MEDC CEO Visits Manufacturing Plant in Copemish

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s CEO made a stop in Copemish on Wednesday to visit MR Products.

File“It’s important for us at Michigan Economic Development Corporation to reach out to businesses across the state,” said CEO Quentin Messer.

MR Products got its start downstate in 1960 and move their company to Copemish in 1969. They make 50,000 ft of plastic chains a day, along with the equipment to go along with it.

MR Products was also one of the recipients of the MEDC’s Jobs Ready Grant, which provides $200,000 over a three year period to hire and train 25 new employees.

“I’m excited to show him what we make and have him meet some of our people and hear about our training,” said MR Products President Maree Mulvoy. “We’re going to talk to him a little bit about the labor situation, the lack of skilled workers, the need for more skilled workers, more training.”

MR Products isn’t immune to losing employees.

“We’ve lost a couple folks recently who’ve gone and made a dollar or two more to go, even sometimes to a fast food place,” said Mulvoy. “One of the concerns I have is we have a very rich benefits package and I think some people just look at the base wage and don’t consider the full package.”

That’s something the MEDC wants to change—especially when people are leaving their jobs for a higher wage.

“We have to continue to listen and understand why people make the decisions they make,” said Messer. “We understand there are very real costs, whether it’s childcare, elder care, transportation. At 50 cents an hour, a dollar an hour really does on an after tax basis make a difference.”

The CEO says his visit gives him perspective on how businesses, especially in northern Michigan, have been dealing with the pandemic.

“What it makes you realize is the importance of getting out and understanding and come alongside businesses to help them solve problems,” said Messler.