The education of our youth is extremely important. They are our future. We need strong schools that respect our teachers and provide a bright future for our children. But education is only one piece of the puzzle. What happens when we educate the next generations but our local businesses and industries don’t have jobs for them? We need to focus on developing our infrastructure so that we can ensure our youth have jobs that keep them here to raise their families.
The 109th is relying on an aging infrastructure that can barely handle our current electrical needs, let alone provide power for new industry. We need to have an infrastructure that can handle the additional needs of new and expanding businesses. The Upper Peninsula electrical grid is running very close to its production capacity. We need to increase that capacity and ensure stability of the grid in order to expand our economic growth. During John’s tenure as Mayor of Marquette he has worked with Michigan based energy producers, U.P. Representatives and the Governor’s office on preliminary plans to solve this issue. As State Representative he will continue to work on this issue until the U.P. has the power it needs.
International Port Strategy
Another key component in economic development is transportation of goods. Michigan small and medium businesses are national leaders in exports. Currently, Upper Peninsula businesses must transport their products to a federally designated International Port for air shipping which means Wisconsin, Illinois and a lot of additional costs. To make Upper Peninsula business more globally competitive John Kivela has worked with the Department of Homeland Security and the Michigan Governors office to extend Marquette’s International Port Status from the harbor to KI Sawyer Airport. When completed this will create jobs by allowing our current businesses to affordable access international markets. Industries that no longer want to deal with overly congested airports will be interested in relocating for ease of use and quality of life.