Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm, D-Mich., recently visited Energetx Composites LLC, a manufacturer of composite technology located in Holland, Mich., to promote diversifying the state's economy.
In her annual state of the state address, Granholm said her administration has set the foundation for a new Michigan economy by diversifying and creating jobs, educating people to fill and create jobs, and helping people transition from the old economy to the new. Energetx has diversified its product line, expanded into clean-energy manufacturing, is creating hundreds of new jobs, serving as an example of what that strategy can mean for Michigan, the governor says.
This year, the Granholm administration plans to focus on a targeted strategy to increase jobs in the wind-energy sector of the new energy economy. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that Michigan is in the top five states for wind power generation potential and in the top four states for wind manufacturing jobs potential – with the ability to create over 30,000 jobs in that sector alone by 2030.
In June 2009, the state supported the Energetx expansion by awarding the company a $27.3 million, 15-year tax credit through the Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA).
The MEGA tax credits are designed to help companies successfully transition into clean-energy manufacturing. Last fall, the governor announced that Energetx would receive $3.5 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Energetx currently employs 18 people and is in the process of hiring another five to 10 individuals to perform engineering, design and set-up of new manufacturing operations. The company expects to employ more than 160 people by the end of the year.
During her state of the state address, Granholm outlined an agenda to help businesses thrive and to create jobs. These initiatives include the Michigan Small Business Financing Alliance, which will make more than $40 million available for business start-ups under a program between Granholm's administration and the Michigan Credit Union League; improved access to capital for small businesses through a new income tax credit for investment in small businesses; a federal program to give small- and medium-sized auto suppliers greater access to capital so they can diversify; and training for 1,000 prospective entrepreneurs in 12 small business assistance centers across the state through a nationally recognized training program.