WEST MICHIGAN — Ford held a meeting Wednesday night to discuss more information on the BlueOval battery plant they are building in Marshall.
Creating 2,500 jobs, members in the meeting assured that Michiganders and people who live Calhoun County and surrounding counties, will be the main focus of the qualified jobs.
"These 2,500 jobs will be for workers here in Michigan, we intend for these jobs to create opportunities for those in calhoun counties and the surrounding counties so these will be American jobs," Director of EV Sites at Ford, Ermal Faulkner said.
Throughout the meeting, members of Ford answered questions regarding the $3.5 billion factory, regarding design, environmental concerns and how the factory will impact the city of Marshall's charm.
"Ford is also working with local neighbors is preserving the important features of the community, including a historic barn that is nearby the site, and the Marshall charm," Government Affairs of Ford, Stephanie Fries said.
"We are reaching out to local foundations, organizations and leaders in the community to learn what is most important for the city," Fries added.
One question in particular, was directly in line of why Ford Motor Company chose the site in Marshall.
"We did conduct a very thorough site selection process, considering sites within the various states as well as internationally to try to understand where best to put this," Faulkner said.
"When we looked at all of the factors, we felt that the Marshall site really offered everything what were looking for and was really prepared for something of this scale and what would find beneficial," Faulkner added.
As the BlueOval Battery park in Marshall is still in the early stages of moving dirt and preparing for the build, citizens in the area expressed environmental concerns as well.
"We are getting all of our water supply from the city of Marshall, and any wastewater generated on the site is captured and pumped directly to the Marshall wastewater treatment plant," Construction Manager of Ford, Eric Grubb said.
Storm runoff and air quality from the plant were also questions asked during the meeting.
"Builders will design and execute the compliance with the state of Michigan law," Ford Environmental Compliance, Danielle Fenbert said.
"By protecting the Kalamazoo river, there will be a detention basin onsite," Fenbert said
To utilize all of the space used at the BlueOval battery plant site, developers plan on installing a rail spur for incoming raw materials and outgoing finished batteries, according to Construction Manager of Ford, Eric Grubb.
"The purpose is to minimize any impact we have on the Marshall community," Grubb said.
As contractors continue to prepare for building the new plant, crews from Ford Motor Company are expected to start building in the summer
For more information on the BlueOval Battery Park Michigan, visit the Ford website.