The Supplier Recruitment Program (SRP) award is given annually to a business that plays an important role in area development. The awards program is aimed at increasing the involvement of private sector professionals in providing leads for new economic development projects and to advance the supply chain in the region. It is a cooperative effort between several regional economic development organizations that include the Regional Growth Partnership (RGP), Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority (Port Authority), and NORED.
Isofoton North America selected a site in Henry County for its first production facility in North America. The parent company, Isofoton, is a global manufacturer of solar panels that has invested approximately $31 million in its new operations in Napoleon, Ohio. Isofoton North America worked closely with the Henry County Community Improvement Corporation, Regional Growth Partnership, University of Toledo Innovation Enterprises, and many others in the area on this large project.
Isofoton North America was selected for this recognition as a result of the process that it used to put the new plant in place. The company went to extra efforts to recruit suppliers in the area to support the business during the construction phase at its new facility.
The solar panel manufacturer is leasing an existing building, so most of the construction has been related to the machinery and equipment needed in the production process. Joe Garton, vice president of plant operations for the company, advised that it was part of Isofoton North America's strategy to attempt to utilize as many businesses in the area as possible to support its needs.
At the start of the construction project, the company retained Rupp/Rosebrock, Inc., a construction manager and general contractor in Liberty Center in Henry County. Rupp/Rosebrock pulled in additional local subcontractor support for various aspects of the project.
In addition, Isofoton North America recruited a number of local companies for the development and construction of some of the equipment that has now been installed in the facility. The company alerted businesses in the area of key needs that it had and its preference to use local suppliers.
Garton further advised that the company is currently examining an Ohio business to supply parts needed for the panels. These parts are currently being supplied from overseas. Isofoton North America's strategy of supporting local businesses may present opportunities in the future for companies located in the area to become additional suppliers to this manufacturer that is new to the region.
Isofoton North America's plant management met and selected an area nonprofit organization to receive the $3,000 payment that accompanies the annual Supplier Recruitment Program award. The nonprofit organization is the Maumee Valley Guidance Center located in Defiance, Ohio. Isofoton North America has requested that the money go to the center's Supportive Services for Veteran Families program. Isofoton North America has put significant effort into recruiting veterans of the US armed forces for employment in the new operations.
The SRP award and the $3,000 payment will be presented at NORED's Annual Meeting on March 14th at the Holiday Inn French Quarter in Perrysburg, Ohio.
Contact: Jerry Arkebauer
Northwest Ohio Regional Economic Development Association (NORED)