Registration opens for job seekers and employers to attend state’s only UP-wide career fair

What’s happening: Registration has opened for the Return North Professional Careers Fair, an Upper Peninsula-wide Career Fair that seeks to attract alumni, former residents, and “friends of the U.P.” back to the Upper Peninsula. Now in its sixth year, the annual Career Fair will host two events in 2022, with a virtual job fair preceding the in-person event this November.

What it is: The Return North Professional Careers Fair is touted as the only Upper Peninsula-wide talent recruiting event. It aims to both retain and attract talent to the region in myriad ways, even promoting a platform for those looking to live in the U.P. while working remotely. The Career Fair is hosted by MTEC SmartZone, presented by Upper Peninsula Michigan Works! and supported by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

What’s planned: The virtual career fair is scheduled from 3 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10, where a virtual online platform will allow guests to interact with potential employers. Three regional in-person events are scheduled for the evening of Thursday, Nov. 17, with locations in Houghton, Marquette, and Sault Ste. Marie. The Houghton event will take place at the Continental Fire Co., with the Marquette and Sault Ste. Marie sites yet to be announced. It’s expected that more than 20 companies will be participating in this year’s event.

What they’re saying: “Past events have attracted a wide variety of industries including engineering, technology, cybersecurity, insurance and risk management, health and human services, higher education, law enforcement, manufacturing, and more,” says Jason Mack, vice president of Business Development at MTEC SmartZone. “We look forward to once again providing the platform where job seekers and companies can meet and network.”

How to get involved: For job-seekers, both the virtual and in-person career fairs are free to attend. Registration is available online. For businesses, a $200 registration fee grants access to the virtual fair and one regional fair, and includes marketing assistance and other promotional opportunities. Registration for both job-seekers and employers is available at

Why it’s important: “Return North is a great opportunity for young, or established,
professionals to bring their talents back home,” says Bill Raymond, CEO of Upper Peninsula Michigan Works! “UP Michigan Works! will help facilitate a smooth transition back to the Upper Peninsula, so people can settle in and enjoy all the amenities that a U.P. lifestyle offers while contributing to the growth of a vibrant economy.”
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.