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IRON RIVER, MI – U.S. Senator Gary Peters began day three of his #RideMI Motorcycle Tour with a visit to Jacquart Fabrics in Ironwood for Northern Initiatives’ “Thanks a Million” event. Jacquart Fabrics has worked closely with Northern Initiatives, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), to secure small business loans. The “Thanks a Million”event series recognizes Michigan counties that have received over $1 million in loans from Northern Initiatives. Peters, a member the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, is a strong supporter of Michigan’s manufacturing industry.
“From paper products and clothing to electronics and autos, Michigan’s manufacturers are the lifeblood of our economy,”said Senator Peters. “I am proud to support legislation that helps our state’s manufacturers like Jacquart Fabrics grow their businesses so they can employ more Michiganders and help their communities thrive. Thanks to the hard work of groups like Northern Initiatives, I look forward to seeing even more opportunities for ‘Thanks a Million’ events across the state.”
“Small businesses create two out of every three jobs in the United States; they are essential to community development,”said Chuck Hurst, vice president of Northern Initiatives. “We provide small businesses with needed financial and business resources to help them grow and spur job creation. We thank Senator Peters for his support and for joining us today to celebrate this important milestone for Gogebic County.”
“The Upper Peninsula’s small businesses are at the heart of our communities, creating jobs and driving local economic growth,” said Bob Jacquart, CEO and Owner of Jacquart Fabric Products. “Senator Peters has been a strong partner in our work to support small businesses, and I thank him for joining us at Jacquart Fabrics today to honor the work of Northern Initiatives and UP small businesses.”
Jacquart Fabrics has also worked with Northern Initiatives and Michigan’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) affiliate, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC), to help streamline and improve their manufacturing processes. Peters’ bipartisan American Innovation and Competitiveness Act, which was signed into law last year, helps expand and strengthen the MEP program to reach more small and medium-sized manufacturers. MEP centers across the country offer resources that enable manufacturers to compete globally, support greater supply chain integration, and provide access to information, training, and technologies that improve efficiency, productivity and profitability. Michigan’s MEP affiliate, MMTC, has provided advice and technical expertise to Michigan businesses for 25 years.
Peters then traveled to Iron County to tour Lake Shore Systems to highlight Michigan’s growing defense manufacturing sector that benefits both America’s military and Michigan’s economy. Lake Shore Systems is a developer and manufacturer of defense supplies including doors, ramps, refueling systems and other custom solutions for the military.
“Michigan’s growing defense manufacturing sector is helping to develop and produce the equipment that helps our servicemembers to perform their duties safely and effectively,” said Senator Peters. “I am committed to supporting Michigan companies like Lake Shore Systems that are playing a critical role in creating innovative solutions to meet the current and future challenges of warfare.”
“Lake Shore Systems is proud to manufacture in the Upper Peninsula and produce specialized systems for our nation’s military – including for the newly-commissioned USS Ford aircraft carrier,” said Daniel Brusso, Executive Vice President-Operations, Lake Shore Systems. “We appreciate the opportunity to show Senator Peters around our facility in Iron River and look forward to partnering with him to support Michigan’s defense manufacturing industry in the future.”
Peters is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a strong supporter of Michigan’s defense manufacturing sector. In the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018, Peters authored several provisions and amendments to support local defense manufacturers, including funding to modernize Stryker vehicles that use components supplied by several Michigan companies. Peters also attended the recent commissioning of the USS Ford aircraft carrier, named for Michigan native and 38th President Gerald R. Ford. Lake Shore Systems was one of several Michigan companies that manufactured parts for this new class of aircraft carriers.