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Ford to start STEM training programs for K-12, college students in preparation for battery plant opening in 2025

The new infrastructure package signed into law is part of what's allowing Ford to expand its electric vehicle production.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Ford spoke with WHAS Wednesday for the first time since announcing their new battery plant in Glendale, Kentucky

Greg Christensen, Ford's electrical vehicle footprint director, said the new infrastructure package signed into law is part of what's allowing Ford to expand its electric vehicle production in the U.S.

Ford and SK Innovation's Glendale battery plant is expected to bring 5,000 direct jobs.

Christensen said a study found in other cities, Ford's manufacturing plants brought thousands of indirect jobs as well. 

"There are anywhere from 13 to 14 jobs created for every direct manufacturing assembly job," Christensen said. 

On a victory lap after signing the bipartisan infrastructure bill into law, President Joe Biden made a stop in Detroit Wednesday at General Motors' electric vehicle plant

The infrastructure package included $7.5 billion to create an electric vehicle charging network across the country.

Christensen said they're looking to hire a lot of skilled laborers, like engineers and electricians, to help assemble the batteries.

Since the plant won't open until 2025, Ford said it's using this time to get into K-12 schools and colleges to start implementing training programs.

That way there is a workforce ready when they open their doors. 

"We have the ability to work with educational leaders in both states to develop curriculum and STEM programs," Christensen said. 

Gov. Andy Beshear said the plant will offer a variety of good-paying jobs.

"During the construction process there are going to be thousands of people on that site every single day," Beshear said. "The types of job opportunities, as they become operational, are going to be exciting. They will span from entry-level jobs to the highest best-paying jobs likely around the commonwealth," Beshear said. 

Beshear said he expects the plant to raise Kentucky's manufacturing status. 

"We're not just going to leapfrog a couple of states, we're going to leapfrog 20 states in economic development and where our economy is," Beshear said. "It's truly exciting and humbling to be a part of."

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