News Flash


Posted on: January 25, 2017

Port Secures $125,000 Workforce Development Grant for Itek Energy

The Port has secured a $125,000 workforce development grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce to help local solar panel manufacturer Pando Innovations, LLC (Itek Energy) streamline operations, increase efficiency and reduce costs.  In support of Itek Energy’s planned expansion to Bellingham’s downtown waterfront, the grant will fund training for up to 125 workers, with 40 of those targeted as new hires. 

Itek Energy has seen tremendous growth over the past several years, recently purchasing two acres of property and a 48,000 square foot warehouse from the Port to develop a new manufacturing plant near Bellingham’s downtown waterfront.  The workforce development grant will improve employee work skills and make a more efficient use of the larger facilities into which Itek Energy is going to move. 

“Itek Energy is a terrific local success story” said Port Commission President Dan Robbins.  “Each year they have expanded their workforce creating new job opportunities for the citizens of Whatcom County.  We were pleased to help Itek find a site for their new manufacturing plant which keeps them in Whatcom County and we expect the workforce development grant will help them continue to grow as they transition into this new facility.” 

Itek Energy currently employs 85 full-time workers and plans to hire up to an additional 40 employees after the new manufacturing plant located at 800 Cornwall Avenue is up and running later this year.

“Encouraging Itek Energy to expand in our state shows how strategic investments in clean technology help strengthen communities by investing in local workers, helping them build lifelong skills,” said Washington Commerce Director Brian Bonlender.  “Workforce development grants are an effective tool for creating and retaining high-skill advanced manufacturing jobs that will keep Washington companies competitive in the global marketplace.”

Impact Washington, a nonprofit organization specializing in training small manufacturing companies will implement the workforce training program to improve work skills in Lean, continuous improvement, quality management, customized production skills and supervisory skills training.  Project team members include Northwest Workforce Council, Bellingham Technical College and the Port.   

“We look forward to implementing this training program” said Itek Chief Operating Officer David McCarty.  “This process has been well documented to increase manufacturing capacity, strengthen supply chains, attract investment and create new opportunities for growing markets and developing new high-technology jobs.”

“Skills enhancement for our local workforce is essential to retain and grow manufacturing jobs” said Port Economic Development Specialist Dodd Snodgrass.  “As the Associate Development Organization for Whatcom County, we support our workforce development partners to meet the needs of industry.”

With over 300 manufacturing companies and 10,000 employees, Whatcom County produces about $2 billion worth of manufactured products that are shipped and sold around the world each year. 

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Home

Port and Whatcom PUD Broadband Update

Posted on: October 10, 2023

Port Acquires Complex to Support Industry

Posted on: February 28, 2023

Port Releases 2023 Final Strategic Budget

Posted on: November 17, 2022

31st Annual Holiday Port Wrap Up

Posted on: December 10, 2021

Port Releases 2022 Final Strategic Budget

Posted on: November 18, 2021

Marine Life Center to Reopen March 1

Posted on: February 19, 2021

Salish Sea Scavenger Hunt

Posted on: July 29, 2020

29th Annual Holiday Port Wrap Up

Posted on: December 13, 2019

Shoreline Repair Work Notice

Posted on: October 21, 2019

Waterfront Bike Park Temporarily Closed

Posted on: September 15, 2019

Waterfront Bike Park Notice

Posted on: September 13, 2019

Fourth of July Celebration

Posted on: June 25, 2019

Port Seeks Native Artwork Proposals

Posted on: June 20, 2019

Port Seeks Waterfront Event Proposals

Posted on: February 1, 2019

New Waterfront Road Open to Public

Posted on: January 22, 2019

Port to Apply for Rural Broadband Funding

Posted on: September 17, 2018

Port Earns Clean Audit

Posted on: June 22, 2018

Port Updates Mission Statement

Posted on: December 5, 2017

Port Earns Clean Audit from State

Posted on: June 21, 2017

Port Appoints New Manager of Marinas

Posted on: January 13, 2017

Waterfront Redevelopment Art Project

Posted on: January 13, 2017

Port Commission Selects 2017 Officers

Posted on: January 3, 2017

Port Commission Selects 2016 Officers

Posted on: January 6, 2016

Port Appoints Director of Aviation

Posted on: October 19, 2015