Operation Action UP: Keeping business and jobs local

IRON RIVER, Mich. (WLUC) - Lester Detterbeck Enterprises, Ltd. is 115 years old and has been in the Detterbeck family for five generations.

"We've been here long enough, people understand that, we may move to a different building but we're not leaving this town," said Kyle Detterbeck, Vice President.

"It's a good, solid job, the fact that we've been around for as many years as we have proves that if somebody comes to work here they don't have to worry about the doors closing or things packing up and moving," said John Detterbeck, President.

Detterbeck Enterprises, Ltd. produces cutting tools for the metalworking industry and those tools are used to produce parts for corporations like Caterpillar and everyday objects like can openers.

For most of the company's lifespan they have found their roots in Iron River.

"During World War II, my grandfather had a plant operational in Gaastra, Michigan, and at the time I think it was 99 percent women working for him, doing pretty much the same type of work that we do now," said John Detterbeck.

It was in 1973 when Detterbeck Enterprises, Ltd. moved back to Iron River and on February 15 they will be awarded with an Operation Action U.P. Award.

"We've been given a lot of awards for what we do through our association but to have one based out of Michigan is pretty cool," said Kyle Detterbeck.

"Being given this award indicates that there's some people that have been kid of watching us and realize that we're here, we're stable, we're making really neat stuff and we'd like to keep it that way," said John Detterbeck.

Kyle Detterbeck will be at the Operation Action U.P. Awards on February 15 at Northern Michigan University’s campus and says it is an honor to accept the award not only for his family's legacy, but for the men and women who make that work possible.

"It's a big thing to be able to accept that for our workers because obviously I can't bring 22 guys and gals up to there to receive it for us but they're the ones that actually earned it, not me," said Kyle Detterbeck.

Join TV6 Thursday, February 15 as we count down to the Operation Action U.P. Awards.

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