chosen to represent them for the board on July 15th. On July 1st a starting budget of $40,000 will be available for future projects. The Superior Trade Zone will allocate those funds among the appointed areas for the time being, but the expansion for covering additional areas in the future holds potential.
“The primary focus on the initial project was Marquette and Delta counties with a commitment to the east and the west that as we grow and become successful we developed it so that we can build out and start encompassing other counties.
The next meeting will most likely be held in July or August. There is still plenty of work to be done for the first Next Michigan Development Corporation in the U.P., but the economic engine is running.