Greening Detroit’s Workforce, Bit by Bit « The Washington Independent
The push to retool Detroit as a center of green manufacturing got a small but significant boost today with the announcement of a new wind turbine plant that will initially create 250 jobs.
The Detroit News reports that Global Wind Systems will open the facility in Novi, Mich., about thirty miles outside of Detroit, and will begin hiring as early as May. Because it requires skilled assembly-line workers, the plant will likely hire its employees from the growing ranks of laid-off auto workers.
Not surprisingly, Global Wind Systems’ plan has grabbed the attention of the region’s unemployed. According to Chief Executive Chris Long, the company has already received thousands of applications, 90 percent of which list auto industry experience.
Of course, 250 jobs are a drop in the bucket compared to the massive layoffs Detroit has suffered. But Long expects to have hired more than 400 employees within two years, and a successful launch in Novi will be likely to attract other wind manufacturers to the region.
Another sign of good things to come: Global Wind Systems’ investment in the new facility was made possible by a $7.3 million tax credit from the Michigan Economic Growth Authority. One expects that the $6 billion in alternative energy investments procured by the stimulus package will allow for many more projects of this type.