LANSING, Mich., May 2 /PRNewswire/ -- An innovating pump manufacturer who has helped stimulate his local economy and brought educational creativity and training opportunities to young people will become the Upper Peninsula's first recipient of the John G. Thodis Michigan Manufacturer of the Year Award.
Brian Larche, president of Engineered Machined Products, Inc. (EMP) of
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Escanaba, will receive the 2001 Award, presented by the Michigan Manufacturers
Association (MMA) and sponsored by Deloitte & Touche LLP and Clark Hill PLC,
at MMA's annual Legislative and Executive Reception Tuesday, May 8 at the
Country Club of Lansing.
Faced with the potential closure of EMP in 1990, Larche, who served as
treasurer at that time, led a group of local investors that acquired EMP and
kept the company in Escanaba, the business and educational hub of the
southwestern Upper Peninsula. In the 10 years since, EMP has significantly
increased capital investment in facilities and equipment, created a wealth of
skilled jobs and established opportunities for professionals previously
separated from the community to relocate to Escanaba.
EMP has expanded its core product line -- cooling pumps -- to include lube
pumps, fuel system components, and highly integrated engine front covers
(including pumps, gears and accessory drives.) Indicative of EMP's commitment
to its community, the company has recently expanded by purchasing a North
Carolina-based water pump company and moved all its operations to Escanaba.
With this acquisition, EMP has become the second largest manufacturer in Delta
County and the fastest-growing manufacturer in the state of Michigan.
The company received a U.S. patent for an electric controllable fluid pump
in 2000 and was awarded a Grand Prize for "Excellence in Design" at the Design
News magazine's Engineering Achievement Awards Banquet this winter. EMP has
also received feature coverage in publications such as Car Craft Magazine,
World Pumps Journal, Diesel Progress Magazine and US Industry Today, and has
displayed at the National Automotive Center's booth at the recent SAE World
Congress in Detroit.
Brian Larche has also taken personal leadership in creating opportunities
for school students to learn about the manufacturing industry. EMP works
closely with the Delta-Schoolcraft Intermediate School District to generate a
pipeline of students interested in engineering and technical training
opportunities. Summer internships are provided to approximately 20 college
engineering students each year, with the same opportunities given to high
school students who have demonstrated an interest in engineering.
All employees are offered training opportunities and degree programs at
nearby Bay de Noc Community College. Larche has also supported several
students in pursuit of engineering degrees at his alma mater, Michigan
Technological University in Houghton.
Founded in 1902, the Michigan Manufacturers Association represents more
than 3,000 businesses that collectively employ 90 percent of Michigan's