From a blog post by Tom Content on JSOnline:
Helios Solar Works has received a loan of $652,079 to support its $11 million investment to purchase equipment and add a third shift of workers at its Menomonee Valley solar panel factory.
The loan was announced by the Northwest Side Community Development Corp., based on funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Helios opened its factory at 1207 W. Canal St. last year. The funds will be used to help meet demand from new orders from Helios customers in the United States, Asia and Europe, according to the community development corporation. The corporation said the loan will support the addition of up to 40 jobs.
“It is very satisfying to know that the NWSCDC is helping Helios ship solar panels to customers worldwide stamped ‘Made in Milwaukee,’ ” said Sam McGovern-Rowen, NWSCDC planning director, in a statement. Helios makes efficient panels using a highly automated production process.
Helios chief executive Steve Ostrenga says employment currently stands at about 35, running two shifts, and the company is planning its capital investment in part to accommodate a third shift and development of a new panel aimed at the residential market.
“We’ve been doing primarily commercial and this gets into the residential space with a differentiated product that lowers the total cost of installation,” he said in an interview.