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Grants fund training for alternative energy

Seven northwest Ohio companies involved in alternative energy products have received grants with a combined total of nearly $990,000 to be used for training new and current employees.

The money is being dispersed from the state of Ohio's energizing careers program, funded a year ago by the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's State Energy Sector Partnership Training program.

Katie Sabatino, a spokesman for the Ohio's Department of Development, said the grant money is to be used at local institutes and community colleges and supplements company training dollars. It is limited to companies involved in wind, solar, and biomass business, she said.

Mike Bishop, general manager of the Poet Biorefining ethanol plant in Fostoria, said his firm's $43,371 will be used to put 43 employees through a variety of leadership and other programs at Terra Community College in Fremont.

"We were able to put together some training needs and other gaps that we could fulfill with the grant," he said. "We've already identified which team members will get the training."

Other regional companies, the grant amount, and the number of employees affected are:

AP Alternatives LLC of Ridgeville Corners; $210,000, 35 employees. The company makes products used to assemble and install solar mounting systems.

Applied Energy Technologies of Maumee; $180,000, 35 employees. The company makes solar panel mounting systems.

Argo-Hytos of Bowling Green; $100,200, 19 employees. The company designs customized manifolds, valve assemblies, and power packs for the wind energy market.

Marathon Special Products of Bowling Green; $250,600, 120 employees. It designs and produces electrical wiring devices used for solar power integration components, wind power connections, and wind circuit protection devices.

Pro-Pak Industries of Maumee; $156,000; 26 employees. The company designs, manufactures, and assembles packaging dies for use by solar panel firms.

TecnoSunSolar USA of Toledo; $49,400; 13 employees. The company makes devices to augment the alternative energy industry, such as tracker devices that precisely follow the movement of the sun to maximize solar panel output.

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