Firms receive grants for worker trainingWritten by Duane Ramsey | | email@example.com
The Ohio Department of Development (DOD) announced $1.3 million in Energizing Careers Program grants for six Ohio companies to train more than 700 employees in advanced energy manufacturing. Three of the companies chosen for grants are located in Northwest Ohio.
The $6 million Energizing Careers Program was launched in 2010 to assist companies in the wind, solar and biomass industries by providing training to improve worker skills and help them remain competitive in advanced energy manufacturing.
The program is administered by the DOD’s Workforce and Talent Division with State Energy Sector Partnership and Training grants funded through the U.S. Department of Labor and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“These training dollars ensure our workers are highly skilled in manufacturing that supports the evolving technologies that help our economy flourish. By training employees in advanced energy manufacturing, these companies will see continued growth and success,” Lisa Patt-McDaniel, director of the Ohio DOD, stated in a press release announcing the grants.
The program reimburses companies up to $6,000 for the cost of customized training for full-time employees with preferential project funding to companies located in the 44 counties most affected by restructuring of the automotive industry, according to the DOD.
Three Northwest Ohio companies were selected to receive training grants in the second round of funding. Four of the five companies that received first-round grant funding in October were from Northwest Ohio.
Willard & Kelsey Solar Group LLC of Perrysburg will receive $700,981 for training workers to manufacture frameless Cadmium Telluride photovoltaic solar panels which ensure cost-effective production and installation for residential, commercial and industrial power generating facilities.
The company plans to train 50 current workers and 250 new employees with the Energizing Careers Program funds, said Mossie Murphy, chief financial officer of Willard & Kelsey.
The company began commercial operations recently and is ramping up for production at its new 250,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Perrysburg, Murphy said.
The company is planning a major expansion with a 750,000 square-foot build-out for 16 new production lines that could employ 500 new workers by 2012 and as many as 3,600 within six years, according to Murphy.
Dow Chemical Company in Findlay will receive $162,437 for training workers to manufacture Polyolefin Encapsulant Films, which can enhance efficiencies in photovoltaic solar panels. The films improve the reliability and extend the service life of the solar panels leading to lower conversion costs, according to the company.
Dow Chemical is retrofitting an existing building at the company’s manufacturing site to produce the Polyolefin Encapsulant Films. It plans to train 70 current workers in control logic and power distribution with funds from the Energizing Careers Program.
Both companies worked with Owens Community College to prepare and submit the grant applications. Owens will work with both firms to develop customized work force training programs to meet the grant requirements, according to Michael Bankey, vice president of Workforce and Community Service at Owens.
“We’re excited about helping these companies get the grant funds and develop custom training programs. It will help make their employees more productive and will be great for this region,” Bankey said.
Calyxo USA of Wood County will receive $23,975 for worker training to produce glass sheets for solar panels.