Grand Traverse Economic Development Buys Steel Manufacturer

Bay Shore Steel Works is uniquely skilled in manufacturing armor steel plate, and serves as a key supplier of components for equipment used by the U.S. Military. (Photo Courtesy WIkipedia Free Commons)

Grand Traverse Economic Development, a subsidiary of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, has purchased a steel and aluminum manufacturing company with a long track record of supplying equipment for the U.S. Military.

The Charlevoix, Michigan-based Bay Shore Steel Works will retain its name. For more than 40 years, Bay Shore has provided fabrication, machining and finishing services to the aerospace, automotive, alternative energy and heavy equipment industries.

Tribal ownership will open opportunity to actively engage in the SBA’s Tribal Section 8 (a) disadvantaged set-aside business development program—including the Department of Defense and their 5 percent Indian Incentive Procurement Rebate Program, the federal HUBZone program, the state’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and the Minority Business Enterprise programs.

With federal defense expenditures increasing, the Tribe and Bay Shore stand to greatly benefit.  

“The U.S. Military defense budget is the largest it’s been in years. We have many, many Native American people that go into the military and we are providing protection for those military men and women, so it’s an honor for us.” Grand Traverse Economic Development (GTED) Board Chairman Angie Shinos, said.

The Tribe’s economic investment arm, GTED, oversees various firms dedicated to federal and state contracting. GTED already owns Grand Traverse Engineering & Construction (GTEC), which is presently forming an information technology (IT) firm, a development company and a land holding company.

“In Indian country, we do look at federal government contracting as an alternative revenue opportunity for Tribes,” said Thomas E. Wilbur, GTED chief executive officer.

Through the transition and after, GTED will retain Bay Shore’s existing management and its roughly 40 employees, Wilbur said.  

Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.