Groups highlight infrastructure needs before Biden visit to Ford plant


A woman working at Ford's Dearborn truck plant. - COURTESY OF FORD MOTOR CO.
  • Courtesy of Ford Motor Co.
  • A woman working at Ford's Dearborn truck plant.

As President Joe Biden visits the new Ford F-150 "Lightning" manufacturing plant in Dearborn today, business leaders in the Great Lakes State are spotlighting the importance of electrification and the infrastructure behind it.

Ned Staebler, CEO of TechTown Detroit, said as more auto manufacturers like Ford electrify popular and affordable vehicles, Michigan will continue to lead the transition away from internal-combustion vehicles.

He noted investing in supporting infrastructure is also key.

"The number one fear that people have about electric vehicles is range anxiety, so continuing to invest in charging infrastructure is incredibly important," Staebler asserted.

He added Biden's American Jobs Plan would revitalize manufacturing and create more jobs in the clean-energy economy.

Michigan has more than 600,000 manufacturing jobs, accounting for roughly 19% of the state's total output.

Jim Doyle, president of Business Forward, noted the Jobs Plan is a key climate solution, which will help avoid the most catastrophic impacts from climate change and extreme weather events that cause production delays and interruptions in the supply chain. He added it's also an economic-development plan.

"There's a remarkable overlap in Michigan, because the counties with strong renewable energy resources, mainly wind, happen to be the ones that need economic development most," Doyle explained. "Renewables offer Michigan good jobs where we need them."

Doyle pointed out Michigan currently imports about $24 billion worth of coal, gas and oil each year, which means installing wind, solar, and other renewables here in Michigan represents a $24 billion "buy local" opportunity.

Stay connected with Detroit Metro Times. Subscribe to our newsletters, and follow us on Google News, Apple News, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Reddit.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.