Monday, August 6, 2012

SolarWorld, Outdoor Apparel, and Gold Mining in the News

We've gathered a good mix of industry news for today's post:

Solar Panel Manufacturing
SolarWorld will invest $27 million for technology upgrades to its Hillsboro solar panel manufacturing plant, according to a company press release. The project, which will install new systems to boost photovoltaic power, follows several phases of construction that have added 250,000 square feet to the company's 103-acre campus. SolarWorld estimates that nearly 1,000 workers in construction and engineering were employed at the peak of these projects. The Hillsboro factory currently employs about 1,000 workers.

Outdoor Apparel Retail
A story from The Oregonian reports on the presence of Oregon's outdoor gear industry at a recent tradeshow. In 2011, the Portland Development Commission published a report on the state's athletic and outdoor industry, which employs 14,000 and is comprised of more than 700 firms. Another article covers the success of some of these companies, such as Portland-based (and New Zealand owned) company Icebreaker, which saw sales rise from 2,000 units to 6,000 units between 2009 and 2011.

Gold Mining
Eastern Oregon's gold deposits have found their miners, according to The Bend Bulletin. Mining company Calico received approval to begin the permitting process, providing access to an estimated $2 billion-worth of gold in Malheur County. Once the operation is running Calico expects to employ 100 to 150 people anywhere from 7 to 20 years, depending on the actual yield. Employment Department Regional Economist Jason Yohannan was interviewed on the wage potential: "It's a county that has one of the lowest pay scales in the state as it is...So if you're talking about jobs up to $70,000 a year, it definitely would be an attractive position for that area." The county predicts that mine construction and processing will contribute $50 to $100 million into the economy.

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