New hope for Greenville: Hundreds of jobs on the way

5:47 PM, Mar 22, 2006   |    comments
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Greenville- The City of Greenville. The name alone almost synonymous with layoffs, is now planning to put people back to work. Unemployed resident Brian Butt said, "It really needs it. You got 1100 hundred, no, make that 3,000 people out of jobs. It's definitely needed here in Greenville. Butt is among the blue collar workers who lost their jobs when Electrolux shut down two weeks ago. Tuesday night, he and his former co-workers found hope in a press release from US Senator Carl Levin. The Senator's office released news that United Solar Ovonic LLC, a subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. will build a new, high-tech manufacturing facility in Greenville. “ECD is one of the leading U.S. companies developing technologies to make the U.S. less dependent on foreign oil,” Levin said in a press release. “I'm delighted that they are expanding their operations by building a new facility in Greenville, where they will find a highly skilled workforce and receptive business environment. I commend Governor Granholm's leadership in forging this partnership between United Solar Ovonic, the Greenville community, and the State of Michigan.” Greenville City Manager George Bosanic talked with WZZM 13 News Tuesday night, “The press release you received has number of 563 jobs and that is true, but there's much more than that that will be revealed tomorrow." Wednesday, Governor Granholm will announce United Solar Ovonic, a company based in Auburn Hills, will expand and build a new facility in Greenville's industrial park. Bosanic said, “I feel a sense of relief because we've been working on this for three months now and fought very, very hard in competition with another state." That state is South Carolina but City Hall is revealing little more than that, saying only that Greenville won, in part, because of its highly skilled workforce Unemployed resident Kevin Ledin said, "I know how to do several different things, as far as a factory job is concerned, but I don't have an education because I never graduated." Unemployed resident Steve Mogg said, “I want to know what the jobs are. Can I support a family? Can I make payments? Can I buy a new car? Can I buy a house?” Questions remain. But there is but one right answer: jobs are coming. Greenville is in business. WZZM 13 News will provide continuing coverage on this story. We'll bring you the details online as soon as we have them, with more information on WZZM 13 News at Noon.

Kathy Reynolds

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