Manufacturing day at Bay College West with area manufacturers and schools gives students insight into professional trades careers in manufacturing

The Alliance’s new program SHIFT aims to raise awareness of professional trades careers

Iron Mountain, Mich., (September 30, 2022) – The Dickinson Area Economic Development Alliance joins Bay College West, the Dickinson-Iron ISD Tech Center, Michigan Works, and local manufacturers in marking Manufacturing Day on Friday, October 7. The event brings together ninth-grade students from area schools to interact with local manufacturers to learn about careers in the professional trades.

“After two years of virtual Manufacturing Day activities, we are thrilled to be meeting in person again at Bay College West,” remarked Lois Ellis, director of The Alliance. “We expect 300 students from Kingsford, Iron Mountain, North Dickinson, Niagara and Norway to be in attendance.”

This event is the first under The Alliance’s new SHIFT Professional Trades Careers program. The SHIFT program’s purpose is to raise awareness of the available career paths in the professional trades that are available to individuals upon graduation from high school.

“Our goal with SHIFT is to not only raise awareness of the outstanding opportunities at area employers but also to help students understand that they can have a successful career without attending a four-year university,” shared Ellis. “Those working in the professional trades play a crucial role in the health of our local economy. We need to shift perspectives about what a successful career looks like after high school graduation.”

Manufacturing Day is one opportunity for students to explore working in the professional trades. Students will also have an opportunity to learn about the available educational paths through the Dickinson-Iron ISD Tech Center and Bay College to earn while they learn.

More information about SHIFT and facts about professional trades careers are available at

Gov. Whitmer Announces 50 New Jobs as Global Building Products Manufacturer LP Building Solutions Expanding in Dickinson County

Gov. Whitmer announced the expansion of LP Building Solutions with the MEDC today. This $194 million expansion will create 50 jobs while retaining the current 151 jobs already at the site and it will be one of the largest projects supported by the MSF in the upper peninsula. With the support of a Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant, Michigan was chosen for the project over competing sites in the U.S. and Canada.

To meet growing customer demand, LP plans to convert its Sagola Township operations from the manufacture of oriented strand board to LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding, a large-scale conversion project with the potential for future expansion of a second processing line, which would create additional investment and employment opportunities in the region.

“We are excited to see this significant investment in the LP Sagola facility,” said DAEDA, Executive Director, Lois Ellis. “The project will align the plant to produce a high-value product and provide 50 additional family-sustaining jobs with excellent wages and benefits for area residents.”

Read more on the MEDC website.

Employer-Based Childcare Solutions

Lake Superior Community Partnership and U.P. Michigan Works! have just recently released an Employer-Based Childcare Solutions handout to aid the U.P.-wide childcare crisis.

An interactive version of the Employer-Based Childcare Solutions handout can be downloaded here.

If you would like the infographic version, you can download that by clicking here.

Dickinson Area Economic Development Celebrates Manufacturing Day Throughout October

IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 1, 2021

MFG Day 2021

Iron Mountain, Michigan (October 1, 2021) The Dickinson Area Economic Development Alliance joins Bay College West, Northern Initiatives-MMTC, DIISD, Michigan Works, and local manufacturers in marking Manufacturing Day on Friday, October 1, and celebrating the entire month of October.

The goal of Manufacturing Day is to raise awareness about skilled trade careers in manufacturing. Heavy Metal Tours is the Dickinson Area’s take on the annual event. Heavy Metal Tours collaborative gives high school freshmen exposure to area manufacturers to learn more about local trade careers and how they can be part of closing the skills gap within the local industry.

“We are once again extending Manufacturing Day and observing it the entire month with an interactive game that schools can administer in the classroom,” said Lois Ellis, DAEDA executive director. “Although we cannot meet in-person, we see it as an opportunity to reach more students with this information on career paths through the DIISD Tech Center and Bay College West.”

Local manufacturers participating in Heavy Metal Tours/Manufacturing Day are BOSS Snowplow, CCI Systems, Enbridge, Lake Shore Systems, MJ Electric, Systems Control, and Verso. High school freshmen and parents of high school freshmen are invited to learn more at and follow the Heavy Metal Tours social channels where facts about working in manufacturing will be shared.



The Dickinson Area Economic Development Alliance (the Alliance) is a private-public partnership in the Dickinson County, Michigan area, whose mission is to spearhead collaboration, awareness, and outreach to employers, educators and residents in order to spur further development of the greater Dickinson County Area.

About Heavy Metal Tours

Heavy Metal Tours is a collaboration between DAEDA, Bay College, Northern Initiatives-MMTC, the Dickinson-Iron Intermediate School District, and Michigan Works! It exists to educate students, parents, and school personnel about career opportunities in the trades at local Dickinson County manufacturers.

Contact: Lois Ellis,