New U.P. wide campaign urges the unemployed to get back to work.

Over 1,000 jobs available. Businesses at risk of closing doors.

UPPER PENINSULA, MICHIGAN (September 8, 2020) — Upper Peninsula Michigan Works! announced today a region-wide awareness campaign aimed at filling over 1,000 jobs in the region. The decision to run this campaign came after hearing from a large number of U.P. employers who struggle to get unemployed workers back to work. This issue is severe enough that if not corrected, businesses will close for good.

As the economy started to reopen in May businesses have found themselves competing with increased unemployment wages and other federal stimulus programs. Just last week, the Governor Whitmer’s administration added a $300 weekly supplement to Michigan unemployment insurance checks.
While unemployment in the Upper Peninsula is down more than half from April (24% to 8%), there are still close to 1,000 jobs that need to get filled.
Small businesses continue to struggle rehiring people for the important jobs needed to operate their businesses. Right now, there are more than 1,000 great jobs across the Upper Peninsula in a wide variety of industries and skill levels that must be filled immediately.

While Upper Peninsula Michigan Works! can only account for 750 jobs, they know there are hundreds of more unreported job openings right now. Upper Peninsula Michigan Works! CEO Bill Raymond explained, “My concern right now is helping our U.P. businesses keep their doors open. My bigger and more longer-term concern is that by the time employees are ready to return to work (when benefits run out), there will not be job opportunities.” Concerned about the future of the U.P. workforce, Raymond pleads with employees. “Getting back to work is critical for our workers, our communities and the U.P. economy, that our workforce return to their jobs immediately.”

Throughout July and August, the entire UP has been minimally impacted with an average of 30 active cases spread over 15 counties. Half of U.P. counties have experienced less than 10 cases ever. Most importantly, businesses are taking social distancing recommendations very seriously. “U.P. businesses have done a great job in implementing measures and best practices to keep their employees, customers and communities safe”, says Marty Fittante, CEO InvestUP.

“And, that was a challenge that the business community quickly rose to meet in light of the robust tourism and traffic we have seen, such as with university students returning to the UP. These realities also translate to hope that the UP economy has a path forward. However, that hope is challenged by a desperate demand for workers across many sectors of our economy. That is why we are grateful for this effort by our friends at Michigan Works to help encourage a match between employers needs and displaced employees.”

The attention-getting campaign is expected to start rolling out this week. The campaign was designed to grab people’s attention with funny but thought provoking ads while featuring the very important message that there are over 1,000 local jobs right now.

Upper Peninsula Michigan Works! is helping businesses spread the word that they hiring immediately. Regional employers who are not engaged with Upper Peninsula Michigan Works! are encouraged to visit the Employers page at to find the contact information for the local office.

About Upper Peninsula MiWorks!
UP Michigan Works! (UPMW) is a driving force in the competitive world of workforce development and economic prosperity and serves the 15 counties of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. We connect employers, job seekers, training institutions, partners and the community to maximize state and federal workforce resources. We support businesses to recruit, upskill and retain top talent, and we coach individuals to be better employees. Through workforce development, we help people and business ‘Get Ready to Win!’.

Media Contacts & Interviews

Bill Raymond, CEO
Upper Peninsula MiWorks!
(906) 280-5529

(InvestUP is the region’s lead economic development organization) Marty Fittante, CEO
(906) 280-7800

(agency of record, created campaign)
Karyn Olsson, CEO
Marketing Department, Inc.
(906) 483-2000