Cascade Engineering's Renewable Energy division to create 183 jobs over seven years

Sharon Hanks

Cascade Renewable Energy, a three-year-old division of Cascade Engineering, expects to create 183 jobs over the next seven years due to anticipated growth across its product lines.

Dirck Lyon, the company's director of new initiatives, says a $1.8 million tax incentive granted to the company by the Michigan Economic Growth Authority will allow the firm to invest $2.8 million into new equipment, property improvements, salaries and other capital expenditures. The average weekly salary for the jobs is $960, he says.

Located at 3400 Innovation Court SE in Cascade, the growing division sells a variety of sustainability products, including solar powered lighting, water saving products, energy saving kits and small wind turbine analysis.

Its first product was the SWIFT Wind Turbine, which provides renewable energy for residential, community and commercial use. More recently, it added a line of solar photovoltaic products to its portfolio. Finally, it developed a strategic relationship with Lowe's, the home improvement retailer, to introduce several renewable energy and energy efficiency products to customers at select Lowe's stories in the United States and Canada.

Lyon says the company will begin to post 24 positions on its website in September, signaling the start of hiring for the new expansion.

He attributes the growth to the company's culture that focuses on innovation and sustainability and cultivated by Cascade's chairman and founder, Fred Keller. "It's a great example of how changing a mindset has helped find ways to survive in a bad economy," Lyon says.

The company employs about 1,000 worldwide, with roughly half of them in Michigan.

Source: Dirck Lyon, Cascade Renewable Energy's director of new initiatives, Cascade

Sharon Hanks is innovations and jobs news editor at Rapid Growth Media. Please send story ideas and comments for the column to Sharon at [email protected]. She also is owner of The Write Words in Grand Rapids.

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