Green jobs on the way to Cheboygan

Thanks to $120 million grant a northern Michigan community that has seen more jobs leave town in recent years may be turning that trend around.

These tax-exempt grants are part of the stateâ??s green initiative that would bring more than 125 jobs to the Cheboygan area.

For years Cheboygan has relied on summer traffic to drive the local economy.

â??It's been tough in northern Michigan for the past few years,â?? said Cheboygan Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Matthew J. Friday. â??So this is a great opportunity to secure some good year-round jobs.

Friday says the unemployment rate in Cheboygan can get up to 30% in the winter months.

With companies leaving in recent decades, the jobless rates have done nothing but climb.

Great Lakes Tissue Company and Wisconsin-based company Green Box are teaming up to reuse and recycle paper waste from the Detroit-Metro area and turn them into new paper products.

Together this recycling project could create 130 jobs in the Cheboygan area and more than 330 state-wide.

â??We think there are some great things coming up for Cheboygan, things that will be happening soon,â?? said Friday.

According to Friday, new jobs in the area should snowball effect on the rest of the local economy.

â??When you get a large amount of people in community needing products and services, well one thing leads to another and pretty soon that leads to further jobs and further businesses in the community,â?? said Friday.

Not only will the project bring jobs, but Green Box says itâ??s also a good move for the environment.

They expect to eliminate 22 million cubic-feet of landfill waste every year through the recycling effort and cut the paper waste in Michigan land fills by half.