Manufacturing Excellence Summit in the Works For October


The Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation is currently preparing for its annual “Manufacturing Excellence Summit” which will take place on Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019 at Smithers Winter Testing Center in Raco, Michigan. Lunch will begin at 11:30 a.m. and will be followed with presentations given by speakers from within the field.

These speakers include Sean Connolly, General Manager of Smithers Winter Test Area, Delaney McKinley, Senior Director of Government Affairs and Membership for the Michigan Manufacturers Association, Tammy Rutledge, Career Technical Education (CTE) Administrator for the Eastern Upper Peninsula Intermediate School District (EUPISD), and Kevin St. Onge, the EUPISD science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) d irector. This event is designed to bring manufacturers from all across the region together to celebrate the
industry, learn about opportunities, share resources, and network.

“Manufacturers create exciting, innovative and game-changing products every day in Sault Ste. Marie,” Said McKinley. “But even as they do, they are facing challenges in locating and training talent, overcoming regulatory burdens, and constant competition from other states and countries around the world. It’s more important than ever for industry leaders in this region to come together to share ideas, develop a dialogue and work together — that’s
what this Summit is meant to facilitate. As the region becomes more competitive, so will all the businesses that call Sault Ste. Marie home.”

According to the Michigan Manufacturers Association (MMA), the manufacturing industry has remained at the forefront of the nation’s job growth over the past decade. Michigan ranks seventh among states with a total manufacturing output of $93.5 billion dollars ⁠— a status which distinguishes the Great Lakes state as a key component of nation-wide manufacturing. Michigan’s first city, Sault Ste. Marie, located on the banks of the St. Mary’s River overlooking its Canadian counterpart, is well-rooted in industry. A rich manufacturing legacy combined with the presence of the Soo Locks have made the city an international hub for manufacturing, and has made the industry central to the Sault EDC’s mission of ensuring economic prosperity both within city limits and beyond.

“This annual event is a highlight of our activities,” said Jeff Holt, executive director of the EDC. “We look forward to hearing our guest speakers share their experiences.”

Individuals interested in attending the Manufacturing Summit may RSVP online at the under the “Events” tab.

The Manufacturing Summit is only one of the ways that the EDC engages with local manufacturers. In 2017, they founded the “Manufacturers Alliance,” an organization which brings together local manufacturers for monthly meetings to discuss industry issues, opportunities, and share questions and concerns with the EDC. The Sault EDC
is also a supporter of CTE programming at the local high school and manages a business incubator specifically for start-up manufacturing companies. Recently, they partnered with Lake Superior State University to plan a special manufacturing day event for 9th grade students all across the Eastern Upper Peninsula to generate interest in this ever-growing field and present manufacturing as a prospective career path to future professionals.

The Sault EDC is a non-profit organization that fosters economic growth in the community through its dedication to helping entrepreneurs establish and expand their businesses. Board meetings are held monthly and are open to the public. For more information on the EDC, their projects, programs, partnerships, upcoming events, and how to become a board member, visit their website at or follow them @SSMEDC.