Bellingham solar panel manufacturer Itek Energy got a $125,000 workforce development grant to train its current workers and up to 40 new hires. Itek currently employees 85 full-time workers
The Port of Bellingham secured the grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce, according to a press release from the port.
“Itek Energy is a terrific local success story,” said port commission president Dan Robbins in the press release. “Each year they have expanded their workforce creating new job opportunities for the citizens of Whatcom County.”
Itek will need the employee training funds as it transitions into a new 48,000-square-foot warehouse on 2 acres that the company bought from the port last October. The company hopes to be up and running at its new facility at 800 Cornwall Avenue in Bellingham later this year. In addition to training new workers, the grant will help Itek streamline operations, increase efficiency and reduce costs, the news release said.
“Workforce development grants are an effective tool for creating and retaining high-skill advanced manufacturing jobs that will keep Washington companies competitive in the global marketplace,” said Brian Bonlender, Washington State Department of Commerce director.