The Rise of Michigan’s Defense Industry in the Upper Peninsula

It began eleven years ago as a two-person company “headquartered” in a pole barn in the middle of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Today, Northern Wings Repair is an experienced precision machining and fabrication shop with capabilities in aerospace and military welding, machining and non-destructive testing. The company houses a 13,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility in the Village of Newberry, MI, with satellite sales offices in North Carolina, California and Wisconsin. A big part of their success can be attributed to the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) in Onaway, MI.

According to David Goudreau, President of Northern Wings Repair, “It was the single most contributing factor to our success in developing our customer base within the U.S. Government and with Prime Contractors.” The PTAC guided them through the government procurement process while connecting them to important decision makers. “PTACs are the best business development partners we have,” said Goudreau. “We used them to get started and they continue to provide key training and services to our employees as we grow.”

The company is an AS9100 certified aerospace manufacturer and stocking distributor of certified material and parts for commercial and military aircraft. They have recently begun to produce “one-off” specialty parts for the next generation space vehicle replacing the Space Shuttle. Northern Wings Repair is a Native American-Veteran Disabled Owned company and is HubZone certified. Their client list includes:

  • NASA
  • DLA
  • U.S. Park Service
  • Homeland Security
  • Boeing Aerospace
  • Sierra Nevada Corporation
  • L-3 Communications
  • Lockheed Martin.

In addition to being leaders in aerospace endeavors, its Construction/Project Management division (a partnership with other successful small businesses) has completed projects as the Prime Contractor for the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The company has also been officially recognized as a leader of veteran employment. As of 2012, that number was over 40% – many of the employees being combat veterans. Its other recent accolades include:

  • 2012 Michigan and Midwest Region’s 8(a) Contractor of the Year (A distinction only given to 10 companies nationally by the U.S. Small Business Administration)
  • 2010 Michigan Works! Employer of the Year
  • L-3 Greenville (Texas) Supplier of the Month (3-time winner)
  • Boeing Excellence Performance Award (Silver, 4 consecutive years)

Northern Wings Repair has come a long way since its pole barn days. And with their continuing relationship with their PTAC, the sky’s the limit.

See more at: http://www.michigandefensecenter.com