President Obama expected to visit Holland next week

Aug 4, 2011

President Obama is expected to visit Holland in one week from today. His visit coincides with the opening of a new Johnson Controls plant that will make batteries for electric cars.

Mr. Obama visited Holland last year to mark the ground-breaking of an LG Chem battery facility. Holland Mayor Kurt Dykstra says the president’s visit is a great opportunity for his community, and the state as a whole.

“I mean to have the president, again visit a community a region spot-lights some of the industry and some of things that are happening in our community and I think that’s a good thing.”

A Johnson Controls spokesperson wrote in an email:

On Thursday, August 11th, the President will travel to Holland, Michigan, to tour the Johnson Controls Inc. advanced battery facility.  While at Johnson Controls, the President will highlight the key role innovative technologies will play in helping automakers achieve the historic fuel efficiency standards, establishing U.S. leadership in advanced vehicle manufacturing, spurring economic growth, and creating high-quality domestic jobs in cutting edge industries across America.

The Johnson Control plant is expected to employ 500 people.

Between 300-400 jobs are estimated to be created at the LG Chem plant by 2013.

$450 million dollars in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy helped fund the two plants. That money was part of Obama’s recovery act passed in 2010.

There's another advanced battery factory plant that's planned for Muskegon Township a little more than 30 miles north of Holland. Fortu Powercell is expected to eventually employ 700 people. Plans are pending approval by the township this month.