Three people stand in front of a blank wall, and the woman on the right is presenting a man with an award.

Marquette-Alger CTE Committee Receives ‘Non-profit Organization of the Year’ Award

Press release provided by UPEDA

The Marquette-Alger Career Technical Education (CTE) Committee is this year’s recipient of the Upper Peninsula Economic Development Alliance’s “Nonprofit Organization of the Year” award. The committee was honored at Operation Action U.P.’s annual meeting on Feb. 13 at Northern Michigan University in Marquette.

The Marquette-Alger CTE Committee was honored at the meeting for its continuous support of secondary and post-secondary vocational programs and providing the skilled workforce needed to sustain and grow the regional economy. Originally established with just three members in 2013, the organization now consists of 43 members representing 35 different organizations throughout Marquette and Alger counties. The group has five meetings per year.  

The CTE committee endorses various programs, including M-A Technical Middle College, where students can enroll in professional trades, healthcare, cybersecurity, and line tech courses, and earn up to 46 credit hours at NMU at no cost to them. Eagle Mine graciously supports the program with a monetary contribution of $125,000 every year. A report shows that high school students enrolled in CTE courses in Alger and Marquette counties have increased from 37% to 51% since the committee was established. The state average is 25%.

In September, the CTE Committee launched U.P. Professional Trades Career Days at the Marquette County Fairgrounds. Over 1,000 students from 16 high schools participated in the two-day event. Thirty-three percent of the students said the event helped them discover their future career, while 48% said they learned about a career and wanted to know more.

The Industry After-Hours Program also started in 2019 and allows students and their parents to visit various work sites. Another supported program called Geometry in Construction, where students apply geometrical principles learned in the classroom to construction projects is now being used in seven U.P. high schools.

The mission of the Upper Peninsula Economic Development Alliance, or UPEDA, is to enhance, link and promote the unique aspects of the region as the superior location in which to invest and conduct business, making the Marquette-Alger CTE Committee a commendable candidate for this year’s award. UPEDA is a nonprofit organization incorporated in 1999. Its members consist of private companies, utilities, and local and regional economic development agencies throughout the U.P. UPEDA provides a forum for its members to work together to share information, provide ongoing education, and support businesses and entrepreneurial growth across the region. Members meet quarterly to participate in high-impact professional development and networking.

Five for-profit organizations also received Operation Action U.P. Awards of Excellence at the meeting last week. Those were: Advanced Center for Orthopedics and Plastic Surgery, Bacco Construction Company, Hurley Marine Inc., and Trenary Home Bakery.