Thursday, May 10, 2012

$34.5 Million Creates Only 183 Jobs

If jobs are any measure, 14 Michigan "green" companies that were awarded $34.5 million in taxpayer funded grants and loans aren't generating much heat.

According to the Michigan Economic Development Corp., the companies have reported a total of 183 jobs. While a final report will not be issued until June, calls and emails to the companies indicate the total number will not be much higher.

The state awarded the grants and loans in 2009 and 2010 under its Clean Energy Advanced Manufacturing Program. The money came from federal stimulus funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The federal government handed out a total of $3.1 billion for state energy programs, of which Michigan got $82 million.

Michigan Energy Office Manager Robert Jackson defends the program by saying it was not designed to create jobs but to help established manufacturers retool for the future economy, namely alternative energy. Of the 14 companies on the list, the majority are in the wind turbine business.


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