Solar Industry Playing Critical Role in Creating Jobs, Driving Innovation and Maintaining US Competitiveness

January 25, 2011


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association released the following statement today in response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address to Congress:

“Tonight we heard President Obama’s commitment to creating jobs and keeping America competitive in the global marketplace. The U.S. solar industry is playing a critical role in meeting both of these objectives.

“Tomorrow morning, nearly 100,000 Americans in all 50 states will go to work as they do every day – at solar manufacturing facilities; on the roofs of homes and business installing the latest solar technology; at offices offering support in finance, legal and marketing departments. More are finding work in solar every single day.

“At tonight’s address were Gary and Robert Allen from Rochester Hills, Michigan. Their company, LUMA Resources, utilized funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to transform their roofing company into a manufacturing facility of state-of-the-art solar shingles, creating new manufacturing jobs for Michigan workers. They are one example of thousands of companies that are finding new opportunity in the solar industry. With the right policy support, the U.S. solar industry is scaling up and allowing America to innovate and compete in the global marketplace. Congress should take notice of success stories like LUMA Resources when considering how to create new jobs and keep America competitive in the 21st century.”

Background Resources:

  • So far in 2011, new solar manufacturing facilities have been announced in Oregon, South Carolina and Mississippi that will create as many as 2,500 jobs. The Recovery Act supported construction or expansion of 58 more solar manufacturing plants in 17 states.
  • Today, there are more than 4,300 solar energy companies across the supply chain operating in the United States. Michigan and Oregon lead the top solar manufacturing states that include California, Massachusetts, Ohio and Washington.
  • According to U.S. Solar Energy Trade Assessment 2010, a joint report from SEIA and GTM Research, the solar industry is a significant net exporter of solar products, with 2009 net exports totaling $723 million. Additionally, U.S. solar installations created $2.6 billion in direct value for the U.S. economy:
  • The solar industry employs Americans in all 50 states. Meet some of the faces of the solar industry and learn more about specific state data:

Media Contacts:
Jared Blanton, 202.556.2886,
Brian Mahar, 703.302.8393,

About SEIA®:
Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA and its 1,000 member companies are building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works to make solar a mainstream and significant energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy.


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