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Governor Jennifer M. Granholm on November 4 said Michigan is working to become a world center for wind and clean-energy manufacturing, which is part of her strategy to grow the state's economy and create jobs. The governor's remarks came during her address to the American Wind Energy Association's Small and Community Wind Conference & Exhibition in Detroit.
"Michigan is home to one of the world's greatest 20th century manufacturing industries," Granholm said, alluding to the automobile industry. "But our goal is to also become the home of one of the world's greatest 21st-century manufacturing industries: wind and clean-energy manufacturing."
Granholm noted that the state's tremendous manufacturing expertise was put to work when Detroit and Michigan were called upon to be the nation's Arsenal of Democracy in World War II.
"Today, as our nation faces the challenges of combating climate change and reducing our dependence on foreign oil, Michigan again is ready to serve," Granholm said. "We are ready to be the arsenal of clean energy for the United States and the world."
The governor said Michigan is well-positioned to be a leader in wind energy manufacturing given the state's manufacturing talent and infrastructure and its geographical location which enables wind products to be shipped via the Great Lakes. She added that the state is helping the wind industry in areas such as capital acquisition, job-training, and research.
"We already have more than 70 companies in Michigan involved in wind manufacturing," Granholm said. "Wind companies looking for a great place to invest need to come to Michigan."
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is holding its three-day Small and Community Wind Conference & Exhibition at Detroit's Cobo Center. More than 1,400 people are attending the conference along with 112 exhibitors, making it the largest AWEA event ever other than the association's annual windpower conferences.