The final stages aren’t complete yet, but the massive Mecosta County Battery Factory appears to be underway.
Creating thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in investment, the Gotion Inc. battery factory has been endorsed by local and national authorities. One interested entity is near Ferris State University, which believes their new neighbor could hold the key to future growth.
“For us, this is something we want to jump on,” said FSU President Dr. Bill Pink.
The site is now an empty field, but soon, aside from last-second issues, a massive electric vehicle battery factory will be there. Thousands of jobs, billions of dollars for the community. and a potential new avenue for Ferris State students.
“I feel like this university has the opportunity to really take a niche idea and a niche program and really become a center of excellence,” Dr. Pink said.
Gotion will need workers of all skill and education levels. Ferris thinks they can grow with Gotion and create an EV battery program that works for both organizations.
“Programs, certificates, associate degrees, I think that’s a strong possibility,” Pink said, “But I’ll tell you I think the most significant possibility, we’re not even aware of yet.”
It makes sense because of the proximity, but the industry will only grow from here.
“Because we know these types of manufacturing plants are going to be popping up more and more across the country,” Pink said, “I would like Ferris State and the Big Rapids community to be a crucial part.”
At a time when college enrollment is down across the board, Ferris refuses to miss an opportunity to attract more students.
“Whatever our university has to do to promote growth and not stifle and reduce it will be vital for the future,” Pink said.
It’s all speculation and projection right now, but it’s also possibility and opportunity. Big Rapids looks ready to be a battery town.
“As a community, how come we are now capitalizing on a company that selected us?” said Pink, “Now we have the opportunity to knock this thing out of the park. I’m excited about it.”