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Jennifer Granholm visits Michigan, announces new program to increase EV battery workforce

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm on battery workforce
U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm on battery workforce 01:55

LANSING, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was joined by former Michigan governor and current U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm in Lansing on Tuesday to announce a new workforce program. 

"You've got to take care of the holistic approach, and one of the pieces of that is making sure we have this skilled workforce," Granholm said. 

The Battery Workforce Initiative creates national guidelines for registered apprenticeships for battery machine operators. With the help of battery manufacturers, community colleges, and unions, the program lays out training requirements to ensure that a skilled workforce is prepared to meet the need for electric batteries. 

"In the electric vehicle space, we could be building these cars, but if people have range anxiety about buying them and feeling like they're not going to get a charge, then you will have missed a part of the strategy," Granholm said. 

For Michigan state Rep. Bryan Posthumus, the program initiative is just a strategy. 

"This is a very strategic, long-term, concerted effort to force an energy future onto Michigan residents, onto our country. That, and it's government forcing us to do it rather than letting it happen naturally," said Posthumus. "This is not ushering in the energy future and the transportation future of America. This is forcing it down our throats."

Posthumus says he is especially concerned about the impact on affordability. 

"It's the law of supply and demand," he said. "There's no question that these energy proposals across the board, from start to finish, are going to be more expensive for every single Michigander across the board," Posthumus said. 

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