Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus was pleased to welcome the first solar cell manufacturing plant in New York State to Dutchess County. SpectraWatt, Inc., a manufacturer of photovoltaic cells used by solar module suppliers, celebrated its grand opening in East Fishkill today, where the company now occupies 110,000 square feet in the former IBM Building 334. SpectraWatt brings $80 million in investment and new jobs in the newly evolving cluster of solar-related businesses in the Hudson River Valley.
“It is so rewarding to celebrate SpectraWatt’s official opening here in Dutchess County,” said County Executive Steinhaus. “Many months of hard work by all the members of our TEAM DUTCHESS helped to bring this important advanced alternate energy technology industry and job opportunities to our county.”
County Executive Steinhaus, the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC) and numerous other partners including the Dutchess County Industrial Development Agency (DCIDA) and the Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board (DCWIB) worked in partnership with Empire State Development (ESD) to convince SpectraWatt to come to Dutchess County.
Key to attracting SpectraWatt to Dutchess County were the advantages offered to the manufacturer by locating its plant in the local Poughkeepsie/Dutchess Empire Zone and the resource assistance provided including training grants from the DCIDA and the DCWIB. Additionally, another important member of TEAM DUTCHESS is Dutchess Community College. The college worked with SpectraWatt to tailor technical and professional development courses for employees based on the needs of the company.
Dutchess County’s well-established semiconductor presence and local worker skill sets were instrumental in attracting SpectraWatt to the county since the technology used by the solar manufacturing industry is similar to that employed by the semiconductor industry.
“Renewable energy and solar technology… this is exactly the kind of business we want to encourage as we continue with our Dutchess Goes Green initiatives. We are so pleased to celebrate with SpectraWatt and working with them to successfully create new paychecks and to light the way for more even green technology manufacturing jobs here in Dutchess County,” concluded Steinhaus.