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Published: Monday, 1/5/2009

Mayor touts Toledo as energy leader in State of the City speech

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Toledo is a city in transition making strides against the job-killing recession with innovation in the alternative energy sector, Mayor Carty Finkbeiner boasted during his 2009 State of the City speech delivered Monday.

The mayor delivered the speech entitled "Transforming Toledo Together!" at noon to members of the Toledo Rotary Club and the Toledo business community in the ballroom of the Park Inn hotel downtown.

Mr. Finkbeiner said Toledo has become one of the nation’s most progressive and innovative alternative energy centers.

"Toledo is recognized today as one of the world’s top producers and researchers of clean, green, renewable, alternative energy," the mayor’s prepared remarks stated.

"Local company First Solar produces more solar panels than any other company in America, and in 2009, plans to complete work on a new 500,000-square-foot manufacturing facility — an expansion that is projected to create 134 new high-paying jobs," the speech reads.

"Toledo’s Xunlight recently doubled its solar panel manufacturing facility in size, and increased its workforce from 20 to 80. In just over a year, this company has received more than $40 million in private investment."

The speech was the fourth state of the city address during the mayor’s current term. He will repeat the speech Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Blessed Sacrament Church, 4227 Bellevue Rd. The public is invited to attend the event.

The mayor cited excerpts of reports from a variety of media, including CNN and the Wall Street Journal.

He also detailed plans to continue the city’s transformation into a leader of the green revolution, saying workers at the local General Motors and Jeep plants will be the leaders in alternative energy-based manufacturing.

"We have been working with a young company from California involved in the solar panel industry," his speech reads. "Their new process will reduce the cost of solar panels while making them more efficient. The company is projecting approximately 200 new employees as they move into production."



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