Green Company Adds Second Shift: Sign of Good Things to Come?

solar panels It's not exactly a panacea for the nation's unemployment woes, but perhaps it's a very positive sign that things are moving in the right direction. In just three months, Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. the world's largest producer of solar panels, has added a second production shift at its new solar panel manufacturing facility in Goodyear, Ariz.

The new manufacturing facility will now run for up to 16 hours per day with 78 employees, up from eight hours and 40 employees when it began operations in October 2010. Suntech plans to ramp up the facility again by mid-2011, and targets employment of 150 people by the end of 2011.

"We've got a spirited, hard-working team in Goodyear that's eager to ramp up production," said Martin Guo, Suntech's Arizona plant manager. "Over the first three months, our new workers have really stepped up and made a great deal of progress toward our cost and output targets. Now that we've found our stride, we're ready to take on another shift and increase output volumes to meet the great interest we're seeing for Suntech products made in Arizona."

The 117,000-square-foot manufacturing facility features highly-automated manufacturing and product testing equipment and currently produces Suntech's 280W solar panels for commercial and utility-scale electricity generation.

Many experts believe that green technology such as this will be a major source of both jobs, as well as U.S. production and manufacturing in the future. This could be a sign of the first wave of such growth.

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