U.S. Senator Gary Peters Visits Keweenaw, Meets with Local Businesses

In March, U.S. Senator Gary Peters visited the Keweenaw Peninsula to meet with local businesses and constituents. Peters, a member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, toured Calumet Electronics, which manufactures world-class printed circuit boards for a range of industries including energy and power grid management, medical diagnostics, and aerospace and defense manufacturing. He also held a roundtable discussion with local manufacturers and representatives of the MTech SmartZone and Michigan Technological University (MTU) at ThermoAnalytics, Inc. in Calumet. In the roundtable, he heard from local defense contractors about some of the challenges they face, including recruiting skilled workers, and also discussed his efforts in the Senate to support businesses and promote advanced manufacturing. Last year, Peters introduced bipartisan legislation to help boost American manufacturing through the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program. This legislation was unanimously approved by both chambers of Congress, and signed into law in January. Michigan’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership affiliate is the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC), which works with businesses across the state to help them streamline production, grow their operations and create new jobs. MMTC partners with Northern Initiatives to provide loans and support services to small companies in the Upper Peninsula.


Peters is also a strong proponent of Michigan’s leadership in the research and development of connected and automated vehicle technologies. He recently visited MTU’s Advanced Power System Research Center (APS LABS) to learn more about their connected and self-driving vehicle technology research and development efforts. In the U.S. Senate, Peters is focused on keeping Michigan researchers and manufacturers at the forefront of new innovation in vehicle technology. In February, Peters and Senator John Thune (R-SD), the chairman of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, announced a joint effort to create legislation that advances innovation in self-driving vehicle technology. Peters, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, also saw firsthand Department of Defense research taking place at MTU’s Keweenaw Research Center, which includes work on armored vehicles and unmanned systems.


Peters helped kick off the Copper Dog 150 race in downtown Calumet and joined the mushers, volunteers, businesses and members of the community to celebrate that great Michigan tradition.


“I was thrilled to visit Copper Country and see firsthand how businesses in the Upper Peninsula are working to create jobs and opportunity for residents from across Michigan,” said Senator Peters. “From the world-class research and educational opportunities at Michigan Tech to careers in advanced manufacturing for the defense and aerospace industries, the Keweenaw area is becoming a key leader in innovation. In the U.S. Senate, I’m proud to support efforts that help Michigan businesses grow and succeed.”