SMALL LABOR FORCE MAJOR HINDRANCE TO AREA'S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT,
ACCORDING TO NEW DIRECTOR OF DICKINSON AREA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ALLIANCE
(Iron Mountain - February 20, 2018) - The lack of available workers is a
major impediment to economic growth and development within the County, according
to the new director of the Dickinson Area Economic Development Alliance.
Lois Ellis (pictured above) was recently hired as director of the organization
by the alliance's board of directors, and appeared at the Monday meeting of the
Iron Mountain City Council to officially introduce herself.
there must be a major effort to both attract new talent to the area and retain
During the discussion, City Manager Jordan Stanchina
pointed out that there are "some 400" jobs available in the area, with nobody to
fill them. He said that the goal is no longer to chase after the anonymous
investor with the anonymous business; the goal now is to help existing
businesses grow and prosper.
The lack of an available work force is
demonstrated best by the fact that Dickinson County has traditionally had one of
the lowest unemployment rates in the State of Michigan; well below the National
In response to an inquiry by Mayor Dale Allesandrini, Ellis said
that the alliance will begin sharing it's monthly board meeting minutes with the
Council so that they can see what their investment is doing.
Pro-Tem Bill Revord asked why there was no representation on the alliance's
board of directors from the City of Iron Mountain. Ellis said that in order to
keep the size of the board at a reasonable number, seats will rotate between
jurisdictions, and Iron Mountain will get it's chance to be represented. She
added that the City is more than welcome to take part in the alliance's strategy
The director said that there are ongoing efforts to attract
additional housing development to the area, since there is a need for more
housing in all economic groups.