Page 10 - Upper Peninsula Business Today -- February 2020
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Bills Restore Michigan Works! Upward Talent Agency Funding For Western U.P.
LANSING, Mich. — Legislation intro- duced in the state Senate and House of Repre- sentatives on Wednesday would restore $971,000 in state resources to help cover a shortfall in retirement funding for the Michi- gan Works! Upward Talent Agency.
Sen. Ed McBroom and Rep. Greg Markka- nen introduced identical supplemental bills in the Senate and House.
“Local officials have been working for years to call attention to this pension issue, and it is time that the state stepped up to fulfil its obli- gation to them,” said McBroom, R-Vulcan. “I appreciate that my colleagues recognized the need to correct this problem previously through the budget process, and I hope to gain their support of this funding once again with support from the governor this time around.”
The agency provides services and support to the U.P.’s workforce development system.
However, its pensions were left unfunded when the three separate agencies merged into one. Other agencies across the state have had their stranded costs for the state employees funded. The western six U.P. counties were left responsible for what was initially about $600,000, but it continues to grow each year.
“We were really disappointed that the gov- ernor vetoed this funding last year because of her position to increase road taxes versus the merits of this specific funding,” said Markka- nen, R-Hancock. “It’s our hope that having a specific supplemental bill for this issue will highlight the importance of it for the western U.P. and these state employees.”
Senate Bill 727 was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee, and House Bill 5376 was referred to the House Appropria- tions Committee.
Embers Credit Union and Delta County Credit Union Join Forces
Merger Forms U.P.’s Largest Credit Union Marquette – A “no nonsense, fresh approach to banking” is gaining significant momentum in the Upper Peninsula. People in the U.P. are coming together to utilize banking services that prioritize the people and econo-
my of the region.
In December of 2019, Delta County Credit
Union members voted to merge with Embers Credit Union members, creating the Upper Peninsula’s largest credit union. The merger, scheduled to be completed in May 2020, forms a credit union with over 30,000 mem- bers and banking locations in Escanaba, Mar- quette, Wells, Gwinn, Negaunee, Munising and Trenary. The combined organization will use the brand Embers Credit Union.
Embers introduced its no-nonsense approach to the people of the U.P. in 2017, when then U.P. Catholic Credit Union changed its name and energized services for its members. Since then, Embers has grown through a merger with Upper Michigan Com- munity Credit Union in May of 2019, a new branch opening in Gwinn in October of 2019 and now the Delta County Credit Union merg- er. The common thread is the way Embers brings its members no nonsense banking that fits their way of life.
“We are very excited that our passion for bringing members straight-talk, solid financial advice that gets them to the next level is being so well received,” said Embers’ CEO Tom Blake. ”Now with the great team at Delta
County Credit Union merging with Embers, we have combined resources to expand lend- ing and capitalize on new technologies that improve services. Together we are stronger than ever to help the people of the U.P. get ahead.”
The merger brings together a financial team that is now larger and deeper in talent. The staff synergy will allow Embers to achieve greater efficiencies with many banking func- tions, allowing the organization to focus on developing and implementing more high value products for members.
“The cultural fit of our organizations is excellent,” said Brenda Lippens, President and CEO of Delta County Credit Union. “At DCCU, our members already appreciate our straight-forward, honest approach to banking. We are excited about how our members, staff and services align so well with Embers. Together, we are building an even better credit union to serve our communities.”
Embers Credit Union remains fully com- mitted to helping the Upper Peninsula com- munity grow and thrive. Embers’ personal- ized, friendly service coupled with well-estab- lished back end resources and processes offers individuals and businesses a chance to realize their dreams and reach their financial goals.
Members will receive additional details about the merger in the coming months.
For more information please contact Tom Blake at 906-228-7080 or Brenda Lippens at 906-786-7213.

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