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GM battery plant to bring thousands of new jobs to Lansing

GM battery plant to bring thousands of new jobs to Lansing
Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 10:30 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 25, 2022 at 11:16 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Business owners are thrilled about the new GM battery plant and the thousands of new jobs it will bring to Lansing.

General Motors announced Tuesday morning it would be investing more than $7 billion in Michigan.

It’s the largest job investment in the company’s history. The investment is expected to retain 1,000 jobs and create 4,000 more.

“I am thrilled to announce General Motors will invest $7 billion across four Michigan manufacturing sites creating 4,000 jobs and significantly increasing our battery cell and manufacturing truck capacity,” GM CEO Mary Barra said.

Part of the investment includes a new battery plant right next to the GM Lansing Delta Assembly. The new facility is expected to bring 1,700 new jobs to Lansing.

GM will break ground on the project in summer 2022. It’s expected to begin production in 2024.

Related: What GM’s upcoming Lansing EV battery plant means for Mid-Michigan’s economy

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said the investment is a welcome edition to Michigan’s legacy in the automobile industry.

“This story started with horse-drawn carriages in Flint at the turn of the 20th century. It continued as Michigan assembled an arsenal of democracy to win World War II and put the whole world on wheels,” Whitmer said. “The story was told by generations of UAW workers who made the best vehicles in the world and formed the backbone of the American middle class. It’s a story about possibility, perseverance and purpose. And it defines who we are in Michigan.”

To say that small businesses in Mid-Michigan are excited about the announcement wouldn’t be doing it justice.

GM already employs 50,000 people in Michigan and with more jobs on the way, it could lead to more money for Michigan businesses.

“We need all the people we can get here,” said Keita Braxton, owner of Destiny Marie’s Boutique. “COVID put a lot of damage on us, so we need people to come out and shop. If they have jobs, they can shop, right?”

Braxton believes that in order for the economy to get back to normal, businesses need this type of invigoration that GM will bring to Lansing.

“If we can get more job opportunities, then of course it’s going to uplift the whole community,” Braxton said. “People who live in the community, also the small businesses and big businesses -- we all kind of feed off of each other.”

“This is great news,” said Dan Buonodo, the owner of EagleMonk Pub and Brewery. “You know, we may get more customers. More traffic on the street, but that’s OK.”

Each member of EagleMonk Pub and Brewery has their own mug hanging from the ceiling. With the thousands of new workers just down the road, Buonodo is hoping to add a bunch more.

“There’s several restaurants around here,” Buonodo said. “Lots of them in the corridor on Saginaw Highway.”

The owner of EagleMonk Pub said he’s seen a small increase in his business with the addition of the Meijer Distribution Center, but he suspects when Amazon and the new GM battery plant are up and running, things will get a lot busier.

Related: Michigan set to become electric vehicle leader

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