Baraga EDC seeks local involvement

The Baraga County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and the village of L’Anse are seeking input and active involvement from local people and businesses involved with EDC committees and non-confidential economic development.

The committees or “pillars of excellence” will focus on subjects liketourism, finance and talent.

Although they may be led by EDC members, chairman Mark Massicotte said the board wants community members who are directly affected by any development to serve on committees.

“I’m a firm believer in a committee-based approach,” he said.

He thinks it is a good way to connect with the needs of the community and find out what it needs.

“The EDC is interested in knowing and understanding the business needs of the people,” said Massicotte.

Although most of the EDC projects are confidential, Massicotte did say he could speak about the industrial park in L’anse.

“It’s going to be a big project for 2018-19,” he said.

The project has been in the works for a few years, with L’Anse Village Manager Robert LaFave overseeing the development.

“The community is very appreciative of his efforts. His efforts have really brought this into place,” Massicotte said.

Massicotte said they are currently looking into marketing aspects and trying to obtain companies and businesses that would be a good fit for the park’s available space.

The village and EDC are hoping the park attracts local businesses but others as well.

“We want to attract multiple levels of businesses. … The facility has a number of resources readily available for them,” Massicotte said.

They want it to boost the economy and generate employment for the community, said Massicotte, who thinks more people would stay in the Copper Country if more good jobs were available.

“We’re trying to keep people in the U.P.,” he said. “We want them to come back where they grew up or went to school. Giving people the opportunity to stay in the U.P., we see as a huge aspect of the park.”