Michigan is a land of new opportunities.  With unemployment at record levels, the Big Three enduring tremendous hardships, and autoworkers laid off in drove, the state is in desperation.  But something good has to come of this.  The other day, Michigan selected 4 battery makers to receive state tax incentive in the amount of $100 million each.  The "BIG Four" include, A123 Systems, LG Chem, Johnson Controls-Saft, and KD Advanced Battery Group.

Michigan has thousands of readily available workers in the fields of manufacturing, engineering, and technicians in search of work.  These skilled workers could make up the backbone of the battery industry that will supply EVs and hybrids in the near future.

And Michigan is fighting hard to become the world's leader in battery production.  Up for grabs is $2 billion in federal grants and all states are going to battle over it.  The grants will be awarded later this summer for advanced battery technologies and Michigan hopes to be the front runner.

According to Gov. Granholm,  "We believe we'll be the state with the strongest applications.  And of course we're the state with the greatest need for jobs." 

Laid off or fired autoworkers would be the ideal workforce to produce advance batteries.  The highly trained, skilled workers are well versed in automotive technologies and understand the production and manufacturing process.  Michigan may have a head start.

Competition for the grants will be fierce and only 8 applicants will be selected for the money.  Michigan hopes to head the list.  Gov. Granholm said, "We're strongly urging that these (grants) be selected by merit."  Granholm does not want to see the federal money spread throughout numerous states in a politically correct move.  She wants the selection to be based solely on the companies that are most highly qualified for the job. 

Granholm believes that 3 or 4 of the 8 selected companies that will receive federal grants will be located in the state of Michigan.

The applicants will be selected in July of this year.

Source:  Detroit Free Press