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State governor visits Wisconsin molder, bringing money

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle recently held a press conference at the plstics molding facility of TecStar Mfg., a subsidiary of the MGS Mfg. Group (Germantown, WI) to present a $3.75-million loan that will help the company expand its work force and buy equipment to bolster its ongoing business in the renewable and sustainable energy sector.

The company's current largest customer in the solar energy market is California-based Solyndra, which products photovoltaic solar energy systems consisting of panels and mounting frames for the commercial rooftop market. The TecStar facility will soon have its fourth manufacturing cell on site for the Solyndra products, and MGS says there is a possibility of adding 10 to 12 more systems, depending on future demand.

Governor Doyle noted that his top priority this year has been "...to help companies and communities move forward and create good-paying jobs for Wisconsin families." The low-interest loan comes from a $55-million revolving loan fund established through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, commonly referred to as "the stimulus."

Wisconsin is the only U.S. state that allocated all of its funding under that program to a State Energy Program (SEP) that is targeted at manufacturers. The SEP helps manufacturers be more competitive by helping finance initiatives that trim energy costs. According to the governor's office, total cost of the program underway at TecStar is $15 million and the company is committed to creating 186 new full-time positions, in addition to its 170-person current work force.

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