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      Job growth in Marquette

      Four-hundred-sixty-two people. That's how many got jobs that were created in Marquette County businesses in 2011.

      The Plus One Program, created by the Lake Superior Community Partnership and Michigan Works!, is recognizing businesses that have added workers to their companies.

      "Every time you take another step and employ another person, it shows your commitment to not only building your business, but building it here in the community. And you're employing another person here, and those are the type of companies we have here are ones that are committed to being here," said LSCP CEO, Amy Clickner.

      Checker Bus is a company that has taken the Plus One Program seriously, adding 16 new employees in 2011 and already 6 more in 2012.

      For the employees, the program hits close to home.

      "I grew up, born and raised in the U.P., and left a few years, then came back. I couldn't find a job here myself when I left. It's nice to see. It seems like things are coming back as far as Marquette County's concerned. There are more jobs and better quality jobs that are becoming available each day," said Checker Bus owner, Jesse Schramm.

      In the past five years, Checker Companies have driven almost 1.7 million miles. And in 2011, they've driven 600,000 of those miles, and they credit that to their new employees.

      Checker has been able to employ more drivers to meet the larger demand.

      "Our numbers are growing rapidly. Right now, I have a situation with this Friday where we have requests for buses that we don't have available because demand is going through the roof," said Checker Bus General Manager, Jeff Lavalley.

      In the past five years of the Plus One Program, Marquette County has created nearly 1,500 jobs.