$15 Million available to create jobs

Published 9:17 am Wednesday, July 22, 2009

LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm announced Tuesday that her administration will make $15 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) funds available to small manufacturing companies in Michigan looking to diversify and create jobs in renewable energy through the Michigan Clean Energy Advanced Manufacturing Initiative.

“We are making a $15 million investment in Michigan’s future by enabling small manufacturers to create jobs in high-growth renewable energy fields such as wind, solar, biomass, or geothermal industries,” Granholm said.  “This is one more step in our efforts to put Michigan’s advanced manufacturing and research talent to work leading the nation in the emerging green economy.”

The Recovery Act funds will provide financial assistance to eligible Michigan businesses looking to diversify into advanced manufacturing of renewable energy systems and components.  The goal of this funding opportunity is to create new markets for Michigan’s manufacturers, provide support to renewable energy original equipment manufacturers and Tier I suppliers, and create anchor companies to attract businesses to Michigan.

The funds will be awarded through a Request for Proposal grant process.  Applications will be accepted until August 14, 2009.  Any for-profit manufacturing business physically located in Michigan with 500 or fewer full-time or equivalent employees is eligible to apply.  A business that relocates to Michigan by the time of the award also will be considered eligible.

“We’re looking for businesses that can produce renewable energy systems or the components such as turbines, blades, or solar technology.  The projects must be able to be implemented immediately and contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Stanley “Skip” Pruss, director of the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth, which will oversee the application process.

The $15 million initiative is just the latest step in the Granholm administration’s efforts to create jobs by growing the state’s alternative energy economy.

In the last five years, Michigan has committed more than $1 billion to help alternative energy and advanced battery companies locate and grow here, including $700 million in advanced energy battery credits, $43 million in the innovative Centers of Energy Excellence program, and $370 million in tax incentives to attract and grow renewable energy companies.

Michigan’s No Worker Left Behind initiative has enrolled more than 81,000 workers in job-training, and Michigan colleges and training providers have added or updated more than 9,000 educational programs to help ensure that Michigan workers have the skills they need to transition to good-paying jobs in fast-growing sectors like renewable energy manufacturing.