Why would anyone build an advanced battery manufacturing plant in Michigan? Because we have “a talented and motivated workforce,” that’s why.

batteryDow Kokam’s battery plant in Midland has already generated lots of jobs for Michigan residents, and production hasn’t even started yet. More than 650,000 work-hours have gone into construction of Dow Kokam’s Midland Battery Park since ground was broken a year and a half ago, and Michigan residents, the company announced earlier this month, worked more than 90 percent of them.

And when the plant begins operation later this year, many more jobs are likely to be created for Michigan residents. The plant, which will manufacture advanced lithium-ion cell batteries for transportation, defense and stationary applications, is expected to be fully operational by the second quarter of 2012.

Why is the company making such a huge investment in advanced technology in our state? “The Great Lakes Bay Region has a talented and motivated workforce, and it is a top priority to train and hire workers from the area to make Midland a focal point of next-generation battery manufacturing,” according to David Pankratz, Dow Kokam’s vice president of operations. “This talented workforce is one of the primary drivers for locating our plant here.”