Webinar Available to Upper Peninsula Businesses on new Department of Defense Compliance An Introduction to the DoD Cybersecurity Maturity Certification Model

Upper Peninsula —

As Upper Peninsula businesses look to engage with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) through contracts, there is a new model that all vendors for the DoD will need to follow. Suppliers without a Request for Proposal (RFP) required Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) will not be able to win new DoD contracts individually or as part of a team. The DoD CMMC is a new model to measure cybersecurity capabilities across all DoD suppliers. DoD is targeting requiring Certification Levels in RFPs by late 2020.

For the full press release, click here.

BOSS Snowplow Expands Operations in Iron Mountain


BOSS Snowplow, a leader in snow and ice management, today announced that it is expanding its facility in Iron Mountain, Michigan. The project will add approximately 44,000 square feet of additional manufacturing space to the existing facility, which will include a new paint line and improvements to its R&D facility to increase production capacity and support future growth.

For the full press release, click here.

Dickinson Area 2020 Housing Market Assessment Released by the Central Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Commission


The Central Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Regional Commission (CUPPAD) released the 2020 Housing Marketing Assessment for Dickinson County. Key findings highlight opportunities for real estate developers and property owners, some of which are already in action in downtown Iron Mountain.

For the full press release, click here.

Michigan Small Business Restart Program Grant Applications Available on Wednesday, July 15, 2020 Over $4.5 million in funding allocated to Upper Peninsula


A second round of grant funding is being made available by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) through the Michigan Small Business Restart Program which is intended to infuse an additional $100 million in grant funding to small businesses throughout the State. The funds were appropriated via the federal CARES Act funding through SB 690 and authorized by the Michigan Strategic Fund to be administered by 15 local and nonprofit economic development organizations across the State. $4,545,455 has been allocated to the Upper Peninsula to be administered through InvestUP, a regional economic development organization representing all of Upper Michigan.

For the full press release, click here.

The Alliance is Hiring!


The Dickinson Area Economic Development Alliance is growing. We are looking for a talented individual to join the team as a part time Marketing and Communications Coordinator.

For the full job description, click here.

Lake Antoine Park Partners Receive Grant


The Lake Antoine Park Partners are recipients of the 2018 Land.Water.Thrive Greenspace Enhancement Grant from The Toro Company and BOSS Snowplow. The $40,000 grant will be used to revitalize the beach and lawn areas of Lake Antoine Park. Congratulations! We are looking forward to seeing the improvements!

For more information, click here.

Villringer returns to raise family in the U.P.

Lisa Villringer was born in Iron Mountain, MI, raised in Kingsford, MI and currently serves as the Human Resources Assistant at First National Bank & Trust (FNB&T) in Kingsford, MI. As a wife, mother of two and a full-time employee, Villringer also devotes her time to improving the community.  She has brought positive energy and has made an impact through chairing the Business Development Committee for the Iron Mountain Downtown Development Authority and acting as the Race Director for the Iron Mountain Road and Trail Half Marathon. Villringer continues to volunteer her time and promote these important events.

Villringer began studying Business Administration at Bay College after graduating from Kingsford High School in 1997. She was originally signed up for Northern Michigan University (NMU), but decided to stay in the area where she’d benefit from the smaller class sizes offered at Bay College. Her favorite instructor was Mr. Roger Lacovoni, who taught U.S. History, “He was a U.S. Marine and had awesome stories that made the class really interesting. Everyone respected him,” said Villringer. Once she completed her two year associates degree she moved to Chicago and changed paths to a follow an interest in studying Esthetics.

After starting a family in Chicago, Villringer found it was difficult being away from her family in Dickinson County.  Since she enjoyed the small town feeling and knowing her neighbors growing up, she decided to return to the area to raise her family. She wanted her children to enjoy the same experiences she had as a child growing up. Villringer appreciates that people value connecting with one another, as well as the safety of the Upper Peninsula.

Once Villringer was back in the area, she began work as a teller at FNB&T, which is currently the last hometown bank in the area. She has since grown into her new role in Human Resources and also serves as the current Chair of the FNB&T Employee Training Committee.  Villringer shared, “I really love the people I work with. They do so much for the community.” Villringer’s advice for individuals looking for a career is to, “find out what the company’s mission and goals are and make sure they follow the same practices and ethics you believe in.  I appreciate working for a business that continues to give back to the community.”


Manufacturing Day is October 12 in Dickinson County

Education, community and industry partners are coming together to coordinate a Manufacturing Day event on Friday, October 12 at Bay College West Campus (Bay West) as a part of a campaign titled “Heavy Metal Tours.” The purpose of this campaign is to proactively educate students and the community about the skilled trades and technical career opportunities that exist locally.

Manufacturing Day will include 380 freshman students from Kingsford, Iron Mountain, Norway, North Dickinson and Florence. Students will partake in a round-robin of hands-on activities including a Kleenex assembly, the marshmallow challenge and constructing card towers to name a few. Participating businesses include Lakeshore Systems, BOSS Snowplow, Systems Control, Loadmaster, CCI Systems and Verso.

Dickinson County currently boasts the lowest unemployment rate in the Upper Peninsula at 3.8% with 20% of the workforce falling under the manufacturing field.  “Our employers are not only faced with the challenge of baby boomer retirements, but it is estimated we will be adding over 650 new jobs in the area within the next three to five years. We have to be proactive,” shared Lois Ellis, Executive Director of the Dickinson County Economic Development Alliance (The Alliance).

The Alliance, Bay West, Northern Initiatives and Michigan Works! are all contributing time, treasures and talents to make this a successful event for the students. “We need to inform our students and their families that technical and skilled trades’ careers offer excellent wages. There’s huge opportunity to grow and you don’t need to put yourself into years of debt,” said Gina Wollner, Manager of Business Development at Bay West.

Manufacturing Day is the first event within a larger effort to educate the community on our workforce shortage and the opportunities that exist for young people.  For more information visit heavymetaltours.com.

Bay College – West Campus
2801 North US 2
Iron Mountain, MI 49801
Contact Information: Gina Wollner 906.302.3012