Theres an infusion of jobs on the way for Tucsons Southside. It comes from a new battery factory being built near Raytheon.
On the Southside, near Aerospace Parkway and Raytheon Way there is a lot of vacant space. But there is a lot of potential there for new places to work, to put money in your pockets.
Business and elected leaders came to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new plant for American Battery Factory. The company says phase one should employ about three hundred people. That could become a thousand jobs when the plant is complete.
Company President John Kem says machines will do most of the work.
“Because this is not a this is not your grandfather’s factory, where it was all physical hand labor, right? We’re using the machines to do it and the humans are managing all the control systems and making sure it’s working right and then also doing the testing when it’s not early on going hey, there’s a little problem here. Let’s get things fixed.
Joe Snell of Sun Corridor works to convince new companies to set up in Tucson. He says when a company like American Battery Factory comes in, other companies, and their jobs, follow.
It validates that we’re part of the new green economy. I can tell you that our pipeline represents about 40% of these types of jobs. Yes, this one will lead to four, lead to six. We expect a lot to come out of this.
Those jobs could benefit a lot of people in the nearby Sunnyside neighborhood. Yolanda Herrera and her family have been leaders there on a wide range of issues.
She hopes the plant will help support local schools and hire high school graduates looking for good jobs that do not require college.
Herrera is very sensitive to water issues. For many years people in Sunnyside got sick and died from industrial chemicals called TCEs that seeped into their groundwater.
She was encouraged by what she learned about how the Battery Plant will use water.
I’ve been told by the Tucson Water director that it’s not going to have that much of an impact on our water system, that they will continue to recycle, recycle and after it’s recycled, it goes back into the sewer system.