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Published: Thursday, 7/8/2010

Wind tower factory to open at Port of Monroe

BY JULIE M. McKINNON
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Gregory Adanin, Ventower president and chief executive, provides a progress report at the start-up's construction site to Michigan state officials Terri Novak, left, and Velma Johnson. Viciana Gregory Adanin, Ventower president and chief executive, provides a progress report at the start-up's construction site to Michigan state officials Terri Novak, left, and Velma Johnson. Viciana
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MONROE - Ventower Industries LLC will begin hiring by year's end for a Port of Monroe factory that will make towers for industrial-sized wind generators and have about 150 employees by early 2012, company officials said Wednesday.

The privately owned start-up company will begin with about 50 employees early next year after opening its $22 million factory and gradually increasing production and employment, said Gregory Adanin, Ventower president and chief executive.

Mr. Adanin, Ventower Chairman James Viciana, and others gathered at the Port of Monroe Wednesday for a company progress report.

U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D., Dearborn) noted that Ventower recently received a $2.3 million grant and $1.2 million loan in clean-energy stimulus funding, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that he supported.

Federal stimulus funding has successfully created jobs with companies such as Ventower, which will be a leader in transforming industry in Michigan, Mr. Dingell said Wednesday.

Mr. Viciana, who declined to say how much Ventower jobs will pay, said wind power is one budding renewable energy source that will help alleviate U.S. dependence on the petroleum industry.

Ventower Chairman James Viciana Ventower Chairman James Viciana
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A mixture of private investment, government incentives, and loans are being used by Ventower, he said.

"This is providing jobs in a sector that was nonexistent a few years ago," Mr. Viciana said.

Prior to being awarded federal stimulus money last month, Ventower received a federal, state, and local incentive package totaling about $16.5 million. That package includes a $2 million Environmental Protection Agency loan for building on a former industrial site, and a $4 million Small Business Administration loan.

Mr. Adanin, Ventower's president and chief executive, said the company is in contract discussions with a number of turbine makers, which he declined to name. He said the company, which will build up to 250 towers annually, will announce when it is accepting job applications on its Web site, www.ventower.com

Contact Julie M. McKinnon at:

jmckinnon@theblade.com

or 419-724-6087.



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