Explore our industries
From high-tech circuit boards to skateboard decks, goods from the Upper Peninsula (U.P.) are finding their way around the world. An economy rich in natural resources, like lumber and iron ore, creates a demand for heavy equipment manufacturing and skilled labor. Manufacturing in the Upper Peninsula continues to grow and create demand for jobs, from welders to CEOs. Some of the world’s most recognizable hardwood flooring comes from the U.P.—floors that you see in the NCAA final four, NBA championships, and at schools, stadiums, and homes around the world.
Compared to Silicon Valley, the U.P. is building a similar reputation for technology and is often referred to as “Innovation Shores.” Computer technologists, scientists and engineers looking for a lifestyle change will be pleasantly surprised by the number of world-class tech companies that make up our Innovation Shores. Experienced computer programmers and engineers are in especially high demand.
With three SmartZones, and Lake Superior State, Michigan Tech, and Northern Michigan Universities in our backyard, the U.P. also offers strong entrepreneurial support and student talent. Technologies are born in classrooms here. Faculty move their ideas from labs to create high-tech businesses, generating demand for professional jobs in engineering and management.
More than 125 years ago, banks were created to support and service the mining, farming and lumber industries that made up the majority of the U.P. economy. With conservative approaches and smart decisions, many of these banks have survived droughts and recessions and today are the backbone of the local economy. U.P. banks are strong and growing like the U.P. companies they support today. With a career in banking, you can earn at national pay scales and enjoy a U.P. lifestyle.
With millions of acres of national and state forests, four national parks, 278 local municipalities, 15 counties, four tribes, three state-funded universities, and the region’s best public school systems, a huge segment of the Upper Peninsula’s working population is employed by government agencies (more than 50%). Our beautiful forests and parks are actively managed and meticulously cared for by government employees who are genuinely interested in seeing the unspoiled landscape of the Upper Peninsula remain for another few hundred years. Mix in our hard working “Sisu”-charged public servants and you’ll find a special place to live and work for any of our government entities.
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has one of the Midwest’s top-rated public school systems. Public school teachers and administrators have the ability to earn competitive salaries, enjoy teaching in small communities where families are friendly, and best of all—they can enjoy magical U.P. summers!
In our many small communities, it is understood by most that education is the foundation of our future. We invest in our children and value advanced training and education. Students and educators in our region have unique access to world-class educational institutions like Michigan Technological University, Northern Michigan University, Lake Superior State University, and Finlandia University. In addition, high-quality training programs are available at other schools, like Gogebic and Bay Community Colleges.
Some of the world’s most important research, creative art, and essential training programs happen right here on the shores of the Great Lakes that surround the U.P. We appropriately title ourselves “Innovation Shores” and it is easy to see why. Residents of the U.P. take their confident, hard-working attitudes with them to work every day, and the outcome is consistent blue-ribbon schools and an esteemed higher-education network that is robust and noteworthy.
The Upper Peninsula is full of dynamic, classically-trained business professionals, many of whom received an education from one of the three state universities located here. Upon graduation, it’s not uncommon to see an addiction to the U.P. lifestyle become an aspiration to stay and use one’s skills and training to open a business here. This kind of spirit breeds super talent, as smart, highly skilled people settle and raise families here. We have capable and creative agencies of many varieties, each essential to the economic engine of their area, who often reach across the country because of their ability to get the job done better than anyone else. The U.P. is one of the oldest economic engines in the state. Our practice was done long before the first Ford rolled off the assembly line in Detroit.
The U.P. has several world-class healthcare systems, including Aspirus, U.P. Health System, Dickinson County Healthcare System, and several others, all of which offer the care you need right at home. The doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals that consider the U.P. home do so very deliberately. They choose to call this wonderful landscape their own, and they take it to heart that their patients are their neighbors and friends.
The U.P. has historic mining roots dating back to the earliest days of mineral exploration. Mining was the foundation on which so many of our towns and cities were built. The world’s great explorers called the U.P. home not that long ago. Our wild landscape is rich with minerals, and several mining companies are still operating. Eagle Mine, for example, employs 200 U.P. residents and sustainably mines high-grade nickel and copper. Mining is the richness of our history, but is also the richness of our minds.
Construction and related contractors are supported by steady economies that are building new homes and renovating downtowns. Our strong work ethic lends itself to high quality and skilled tradespeople whose work is coveted by people both in and outside the U.P. We’re lucky to also have one of the world’s great timber sources—a seriously huge asset to many building industries.