Northern Wings creates economic growth in Luce County, hopes to educate youth on trade skills

Eastern UP

NEWBERRY, Mich. (WJMN) – Tucked away in Luce County of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is a company called Northern Wings. While its location may not be well-known, Northern Wings has been manufacturing, repairing, and distributing aerospace products for nearly two decades to some of the most known companies and names in the nation and the world.

“We’re really trying to drive economic growth out of Newberry, and as much as people don’t know who we are or how visible we may be, we’re really making headway with something really unique here,” said Chris Burger, operations manager of Northern Wings.

What started as a small business in a farm field pole barn in 2001, has grown exponentially over the years and has no means of slowing down. David Goudreau, the owner/president of Northern Wings, returned to the U.P. to establish the company after retiring from the U.S. military and serving as a helicopter pilot in the Marine Corps.

Northern Wings provides certified materials and parts for commercial and military aircraft programs. This includes NASA, Boeing Aerospace, DLA, L-3 Technologies, Sierra Nevada Corporation, the U.S Park Service, and the Department of Homeland Security.

Northern Wings is an awardee of 2020 Michigan 50 Companies to Watch by Michigan Celebrates Small Business. U.P. businesses Delta Force P.I., LLC in Gladstone, and Orbion Space Technology in Houghton were also awarded this achievement.

Staff at Northern Wings hold their 2020 MCSB award.

“It’s nice to be recognized at this level, however, for us, we’re focused on [the] future and continue to grow as a company. It’s great to take a minute and say, ‘Hey, we did a really great job! But let’s pound the pavement and get back to work and do something else great’,” said Burger.

Looking to the future, Northern Wings is expanding its facility by creating a classroom to teach high school students trade skills like welding and machining.

“We are looking at getting a training program for younger high school students for machining as well as an apprentice program. So that’s kind of our next step so we can grow our own technically skilled people,” said Goudreau.

Northern Wings is Native American owned, SBA Small Disadvantaged, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business that is also HUBZone Certified.

“To us, that designation is very special.  There aren’t many small aerospace companies in the U.S. and even fewer Native Owned Aerospace companies…we are VERY proud to be both,” said Goudreau.

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