Rural counties like Delta County don't have a lot of population and attracting businesses is difficult. It is necessary to use the current infrastructure and environment to determine potential avenues of economic growth that can result in greater prosperity. Delta County, including Escanaba and Gladstone, have a powerful transportation system that could be used to support manufacturing.
There are two ways to look at this....1.) transportation as an industry and 2.) transportation as a support industry.
1. Transportation as an Industry: Transportation acts as an industry when that is the major employer and not used as a support to other businesses in the area. In such a case, Delta County it would be a reshipping, packing, and redistribution center for flights coming from KI Sawyer, Rail, or Road. Such a place would need to be ideally and strategically located in a way that makes it a feasible location to distribute items. Sometimes places can consider modifying the products in some way or providing superior warehousing and distribution processes.
2. Transportation as a Support Industry: Transportation as a support industry means that it is distributes products being built or modified in the area. Delta County has a base of small manufacturing businesses that could find it fairly easy to distribute and export from the area to the global market. This would mean encouraging more small manufacturing industries to open up within the county and in turn take advantage of ports, roads, railways and flights within the area.
In many cases it is possible to encourage both 1 and 2 at the same time. For example, encouraging more small manufacturing businesses to move into the region would improve opportunities to modify products from other companies. Attracting distribution companies moving products from Chicago, Milwaukee, etc... to Canada may also be helpful.