Energy Secretary Granholm Doubles Down on  Michigan’s Clean Energy Future

LANSING, MI — With stops in several Michigan cities over two days this week, U.S. Energy  Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm launched a new framework to train Michigan’s workforce for  good paying, family sustaining jobs in the EV battery industry and visited LG Energy Solution’s  EV battery manufacturing facility in Holland. Sec. Granholm was joined at various points during  the tour by Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Congresswoman Elissa  Slotkin, and UAW President Shawn Fain. 

During these stops, Secretary Granholm emphasized the importance and impact of President  Biden’s historic clean energy plan. Here in Michigan, the president’s clean energy plan has  prompted over $21 billion in new investments across 45 clean energy projects, creating  more than 20,000 good jobs for Michiganders. 

During her Michigan tour, Secretary Granholm also pushed back on critics of the transition to  electric vehicles, noting that “demand is still high. There [were] 1.4 million electric vehicles sold  last year. That’s 50% more than the year before. The projection is that about 1.8 million electric  vehicles [will be] sold this year. So we’re seeing a huge increase. The electric vehicle revolution  is happening. The question is—can we take care of all of the pieces to make it successful?— and that’s why the president has a holistic strategy.” 

Key quotes on the Battery Training Initiative: 

Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm: 

“All these battery factories are being built now, all across the country, so by the  time they’re all complete we will have the ability to use this training module to  ensure we’ve got the best quality workers.” 

“You can provide incentives for employers to come, but if you are not making  sure that you have a workforce that’s trained for those jobs, those future-facing  jobs, then you will have missed the whole pie in the electric vehicle space. We  can be building these cars, but if people have range anxiety about buying them  and feeling like they’re not going to get a charge, then you will have missed a  piece of the strategy, which is why Michigan received $110 million from our  electric vehicle infrastructure funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to fill 

in the gaps where the private sector isn’t going to be able to plug in your vehicle in all places.” 

Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su: 

“We know that when we create connections to jobs and we make sure that  they’re good jobs, that the workforce development can also drive job quality, [it]  can drive the kinds of jobs that we’re trying to build. It’s not just about any job. It’s  really about making sure that we’re creating good jobs with real opportunity and  security. So today’s announcement is another example of how we’re being  intentional about this.” 

“We need to do something to solve the problem of occupational segregation and  certain communities being left out of good jobs. Registered apprenticeships … is  one key way to do that. It’s one key way that we open the doors to the American  dream to all communities.” 

UAW President Shawn Fain: 

“Workers today, especially the young people, they’re joining our union, they want  more from their jobs than just a paycheck. They want to grow in their jobs. They  want a job that makes a difference, and they want to know they’re working to  solve the climate crisis, not make it worse.” 

“I know struggle. I went through unemployment. I’ve been on government aid  before. I don’t make that a secret to anybody, and apprenticeship was life  changing for me. So, when we started talking with the Department of Energy and  the Department of Labor about the Battery Workforce initiative, I saw that it could  provide the same path for a better life for workers.” 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer: 

“As we build battery factories across America at record pace, this battery  workforce initiative will ensure we’re all on the same page, literally.”

“For too long, we’ve allowed other nations to lead battery manufacturing. No  longer. We are going to bring the supply chain of electric vehicle production, from  batteries to brakes, home to Michigan and home to the United States.”

“Together we’re showing the world that Michigan is a place for companies to  invest and for workers to find good paying jobs, great union jobs. Our  partnerships across the public and private sectors and between labor and  business will help us to continue to lead. With the Battery Workforce Initiative, we  can get people trained up faster to make the best batteries, vehicles and chips in  the world.” 

U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin: 

“I have to say the beauty of being a legislator is when you get to see the stuff that  you vote on, actually matter in your own district, in your own state.”

“I’m hoping [Lansing Community College] will be one of the pilots and they are  actively testing it out in the first year of training. I think what we heard today is  let’s get a standard practice. Frankly, there were some folks from the private  sector inside the green room there who had provided some input on those standards because they’re doing it here in the Lansing area and we need to  make it systematic, and then we can have places like LCC teach a curriculum.” 

Lansing Community College Provost Dr. Sally Welch: 

“Our job training center has developed EV battery boot camps to serve as the  pre-employment short term training that will lead to entry level employment within  the EV battery manufacturing industry. LCC is committed to enhancing the  knowledge and the skills of the workforce.”