WAKARUSA, Ind. (WISH) - President Barack Obama came to Elkhart County Wednesday to awardgrants designed to promote the manufacture of electric cars andtrucks. The biggest share of the money will come to Michigan andIndiana.
The president made the announcement at a factory previouslyowned by a now-bankrupt recreational vehicle manufacturer inWakarusa.
"To announce $2.4B in highly competitive grants to develop thenext generation of fuel efficient cars and trucks powered by thenext generation of battery technologies all made right here in theU. S. of A," said President Obama.
The former Monaco Coach factory, now owned by Navistar,will build electric delivery trucks in the future with the help ofa $39 million that comes from the federal stimulus package.
It one of several projects aimed at making the Elkhart area acenter of new technology.
"We're building a trade school because part of growing the areais training the area," said Will Cashen, an entrepreneur.
The biggest share of more than $400 million in Indiana grants,however, will come to Indianapolis and the EnerDelCorporation. The Lithium Battery Manufacturer on the north sidereceives a grant of $118 million to advance its research aimed atcreating an electric car.
The president also hopes to solve an unemployment problem. InElkhart County the rate is over 16%.
"A brighter future for Elkhart, a brighter future for Indianaand for the United States of America. That's what we're fightin'for," said President Obama.
And, said the president, a reduced dependence on foreignoil.
Most of Barack Obama's speech was devoted to the economy and theeffort to create jobs, but he did include a brief sales pitch forhealth care reform. The president promised that a health care billwill pass before the end of the year.
Officials with the Indianapolis Colts say tickets are still available for the Colts vs. Texans game Sunday.
Fire crews in Anderson were on the scene of a building fire Thursday afternoon.
An Anderson apartment complex will be demolished after a fire broke out at the building Thursday.