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New Cambria County Solar Farm

According to energy company Gemma Power Systems. A 480 acre solar farm is coming to Cambria County this year.

Officials tell us the Maple Hill Solar Project will be located in Portage Township and work is expected to begin in the coming weeks.

The solar farm aims to bring in between 250 to 300 jobs, and to kick start the hiring process the company is holding 2 job fairs.

The first was held Today. The second will be Tomorrow from 8:30 am until 1 pm at the Johnstown PA Career Link Center on Main Street.

Officials say hired workers can make between $16 and $18 dollars an hour at entry level positions.

“Gemma power, they’re the ones constructing the solar project. They’ve just asked us to recruit a local workforce to help build the project, and that’s what our specialty is renew energy division and we build solar farms all across the country.”

When the project is complete in July officials say it will be the largest solar facility currently operating in the state and will bring significant local tax benefits.

But some Union workers in the region say Gemma is undermining standard wages by subcontracting the work despite them trying to be part of project talks for the last 2 years.

They say they believe Gemma has an obligation to contract South Central Building Trade workers for higher pay.

They were outside the job fair protesting over the jobs but say they still encourage anyone looking for work to apply.

“We’ve tried to get this work. The relationships we’ve tried building in order to get the work and nothing came through. So we’re just trying to educate the public on them coming here and undermining us for half of our wages and just letting them know that if they can make a phone call to try to help us out and try to get us back on the bargaining table.
We’re just trying to do things like that with education for the public.”

 

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