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We need to think outside manufacturing box

August 31, 2012
The Alpena News

I found it disheartening to read two editorials over the course of a week stating that Alpena is not likely to entice and is not shelf ready to entice a large manufacturer to the area in order to create family wage supporting jobs. Although I think it is a great thing when local people open local businesses I also think it doesn't necessarily create the "family wage supporting" jobs we need. These types of businesses more than likely create minimum wage types of jobs and in a sense recycle local money. Tourism aside, if a business does not have a statewide, national, or global presence it recycles local money. The issue with this process is, it creates a stagnate local economy. We need the influx of the external dollars a large company operating on a global scale would bring to jump start Alpena, entice one, more will come.

Here is the other problem. We as a community need to stop thinking that we are solely a manufacturing community. Manufacturers have been leaving this community slowly over the last decade so it is now time for the community to think outside of the manufacturing box. Last I heard there's a pretty good broadband infrastructure being installed in the area. Has it occurred to anyone to entice someone along the lines of a Google, Yahoo, or other internet based service? We can leverage our Community College and our Hospital, not to mention our natural resources. By enticing these kinds of companies you will eliminate logistic and warehousing issues while increasing Alpena's national and global base giving us an influx of external dollars.

I believe Alpena and our surrounding communities could be on the verge of something great and exciting. Stop thinking manufacturing and start thinking and embracing internet style services. Think globally.

Scott Matteson




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