Speaking in front of area business and community leaders, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow today delivered the keynote speech at the Holland and Zeeland Chambers of Commerce Legislative Luncheon in Holland, Michigan. Stabenow discussed how Michigan is in a unique position to make sure America wins the race against other countries in the development of new clean energy technologies. Holland-area companies have become major innovators in the field of advanced batteries.
Senator Debbie Stabenow said: "If we make things and grow things in Michigan we will create jobs here. That is exactly what is happening with the emerging advanced battery industry and new clean energy jobs that are being created right here in West Michigan. We cannot afford to lose the race to build the clean energy technologies of the future to other countries."
Jane Clark, President of the Holland Area Chamber of Commerce said: "This was an important opportunity for the members of the Holland and Zeeland Chambers of Commerce to connect with Senator Stabenow. West Michigan is proving to be the North American capital of Advanced Energy Storage manufacturing. We hope, with the Senator's support, to continue the positive economic activity our community has experienced over the last two years."
Last month, Senator Stabenow was in Holland to unveil a major initiative to expand Michigan's advanced battery industry and spur clean energy job growth. She made that announcement at Trans-Matic, a local battery component manufacturer in Holland that makes metal containers and components for advanced battery cells using high-tech equipment and machinery.
As Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Stabenow also discussed efforts she is leading to help grow Michigan agriculture, which is the second-largest sector of our economy. Michigan agriculture generates more than $71.3 billion in revenue and supports one out of every four jobs in the state. Allegan and Ottawa counties are the top two ranking Michigan counties in total economic value of agricultural production. Between the two, there are over 3,000 farms covering almost 450,000 acres of land, producing some of Michigan's key agricultural products.
Senator Stabenow continued: "West Michigan continues to grow and produce high-quality and an abundant variety of fruits and vegetables helping to grow agriculture in Michigan five times faster than the economy as a whole. We are poised to continue building on that success, including opportunities in food processing and bio-based manufacturing, so we can create new jobs here in Michigan."
Senator Stabenow also discussed efforts she has championed to cut taxes and red tape for Michigan small businesses, double exports in the next five years as a member of the President's Export Council, and protect our Michigan way of life by sponsoring the Stop Asian Carp Act.