While tourism is an important component of the area's economy, both Alpena and Rogers City have an industrial base.
In particular, Alpena is home to Lafarge Holcim cement plant and to Besser Company (maker of a concrete block making machinery), as well as a drywall board manufacturing facility owned by Decorative Panels International.
Earlier railroads that served Alpena were built and owned by the Alger Smith and Co.
The district has one high school, a junior high, an alternative/adult high school, and six elementary schools. Mary of the Immaculate Conception) and provides preschool to 8th grade education.The elementary schools are Besser, Ella White, Hinks, Lincoln, Sanborn, and Wilson Elementary Schools. Immanuel Lutheran School is supported by the Immanuel Lutheran Church and has preschool to 8th grade classes. ACC is a two-year associates program that has partnerships with Spring Arbor University and several other Michigan institutions.The racial makeup of the city was 96.8% White, 0.5% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.1% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races.Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.0% of the population.35.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older.
The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.93. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.4 males.
There were 4,734 households of which 24.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.3% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 45.8% were non-families.
39.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older.
Geographically, it is the largest school district in the Lower Peninsula, encompassing more than 620 square miles (1,600 km). All Saints Catholic School is affiliated with the four Roman Catholic parishes in the city (St. Within Alpena Community College is the World Center for Concrete Technology (WCCT).
The WCCT draws a worldwide enrollment of students for classes in Concrete Technology, including a Master Blockmakers Degree for 5-class-accomplished students.
The average household size was 2.13 and the average family size was 2.84. 20.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.7% were from 25 to 44; 27.9% were from 45 to 64; and 19.4% were 65 years of age or older.