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Event helps professionals Return North to the UP

(Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette) Nik Hector of Green Bay talks with Shellie Hubert, Emmett Golde and Jarrod Karau of Michigan Technological University at the third annual Return North event Friday.

HOUGHTON — Professionals looking to return to the area got leads and made connections at the third annual Return North Friday. 

Held at the Continental Fire Co., the event featured local businesses offering jobs in the area, including Michigan Technological University, Thermoanalytics and GS Engineering. Aside from LucidCoast of Marquette, all were based in the Keweenaw area.

This year was the first in a partnership with Marquette’s Smartzone, Innovate Marquette. 

“We have similar goals where we have a need for talent, we have a need for people to come back to this area,” said Jason Mack, vice president of business development at MTEC SmartZone. “There are plentiful jobs to be found. Sometimes it’s a matter of making that connection with the right person or persons to fill those positions.”

Previous years have generated success stories, including a Michigan Tech alum who had moved downstate. 

“He ended up getting an interview, was hired full-time and he’s been here and loving that move ever since,” Mack said. 

Jeff Kreipke of Hudson, Michigan, is looking to return to the area along with his wife, a U.P. native; both she and Kreipke are Tech alumni. He is primarily looking for mechanical engineering work, though he also has technical sales experience. 

“We heard about the event, and it just seemed like a great opportunity to network face to face,” he said. 

Another Tech alum, Nik Hector of Green Bay, has been working in manufacturing. While he did not plan to apply to any of the companies, it had been a success because of the interesting people he’d met.

“You get to talk to people here about opportunities you really can’t find online,” he said. 

Superior National Bank was looking for a retail lender. There had been some promising candidates, said Vice President and Human Resources Director Robbyn Lucier. 

Even for people who don’t fit the position, they might still need the services SNB provides, Lucier said. 

“If they’re thinking about moving back here, they might be buying a home, they might need a mortgage, or a place to go for their checking and savings,” she said. 

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