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.

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