United States Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. visited Hemlock Semiconductor Group's Thomas Twp, Mich. world headquarters today.
The Vice President toured the facility with: Stephanie Burns, chairman, president & CEO of Dow Corning Corporation; Rick Doornbos, president & CEO, Hemlock Semiconductor, and Jim Cross, Hemlock Semiconductor's Michigan site manager while discussing the tremendous opportunities the solar industry provides for creating jobs and offering a sustainable energy option.
"The most important message we shared with the Vice President today is that green jobs are real, and that the United States can be a leading innovator and manufacturer of solar related products and materials," said Burns. "During his visit to the region, the Vice President could see the jobs that have been created at Dow Corning and Hemlock Semiconductor."
Hemlock Semiconductor has announced more than $3.5 billion in investments in the United States in the last five years, including more than $2.5 billion in Michigan. These investments will expand capacity for polycrystalline silicon, which is in high demand as the solar industry grows to meet the world's needs for energy security and clean, renewable energy.
"Vice President Biden's visit to Hemlock Semiconductor sends a strong message that our nation's leaders understand the power and promise of solar energy, and how it will advance the United States in today's global marketplace," said Doornbos.
Vice President Biden also visited Delta College's Chemical Processing Simulation Lab which trains potential employees for positions at Hemlock Semiconductor, Dow Corning and other companies. The simulation lab features process equipment similar to what is seen in many Dow Corning and Hemlock Semiconductor manufacturing sites. In fact, much of the equipment was donated by Dow Corning.
One of Hemlock Semiconductor's newest employees, Justo Gonzalez, introduced the Vice President to Delta's faculty and guests at the event, and shared his story of being trained in the Delta College lab for a job at Hemlock Semiconductor. Gonzalez worked for more than 15 years in the automotive industry in Michigan.
While at Hemlock Semiconductor the Vice President was also interviewed by The CBS Early Show's Harry Smith regarding the one year anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
A portion of the CBS interview with Vice President Biden will be promoted on the CBS Evening News at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday evening. The interview in its entirety will air during The CBS Early Show Wednesday morning, February, 17, 2010 between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.