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Governor Whitmer helps celebrate SEI expansion groundbreaking at Sawyer

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NICOLE WALTON / WNMU
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Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the expansion of Superior Extrusion, Inc. at Sawyer Thursday morning.

The $28 million project is expected to create 44 new jobs.

Whitmer took part in the groundbreaking as part of her “UP Jobs Tour.” With bulldozers already on the job nearby, Whitmer said the state cannot fully recover from the pandemic without a focus on funding businesses.

“As we continue the Michigan Economic Jumpstart, we need to ensure that Michigan businesses have what they need to be successful, because recovery without a robust business investment and involvement won’t be complete and it won’t touch everyone.”

The first phase of the SEI project includes realignment of the Sawyer Airport access road. It will be named Gerry Corkin Drive in honor of the longtime chair of the Marquette County Board of Commissioners.

Phase II in April includes construction of a 200,000 square-foot building and installation of an aluminum press. It’s expected to be operational in December of next year.

SEI produces and ships more than 3,200 custom and standard profiles from its location in the Upper Peninsula. The company uses multiple hydraulic presses to create the aluminum shapes needed to make vehicle parts, docks, trailers, boats, and many other products. In 2020, SEI shipped more than 35 million pounds of extruded aluminum to customers across the county and currently has 160 employees on the site.

The project is the result of a partnership between the Marquette County Road Commission, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Michigan Department of Transportation and the Lake Superior Community Partnership.