jennifer Granholm Archives - Shopfloor

Battery Technology, Battery Manufacturing

By | Energy, General, Technology | No Comments

Monday was a big day in Livonia, Mich., as the lithium-battery manufacturer 123 Systems dedicated its new plant.

President Obama called in with a message to employees:

I met with David and some of the A123 team here at the White House back in April, and it’s incredibly exciting to see how far you guys have come since we announced these grants just over a year ago.  And this is important not just because of what you guys are doing at your plant, but all across America, because this is about the birth of an entire new industry in America — an industry that’s going to be central to the next generation of cars.  And it’s going to allow us to start exporting those cars, making them comfortable, convenient, and affordable.  It helps our manufacturing industry to thrive, and with it, that means our communities and our states and our country are going to thrive.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu was there, and he blogged at the event at WhiteHouse.gov, “Revitalizing American Manufacturing“:

At a difficult time for America’s workers and businesses, A123 Systems is leading the way to a brighter future. It is building factories in Livonia, Romulus, and Brownstown. It has already has hired 200 local workers since last August and it expects to hire more than 3,000 people by 2012. Today marks an important milestone for A123 Systems, as they open largest lithium-ion automotive battery production facility in North America. This will help make sure the cars of the future are built right here in America.This particular project is important because it has managed to link innovation in America to manufacturing in America, an essential connection that has been neglected in recent years.

Congratulations to Systems 123.

State of the State: Michigan

By | Around the States, Economy, Taxation | No Comments

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm wins the prize among governors so far for referring to “manufacturing” or “manufacturer” 14 times in her State of the State address. The Democratic governor spoke Wednesday, and here are the first references from her speech, “A State in Transition: Crossing to the New Michigan Economy“:

Where the old Michigan economy was all about autos and manufacturing…the new Michigan economy is much broader: clean energy, life sciences – like bio-economy and medical devices – homeland security and defense, advanced- manufacturing, film and tourism.

We have steadily focused on the unique attributes that give Michigan a competitive advantage.

No state has the skilled workforce we do.

Nobody has the capacity and the manufacturing know-how we have.

Nobody has the natural resources – the forests, the diverse agriculture – the water…that we have.

Combine that with our great universities and colleges, and we’re using these unique assets to attract new companies and whole new industries.

That’s our competitive advantage. Read More

Gov. Daniels on Infrastructure, Stimulus and Anti-Growth

By | Economy, Global Warming, Infrastructure | No Comments

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, a Republican, was on Fox News Sunday, on a panel with, among others, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat. Gov. Daniels refers to the stimulative effects of “Major Moves,” an infrastructure investment program that included leasing the Indiana Toll Road for $3.85 billion.

From the transcript:

DANIELS: [You] know, before Washington could spell stimulus, we had a pretty robust program almost accidentally here in Indiana.

We’re in the middle of the biggest road-building, infrastructure- building, project in state history. We did it without — by the way, without a penny of taxes or borrowing. You really couldn’t spend a whole lot more than we are in that respect.

We cut property taxes big time last year. The average Hoosier homeowners got $500-plus more in their pocket this year. You know, but there are just limits to what can be done other than to, as Mr. Wynn said, try to create more favorable conditions for natural growth in the — in the private sector.

And you know, I’m very much concerned, as he expressed, that meanwhile an awful lot of energy and an awful lot of policy in Washington is headed just the wrong direction. Read More

Cabinet Speculation

By | Economy, General, Labor Unions | No Comments

Gee, what’s left? USA Today has the list: “Other appointments still outstanding are secretary of Labor, top intelligence position and the office of U.S. Trade Representative, and Surgeon General.”

President-elect Obama is expected to announce one or two more and then leave for a week’s vacation in Hawaii. Next week would be the time to name somebody controversial, right in the middle of the Christmas news lull, especially if the President-elect is out of the way on Hawaii time. (Have a Honolulu news conference at 4 p.m. local time.)

Michigan Governor Granholm says no thanks to the Labor or any other post, reports the Detroit News. The New Republic reports the further speculation:

Rumors about who will be Obama’s labor secretary, one of the final Cabinet appointments, are appearing around the Web. Wall Street Journal reports that the top contenders seem to be Harley Shaiken, a Berkeley professor, and Rosa DeLauro, a Connecticut congresswoman. The WSJ report says previous contenders Mary Beth Maxwell and Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm are fading…

While not raising serious concerns among labor leaders, neither Shaiken nor DeLauro has the star power of some other Cabinet members Obama’s already selected. Shaiken is a labor scholar, with a focus on the U.S.-Mexico border and Latin America. A source and labor expert who knows David Bonior, the Obama adviser once considered a shoo-in for the secretary role, said today that Shaiken and Bonior are close friends. “When David was in Congress, Harley was very central to him,” the source said, adding that Shaiken has also done work for the Center for American Progress, the think tank from which several Obama administration officials have been pulled. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he does have an inside track.” But, while Shaiken knows labor issues through and through, some union leaders might be skeptical of his appointment because he’s from the Ivory Tower. “Academics, no matter how supportive they’ve been [of labor issues], always cause a certain queasiness in labor quarters,” the source said.

In representing a New Haven-based congressional district, Rep. DeLauro is certainly familiar with manufacturing. Her NAM Key Voting percentage in the 110th Congress was 20 percent, but otherwise she consistently falls below 10 percent over her time in office.

To restate the operating philosophy around here toward Cabinet appointments: He’s the President, he won the election, barring something really untoward or unforeseen, he gets to name whom he wants.