Sen. Ossoff proud to see Qcells expansion, despite Senate setback on economy bill
471 new jobs are created with Qcells expansion in Dalton; Ossoff says he needs to speak with Sen. Joe Manchin about supporting climate changing issues
DALTON (WDEF) – The solar industry in the United States is growing, and its growth is very close to home. Ground is now broken on a new facility that will bring almost 500 jobs to Dalton and Whitfield County.
The expansion at Qcells was announced a couple months ago by Georgia Senator Jon Ossoff. Today, he marked the event by coming to the see ground being broken in action, and he’s proud he was a part of it happening locally.
“Here are nearly 480 new jobs coming to north Georgia through this expansion of this solar panel manufacturing facility. I’m going to continue to attract manufacturing investment opportunity and jobs in all economic sectors to our state to increase opportunity and prosperity in north Georgia and statewide.”
While the press event was rosy, a pall hung over it. Thursday night, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin told Senator Chuck Schumer that he will not support any climate changing issues within the Democratic economic bill. That might affect the Qcells facility, but construction will not stop. Senator Ossoff says he needs to chat with Manchin.
Ossoff: “I’m going to speak with my colleague, Senator (Joe) Manchin, later today, and I need to have a direct conversation and understand exactly where he is and try to find a path forward, whether it is this or another legislative vehicle.”
According to Ossoff, the expansion at Qcells will make the company produce about a third of the solar panels in the United States. With solar being clean and reliable energy, it leads to public affordability.
“That is the most important thing about solar. That it is the most low-cost technology out there to produce energy. So, these panels are going to create both really good jobs here in Dalton and they’re going to help people save money,” said Scott Moskowitz, Qcells’ Head of Market Strategy and Public Affairs.
The new Qcells facility in Dalton is expected to open in June of next year. Starting pay for the 471 jobs is supposed to begin at $17 an hour, while more specialized positions will start at $29-30/hr. Hiring for those jobs will begin in the fall.