Las Vegas Sun

July 29, 2014

Currently: 100° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Solar company to begin filling 278 jobs in North Las Vegas

California company details expansion in city hurt by economic downturn

Image

Erin Dostal

Mayor Shari Buck announces that solar power company Amonix will locate its new plant in North Las Vegas during a press conference Tuesday morning at City Hall, 2200 Civic Center Drive. The manufacturing plant will create 278 jobs.

Click to enlarge photo

A sign displays what the Amonix solar power plant in North Las Vegas will look like. The manufacturing plant will create 278 jobs.

New solar plant

A new solar project that will bring 278 jobs to North Las Vegas is a welcomed boost to the city in the valley hardest hit by the Great Recession.

Amonix, a California-based solar power company, announced at a morning news conference it would construct a manufacturing facility at 4975 N. Pecos Road in the Golden Triangle Industrial Park near the Craig Road and Interstate 15 interchange.

Mayor Shari Buck said she had been on “pins and needles” waiting to hear where Amonix would locate its new plant. She said she was thrilled when she found out the company had chosen North Las Vegas.

“We’re going green, but … we’re making sure our economic development supports local businesses,” Buck said. “This is a sure investment in the future of North Las Vegas.”

The city’s unemployment rate is 15.9 percent, Buck said.

The Sun on Monday reported the company’s decision to move to North Las Vegas. City leaders and company officials discussed the jobs and the company’s plans today.

The company will begin hiring workers immediately for management, production and technical jobs. Amonix plans to have its plant completed and producing by the end of the year.

At the plant, workers will build components for solar-energy systems to be used by municipalities and other large clients, officials said.

Residents can visit the company’s website to apply for jobs, said Amonix Senior Vice President of Manufacturing Operations Vahid Ghassemian. He said the company also plans to place newspaper ads to publicize the openings.

Buck said the company has agreed to try to hire as many workers from North Las Vegas and Southern Nevada as possible. The jobs are also permanent, she said, so they won’t disappear once renovations to the building are complete.

“We’re looking at any business that wants to come in that provides good, permanent jobs for our residents,” Buck said.

The company announced in May that it would build a manufacturing plant in Southern Nevada. Amonix CEO Brian Robertson said the company had been looking at a site in Henderson and two sites in North Las Vegas as potential spots for the expansion.

Click to enlarge photo

Officials pose after announcing that Amonix, a solar power company, will locate a manufacturing plant in North Las Vegas. The plant will create 278 jobs. Pictured are (left to right) Vice President of Economic Development for the Nevada Development Authority Christopher Zunis, North Las Vegas Mayor Shari Buck, Amonix CEO Brian Robertson and Amonix Senior Vice President of Marketing Operations Vahid Ghassemian.

Robertson said Amonix chose to expand in North Las Vegas, in part, because the city was able to help it meet deadlines for building and production. The building they chose also had railroad and interstate access for easier shipping of materials, he said.

“They city was very accommodating,” Robertson said. “We need to get it built quite quickly.”

Robertson said Nevada is the ideal location to expand the solar energy business because sunlight is plentiful and nearly constant year-round.

“It will be our main, core plant for the Southwest,” he said.

Christopher Zunis, vice president of economic development for the Nevada Development Authority, said the average pay for the 278 jobs would be $18 per hour, plus benefits.

During the next five years, Zunis estimated the economic impact of the plant – calculated from a model using capital investment, number of jobs, salaries and money spent within the community – would be $608 million.

The new plant will also drum up $9.5 million in local tax revenue and $2.5 million in state tax revenue during the next five years, Zunis said.

The company said it is paying for the expansion with a $5.9 million tax credit from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act and $12 million from private investors.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

No trusted comments have been posted.