Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Wind Turbine Tower Manufacturer Ventower to Start Production Thursday

Ventower produces the columns that hold the big commercial-size wind turbines, you can read the back-story from the groundbreaking in 2010 here. As of this week, they are up and running.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson and U.S. Rep. John Dingell were among the political dignitaries at the ribbon cutting ceremony for a new wind turbine tower manufacturer in Monroe this morning.

Ventower is expected to bring 150 to 300 new jobs to the area after it begins production Thursday at its plant on a former brownfield.

The company makes the 60-foot-tall steel columns which wind turbines sit upon.
Ventower was partnered with Monroe County Community College to train employees.

“It’s all about jobs; it’s high skilled training,” said college president David Nixon. “It’s ability to bounce back.”

Green jobs for Michigan, coming to fruition. This is one that we won from Ohio; the Recovery Act and MEDC incentives figured in on the deal.

Federal, state and local incentives helped Michigan win the project over a competing site in Ohio. Ventower is using a federal advanced energy manufacturing tax credit worth $2.5 million funded through the Recovery Act to help purchase equipment needed for tower manufacturing. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) supported a state employment credit worth up to $3.7 million over 10 years and a brownfield redevelopment credit worth up to $5.8 million. The city of Monroe is assisting with a local abatement and infrastructure upgrades to the Port of Monroe.

Glad someone was in favor of "relentless positive action" when it came to recruiting green jobs back in 2010, because we certainly haven't seen any announcements lately on landing any new recruits. In fact, Snyder and the Republican legislature will be moving on to red-meat right-wing "social issues" this fall, the jobs issue nowhere on the radar.

So, thank the nice President and Governor Granholm for their efforts. And remember Republican inaction on this issue in 2012. Maybe we can turn this around, at least at the federal level, and get moving in the right direction again.

Still clinging to hope here...