LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan House Appropriations Committee voted Wednesday to approve $585 million to expand battery plants in the state, including one that’s set to open in Mecosta County.
Gotion, Inc., a Chinese battery manufacturer, announced a $2.36 billion investment for the new manufacturing plant in Big Rapids back in October of 2022.
The company said this would create more than 2,300 jobs. Employees would receive, on average, $45,000 a year, which is right around the county's salary average.
READ MORE: Whitmer, MEDC announce new battery plant in Big Rapids, 2,000+ new jobs
"What this will do to my people in my community, the opportunities this will provide them with, is on a scale that no one has seen in their lifetime and their parents' or their grandparents' lifetime," Green Charter Township Supervisor Jim Chapman said Wednesday.
The House Appropriations Committee decided Wednesday, if further approved, Gotion will get $175 million from the state to support its investment in Big Rapids.
Randy Thelen, president and chief executive officer of The Right Place, a Grand Rapids economic development group, said the following Wednesday:
“This is a rare moment for us to see this kind of opportunity. It’s especially [a] rare moment for us to be able to compete for them, and to see them consider a corner of the state and northwest portion of the state that hasn’t seen projects like this, frankly ever, it’s a really exciting opportunity for us to see a path to really boost the economy in an area that’s been in decline, that’s forecasted to be in decline.”
Democrats of the committee voted yes Wednesday; however, republicans voted no.
Now, the Senate Appropriations Committee will consider whether to approve this state funding.
If approved, funding would also go to Ford’s plant in Marshall and One Next Energy in Novi.