The Michigan battery plant known for paying its workers to do nothing has turned things around and is now hiring more workers, specifically to do something. South Korea-based LG Chem, which runs the factory to supply the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in vehicle with its lithium-ion batteries, held a job fair recently to bring on 40 new employees in order to meet higher battery demand, according to WZZM, the ABC affiliate for Grand Rapids, MI.

The LG Chem factory is in Holland, MI, about 30 miles west of Grand Rapids, and it made its first batteries last year. Prior to that, though, the factory gained notoriety after a US Department of Energy (DOE) probe found that workers there were getting paid to do, well, nothing. That's because demand for the battery packs was so low that it cost less for the plant to sit idle. The DOE was conducting the probe because of its financial grant to LG Chem.

But that was then and today is today. LG Chem is looking to ramp up production in advance of the second-generation Volt. That 2016 model-year version is said to have a longer all-electric range and better performance and will ride on a new chassis, but few official details have surfaced. We will know more when we get our first look at the car at the Detroit Auto Show in January.

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