Solar panel pact means 50 new jobs in the region

Published: Thursday, June 28, 2018 @ 12:14 PM

An E-Mek Technologies-produced circuit board destined for a Solar Roadways solar panel. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF
An E-Mek Technologies-produced circuit board destined for a Solar Roadways solar panel. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF

A partnership between companies in Vandalia and Idaho is about to create 50 new jobs to the Dayton area.

E-Mek Technologies, LLC, has announced a partnership with Solar Roadways, LLC, of Sand Point, Idaho, to manufacture its patented “solar roadways panels,” Montgomery County announced Thursday.

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The modular panels have solar cells to generate energy and a heating element to melt snow as well as LED lights that can be programmed to reconfigure auto and foot traffic. It is designed to replace traditional asphalt and concrete surfaces.

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E-Mek Technologies is a Vandalia contract manufacturer, specializing in printed circuit boards, box build assembly, through hole soldering and prototyping.

“We have enjoyed a constructive relationship with Solar Roadways for almost four years, and our two companies have worked closely to develop the panels and fine tune the production process,” Jeff Harris, E-Mek’s marketing director, said in the county’s announcement.

E-Mek initially contacted Solar Roadways after seeing “Solar Freakin’ Roadways,” a promotional video about the Solar Roadways’ product.

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Scott Brusaw, a University of Dayton and Sinclair Community College graduate, as well as co-founder of Solar Roadways, met with Montgomery County economic development officials last August at E-Mek Technologies, which supplies Brusaw’s company with printed circuit boards.

“It would be kind of nice to be able to come back,” Brusaw told this news outlet at the time in an exclusive interview.

E-Mek plans to begin production of the road panels at its Vandalia facility in 2018. JobsOhio, the state’s private development corporation, awarded E-Mek $40,000 to invest in new production equipment, the county said.

E-Mek expects this investment will result in 50 new jobs.

“E-Mek’s expansion demonstrates the company’s leadership in providing top quality, cost-effective electronics as solar technology evolves,” Glenn Richardson, JobsOhio managing director for advanced manufacturing, said in the county’s release. “This investment speaks to the E-Mek’s confidence in Montgomery County’s talent, and we are delighted that 50 more jobs are coming to this innovative Vandalia facility.”