2001 Excellence Award Winner

White Pine Industrial Park | White Pine, MI

White Pine Industrial Park

For 45 years, the White Pine Mine was the major source of employment and economic stability in the Western UP. In it’s heyday, the mine employed over 2,000 people in it’s various operations. When they could no longer afford to operate, because the cost of production and the market price of copper shifted, the mine closed.

Rather than lament the loss of a major employer, local visionaries were determined to find something positive in the change. The last manager of the mine suggested the ownership of the vacant mining properties be transferred to the Ontonagon County EDC, so they could be turned into active business centers.

The EDC rose to the challenge and spearheaded a coalition of local government units to develop an industrial park at the former mine site.

Today, with the aid of $1.2 million in loans and grants, the infrastructure is in place for the site to grow into an industrial center and magnet for industry. A number of companies have already moved into the park, which also has room for future development.

Here to accept the Award of Excellence for the White Pine Industrial Park is Barry Fay. He worked for three years on the White Pine Industrial Park project and is currently responsible for figuring out “what to do” with an idle, 40 megawatt power plant that provided electricity to the former Copper Range mining site.