Proponents of the plant say it means more to Michigan’s economy than just plant jobs and temporary construction jobs. Officials argue that the state has only a short window to take advantage of the flood of investment during the once-in-a-century industrial revolution.
“This will help anchor other investments in the state,” said Christine Dziczek, automotive policy adviser at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Detroit branch. “If the supply chain is local or regional, you will find jobs in supply chains.”
Manufacturing jobs have a higher economic multiplier than other occupations because of all the inputs required in manufacturing jobs, Dziczek said. And high-paying engineering jobs often follow manufacturing jobs.
Ford’s proposed plant has an employment multiplier of 3.38, meaning that for every direct job created by Ford, the state’s economy will add 3.38 indirect jobs.
Economy builders are on site for Ford dealers in Marshall. The battery plant covers 950 acres, and the Marshall Area Economic Development Partnership has closed on 1,100 acres, with most of the 2,000-acre megasite under selection, said Jim Durian, the agency’s executive director.
In addition, there are approximately 150 acres available for development in the nearby Brooks Industrial Park or nearby.
“We’ve got everything from home developers to industrial developers,” Durian said. “I think when you get to a big place like that, it builds more energy for opportunities.”
Durian said discussions with automotive suppliers have begun, but no deal has been solidified. “We know that the supplier often follows such a large project,” he said.