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      More jobs for the Copper Country

      Job creation is a top priority for the MTEC SmartZone business accelerator program. Their vision is to give entrepreneurs the opportunity to get their ideas off the ground and start up their own businesses.

      SmartZone has been in operation for over eight years, and they've already created about 250 jobs in the area.

      "Our 'Strategic Plan' has put a process in place so we can create another 750 jobs which will translate into a total of 1,200 jobs," said MTEC SmartZone CEO Marilyn Clark.

      These jobs will be created in the Houghton and Hancock area, and SmartZone wants to see continued growth and economic development.

      MTEC SmartZone says they are one of the most progressive SmartZones in the area, and they're a big supporter of technology-based businesses.

      "Technology businesses have their own special needs as far as getting their business started. There's product development needs, there's market testing, there's product testing, etc.," Clark said.

      With those needs, MTEC SmartZone has what they call business incubators where companies work in a building where phone, internet, and mail service is provided to help them set up their beginner business.

      In this information age, SmartZone says many of their companies are working on technologies that will replace or enhance the technology of today.

      "We've had several successful companies start here and what happens is they grow to a certain point and at that point they need more funding," Clark said.

      Many of those companies are sold or they merge with another company and then they leave the area. martZone says their goal is to grow companies with roots in the community to keep people employed.