Moran Iron Works awarded state grant

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The MEDC approved a $2 million economic development grant for Moran Iron Works of Onaway at its Jan. 23 meeting in Lansing. Pictured, from left, prior to the board hearing at the MEDC headquarters are: Ken Murdoch, MEDC development finance manager; Becky Nash, Moran CFO; Victor Rupert, Moran director and engineering manager; Marilyn Kapp, Moran public relations director; Gerald Ganske, Moran CEO and general manager; state Rep. Peter Pettalia; Charlie Nyhus, general manager of Moran North - Cheboygan; Joe Libby, Presque Isle County EDC executive director; and Andy Hayes from Northern Lakes Economic Alliance.

The MEDC approved a $2 million economic development grant for Moran Iron Works of Onaway at its Jan. 23 meeting in Lansing. Pictured, from left, prior to the board hearing at the MEDC headquarters are: Ken Murdoch, MEDC development finance manager; Becky Nash, Moran CFO; Victor Rupert, Moran director and engineering manager; Marilyn Kapp, Moran public relations director; Gerald Ganske, Moran CEO and general manager; state Rep. Peter Pettalia; Charlie Nyhus, general manager of Moran North – Cheboygan; Joe Libby, Presque Isle County EDC executive director; and Andy Hayes from Northern Lakes Economic Alliance.

A $2 million grant to help boost economic development and job creation in the region was awarded to Moran Iron Works today, following a hearing at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

“This is one of the most important things that has happened to Moran Iron Works in 35 years of business,” said Tom Moran, founder of Moran Iron Works. “The public and private partnership that was just created has propelled this company into another class of business; one that is much needed in Northeastern Lower Michigan.  The effect this project will have to our local region will be immense and recognized nationally.”

The local contingent from Moran Iron Works that attended the MEDC meeting – Gerald Ganske, CEO and general manager; Victor Rupert, director and engineering manager; Charlie Nyhus, general manager of Moran North – Cheboygan; Marilyn Kapp, public relations director, and Becky Nash, CFO; Andy Hayes from Northern Lakes Economic Alliance; and Joe Libby, Presque Isle County EDC executive director – was met by state Rep. Peter Pettalia for the final hearing before the Michigan Strategic Fund board.

“This grant not only helps the Moran company maintain its leadership in the steel fabrication business, it also provides infrastructure that can be used by other companies and local agencies to develop projects in the region,” said Pettalia, R-Presque Isle. “I’m pleased to add my support to this effort because it’s these kinds of partnerships for development – bringing state, private and local public entities together – that are helping rebuild a healthy economy throughout Michigan. I congratulate everyone who has been working on this project as it moves closer to a successful outcome for our communities.”

Moran Iron Works, Inc. is a custom fabrication facility that has been designing, developing and manufacturing custom large metal modular components since 1978 and is expanding its Onaway facility to make larger products, as well as make dock and facility improvements at the Port of Calcite in Rogers City.

Presque Isle County has offered support to the project by purchasing a boom crawler crane to be used at the port.

“Through the hard work of Moran Works Inc. and their successes we are excited to aid them in their expansion plans and development,” Libby said. “It’s always exciting to see such a good quality company creating much needed jobs in our area.”

The $2 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant will supplement the total $16 million project investment, which is expected to generate a $100 million economic benefit over the next 10 years.

The company has currently employs 89 people, and as part of the agreement will hire 75 more before the end of December 2014.

“The goal is to increase employment opportunities in Northeastern Lower Michigan; we’ve been doing that for a long time,” Ganske said. “With the steps recently taken, and with a big help from MEDC, Presque Isle EDC and MSF, we are seeing this process expedited and our goals are being reached.”

Presque Isle EDC and Northeast MI Affordable Housing are also working with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and local school districts to ensure there are good housing and education options for new employees.