Make it Marquette Launched as Talent Attraction Initiatiive


Make It Marquette, an initiative to attract remote workers and foster economic development, officially launched today. Powered by Innovate Marquette SmartZone, the initiative plans to attract, retain, and support the people and ideas that will shape the evolution of the business economy in Marquette.

“The Marquette region is a vibrant place with resilient, friendly people,” said Joe Thiel, Innovate Marquette SmartZone CEO. “Make It Marquette will enhance what is already incredible about this place by attracting talent and businesses who value the lifestyle and community, and who see the potential here: in work-life balance, and in business growth opportunity.”

Marquette boasts a high growth potential centered around its digital ecosystem and nationally recognized outdoor recreation. Recently it was dubbed a Rural Innovation Initiative Community by the Center for Rural Innovation, and awarded a Triple Threat Grant.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has altered the way society views traditional work structures and lifestyle balance. Many people now see that they can go wherever and work and live wherever,” said Rich Vander Veen, Innovate Marquette SmartZone board of trustees chairperson. “Why not foster high-wage job growth right here in Marquette? Through attracting key talented individuals and creating relationships with companies possessing hiring and growth opportunities, we can.”
The local innovation ecosystem, which includes Innovate Marquette SmartZone and several other local and regional economic development organizations, has identified a dire need to support local entrepreneurs and businesses. Make It Marquette is designed to do just that, while also expanding to welcome new entrepreneurs, tech and remote workers, and businesses to the region.

Those interested in learning more about Make It Marquette are encouraged to watch this video:

About Make It Marquette

Make It Marquette was created in 2021 to attract, retain, and support the people and ideas that will shape the future of the business economy in Marquette, Michigan. Make It Marquette will tell stories of those living, working, and starting businesses in Marquette. Marquette is the largest city in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, 20,000 strong: big enough to be recognized by mainstream media and entrepreneurial circles as a focal point of American potential, and small enough that every person brave enough to pursue their own goals can make an impact. With a business, tech, and entrepreneurial ecosystem established and growing, broadband across the entire region, and ample space to enjoy an active and outdoor lifestyle, Marquette is an ideal place for those looking to move to a rural location. For more information, visit

About Innovate Marquette SmartZone

Innovate Marquette SmartZone was created to help coordinate, inspire, promote and lead business, government, academic and community leaders to transform Marquette County and the Upper Peninsula into a world-class entrepreneurial ecosystem. The SmartZone supports technology-based innovations, new businesses, new job creation and existing business expansion by leveraging the unique set of resources, experiences and advantages available in Marquette. The mission of the SmartZone is to create a supportive environment and robust entrepreneurial ecosystem in which entrepreneurs in all sectors can be recognized and promoted and where new business ideas can start, grow and succeed while existing ones can continue to innovate, thrive and expand. For more information, visit here.

Media Contact:

Adela Piper, Siren for Innovate Marquette SmartZone
586.212.4792  |