ISHPEMING — Seventy-six years ago, then President Roosevelt called on Michigan to help equip America’s military. Fast forward to today, and the state is still providing equipment and support to our nation’s heroes.

“Sixty-seven out of 83 counties have a prime contractor in their county and that is not counting the sub-contractors,” said Sean Carlson, director of the Michigan Defense Center. “We have over 4,000 companies doing business with the federal government in Michigan,” he added.

And that business is big business when it comes to the state’s economy. Michigan has 105,000 plus jobs related to the defense industry, contributing $9 billion annually.

“A big impact in the U.P. as well,” said Carlson. “Even though Marinette Marine is in Wisconsin, a lot of those jobs at Marinette Marine are Yoopers. Northern Wings Repair in Luce County is making critical parts for NASA, for the Air Force, for the Defense Logistics Agency.”

President Trump wants additional federal funds going towards defense spending. As director of the Michigan Defense Center, Carlson is traveling around the state talking with stakeholders about the economic prospects that could be available to them through the MDC’s 17-point Protect and Grow strategic plan.

“What we’re trying to do is connect he parties and help people understand that there are some defense opportunities,” said Carlson.

As part of that plan, Carlson visited with Northern Michigan University officials Wednesday.

“We’re talking about trying to build a cyber hub up here,” said Carlson. “We need to pump in that talent and connect it with high schools as well from a workforce development perspective and also the university.”
For more information about the Michigan Defense Center, click HERE.