One of the best parts of my job is sitting down and catching up with local businesses. Whether they are sharing good news, challenges or new opportunities there is always a way the Lake Superior Community Partnership can assist. These discussions are the core of our business retention expansion program, and help us build the relationships necessary to be successful.
Last week I sat down with Matt Johnson, external relations manager at Lundin Mining, to get an update on their project. As an economic developer, it is gratifying to be a part of a project from inception and watch it grow and become successful. In this particular case, the LSCP has been a partner in the Eagle Mine for over a decade, beginning with the non-ferrous mining regulations being established by the state of Michigan.
Our discussion revolved around extremely positive activities at the mine and the mill. Did you know that roughly 700 people wake up and go to work at these two locations every day?
As you can imagine, Eagle Mine has a tremendous economic impact on our region. Over the life of the mine, an approximate boost of $4 billion is expected for the Marquette County economy. An estimated expenditure of $570 million is expected on goods and services in the Upper Peninsula.
About $240 million is projected in payments to state and local governments. Marquette County's economy is expected to be nearly 20 percent greater by 2016 when Eagle Mine's economic contribution peaks than it otherwise would have been without Eagle Mine.
And that's not all. The economic contribution to the rest of the State is estimated to be $179 million for the rest of the U.P. and $169 million for the Lower Peninsula. A project where everyone benefits.
So what's next? Expect to finally see ore being moved from mine to mill this later this year, ramping up to full production sometime mid-2015. Hiring? You bet. Lundin is looking to add 100 employees in 2014 including Electrical and Instrument Technicians, Mill Operators, Millwrights, Operations Supervisors and Industrial Hygienists.
Over 50 positions are currently available. If you remember, Eagle Mine is committed to a local hire goal of 75 percent and is currently tracking at 76 percent. Perhaps one of these positions is right for you or friends and family you may have outside the area who want to come back to the U.P.
During operation, over 300 will be employed by the mine. With the addition of these new positions, Eagle Mine will be the seventh-largest private employer in Marquette County.
How can you apply? Open positions at Eagle Mine are listed on the Pure Michigan Talent Connect website. To be considered for a role at Eagle Mine, build a profile at mitalent.org which is also linked from the LSCP website, www.marquette.org. When searching the talent database use keyword Eagle Mine.
So thanks Lundin for the update and your commitment to our region. Investment and jobs. Simply an economic developer's dream.
Editor's note: Amy Clickner is CEO?of the Lake Superior Community Partnership. Her twice-monthly column will address topics of interest to the local business community.