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Lakeshore business plans for coming battery industry | News

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Lakeshore business plans for coming battery industry
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HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) -- A Holland economic agency says the local business community needs to start planning for new advanced battery industry.

Lakeshore Advantage President Randy Thelen says the new industry could generate nearly 10,000 jobs in the area by the year 2020, along with nearly $2 billion in investments.

"We need to make sure our companies are studying and researching the market to find the opportunities and jobs that will be out there," he said.

Thelen recently presented a strategic plan to the area chamber of commerce which included supporting research and development in the area, recruiting local talent from area colleges and being active in the industry's supply chain.

The goal, he says, is to keep all jobs that support and benefit manufacturing in the area and to grow the lakeshore's advanced battery community base.

"We're active already," said Disher Design and Development President Jeff Disher.  "We've been going for about 5 months now.  We're just happy to be a part of the process."

Disher says Thelen's plan is crucial for development and his business has already been recruiting for the battery plants.

"These are two great gifts that have been given to the community," Thelen said about the LG and Johnson Controls battery plants.  "Can we build a supply chain?  Can we build a talent development system?  We have to build something to really make sure that we capture these two investments and all the job opportunities out there."

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