Michigan’s return to manufacturing

New plant provides long-lost jobs

In mid-July, Michigan inched closer to its goal of becoming the nation’s leading battery manufacturer, when President Obama celebrated the groundbreaking of the Compact Power Facility in Holland, Mich., according to the Environment News Service.

The advanced-battery manufacturing plant, which is expected to bring more than 1,200 jobs to the struggling state, was possible due to a $151.4 million U.S. Department of Energy grant received by LG Chem/Compact Power Inc. in August 2009 to support the production of lithium-ion battery cells for electric vehicles. The grant was part of U.S. Department of Energy Recovery Act funds reserved for the manufacturing and development of electric vehicles.

The plant already has plans to produce batteries for the Chevy Volt and the electric Ford Focus. Obama said the plant is the ninth electric-vehicle battery manufacturing plant to begin construction since he signed the $787 billion Recovery Act early last year.