by Richard Lamb–Advance Editor
Moran Iron Works Inc (MIW), manufacturer of large custom components, has big plans for expansion in Onaway and Rogers City. The kick-start for this project, promised to bring at least 75 new jobs to the area, is a $2 million grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF), a board which promotes economic development and job creation in the state.
In cooperation with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), the MSF is designed to provide grants, loans or other economic assistance to businesses in Michigan. The MEDC formally announced the awarding of the grant in Lansing Jan. 23.
A multimillion dollar expansion to its Onaway facilities, a new $6 million facility at the Port of Calcite, a new $4 million crane and improvements at the port facilities all spell more jobs to the area.
The MSF grant is part of a set of incentives granted to 14 projects across the state where businesses are estimated to invest some $1.1 billion to create more than 4,500 jobs in Michigan.
Tom Moran, president and founder of MIW, said the improvements are necessary due to increasing demands for the company’s products. The company has been using the high-wire corridor between its plant in Onaway and the port of Calcite to transport large modular products for national and international shipping.
“Assistance is essential for our ongoing growth and the potential growth for other industries in the area. The costs of infrastructure improvements are just too high for one company to do on its own, on a timely basis. This will allow us to accelerate our business plan projects and help create additional jobs for the area,” said Moran.
MIW plans to invest $16.2 million to both improve its facility at its Onaway location and for the dock improvements and a new facility planned for nearby the loading docks at the Port of Calcite.
MIW has experienced steady growth since it’s founding. Moran was born and raised in Onaway. He started his own business, MIW, after high school graduation in 1978. Today his company employs over 100 people at three locations, Onaway, Cheboygan and Rogers City.
MIW is a custom fabrication facility that has been designing, developing, and installing custom metal work projects for over 30 years. The well equipped, 125,000-square foot fabrication facilities keep downtime to a minimum for many municipalities, industries, contractors, power companies and government entities. They specialize in one-of-a-kind fabrication and conversion.
(A complete version of this story appears in the Jan. 31, 2013 edition of the Advance)