REVERSING THE TREND: OUT-OF-STATE MANUFACTURER CHOOSES CALIFORNIA FOR EXPANSION

by Stan Hazelroth, Executive Director
California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank



It may sound a little like a “man bites dog” story, but the California Infrastructure
and Economic Development Bank (I-Bank) has just issued bonds for a major expansion of
Pennsylvania-based Solar Atmospheres, Inc. to the Fontana area of California.
Solar Atmospheres, Inc., processes commercial heat-treated metal parts for the medical,
aerospace, metals, and instruments industries.  Solar Atmospheres, Inc. operates four
heat treatment plant sites in Pennsylvania.  Major customers include Honeywell
International, Siemens Power Generation Inc., and Global Titanium.

Using industrial development bonds issued by the I-Bank, the company will acquire a
21,750 square foot building on two acres and purchase vacuum furnaces, ranging in
size from two to 24 feet in length.  Solar Atmospheres expects to create at least 11
new, good-paying jobs in area with an unemployment rate that exceeds the State rate
by 20%.

Success stories like Solar Atmospheres do not happen overnight.  In January, 2009, my
office began working with the Solar Atmospheres’ finance team to structure an industrial
development bond.  However, the uncertainties of the financial and real estate markets
caused the business to stop the process.  We thought that was the last we would hear
from the company.

In early 2010, my office was pleased to get a call from the company’s California
representative that the expansion project was back on track, this time with a new,
affordable location near Fontana, about 60 miles east of Los Angeles.  We quickly
re-packaged the project for approval by the I-Bank Board in April, and the bonds
were issued on June 17, 2010.

Industrial development bonds are an excellent financing resource for attraction,
expansion or retention of California small to medium-size manufacturers.  Remember,
manufacturing includes food processing, wineries and breweries, and fabrication. 
The I-Bank has issued bonds for a broad range of manufacturers including companies
that manufacture light fixtures for major hotel chains, polyethylene irrigation
products, and aerospace components.

I want to thank Solar Atmospheres for turning to the I-Bank to facilitate a major
investment in California.  We made our case for California, and then we worked hard
to actually make the company’s vision a reality.

Please contact the I-Bank team at ibank@ibank.ca.gov to see how we can help write
success stories for your community.
 

 

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