Obama to speak at Michigan battery plant Thursday

President Obama will travel to Michigan on Thursday for the groundbreaking of a factory that will build batteries for electric vehicles.

The White House announced Friday that the president will deliver remarks at a groundbreaking ceremony for the Compact Power battery plant in Holland, Michigan. Compact Power is a Michigan-based subsidiary of the South Korean firm LG Chem, which received $151 million in stimulus funds from the Department of Energy to build the plant.

Compact is building the $300 million, 650,000 square-foot factory to manufacture battery systems for the Chevrolet Volt. The plant is scheduled to open in two years. The White House did not provide any additional details on the trip, but it is part of the administration's ongoing effort to highlight jobs created by the Recovery Act, particularly in the alternative energy and manufacturing industries. Obama toured an electric truck factory in Kansas City, Mo. last week.

Heavily dependent on the domestic auto industry, Michigan had the second highest unemployment rate in the country in May at 13.6 percent. According to the Detroit Free Press unemployment in Holland, a traditional Republican stronghold and center for the manufacturing of auto parts and office furniture, is 15 percent higher than the state average.