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Old October 22nd, 2007, 09:06 AM   #981
Pilliod Njaim
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Toledo's new economy is getting lots of national attention:

The search for renewable-energy sources is making clean-tech jobs hot.

By Daniel McGinn
Newsweek
Oct. 8, 2007

Brad Mohring had reached a crossroads. Until recently the 31-year-old design engineer had worked for a Toledo, Ohio-based company that builds manufacturing equipment for automobile plants. With the auto industry struggling, he figured it was only a matter of time before he'd be laid off. So this spring he began looking for a new job. In a few weeks he had four offers. Today he could have been working for a giant defense contractor or an established agricultural company. Instead, he chose the lowest-paying job - and became the 20th employee at Xunlight, a Toledo-based solar-energy firm. "I left a job I'd worked at for 12 years to join a start-up," says Mohring, who has a 1-year-old child and another due in February. "It's something of a gamble, but if it pays off, it pays off big."

It's becoming a common bet. With oil prices near record highs and more companies concerned about their carbon footprints, workers are finding job opportunities in the emerging green economy. Companies are hiring scientists to work on renewable-energy technology and business people to market earth-friendly products. Even if some of these nascent companies falter, there's widespread conviction that this sector will become one of the country's hottest employers. "This is the challenge of the 21st century ... and it's not going away," says Kevin Doyle, founder of the consulting firm Green Economy.

It's impossible to say precisely how many people work in green jobs- partly because there's no formal definition of the term. Does a clerk stocking organic produce at Whole Foods Market qualify? How about an engineer working to make a coal-fired power plant run more efficiently? Meanwhile, in sectors like solar energy and biofuels, payrolls are growing so rapidly it's hard for researchers to keep an accurate count. Despite the lack of precise numbers, all observers agree the ranks are growing quickly. Based on the flow of venture capital, K. R. Sridhar, CEO of the fuel-cell start-up Bloom Energy, believes the clean-tech sector could produce 50,000 new jobs by 2010. (By way of comparison, General Motors' hourly work force, which briefly went on strike last week, currently numbers 73,000.) Peter Beadle, president of Greenjobs.com, cites estimates that the solar sector alone could employ 2 million people by 2020- more Americans than currently work as elementary-school teachers.

During the last decade's dotcom employment boom, much of the job creation was concentrated in Silicon Valley. In contrast, green jobs are popping up all over - some of them in very unexpected places. A good example is Toledo, a rust-belt manufacturing center with no shortage of vacant downtown buildings. Historically, Toledo's big employers have been auto factories or auto suppliers - particularly glass manufacturers that make car windshields. But lately Toledo has established a growing national reputation as a hot spot for firms developing solar panels. Why Toledo? Glass is a key component in solar technology, and the University of Toledo has been doing hard-core solar-cell research for two decades. Local economic-development officials recently launched a $22 million venture fund to help launch more start-ups. The payoff from this combination of forces: according to the local Regional Growth Partnership, the Toledo area already has nearly 6,000 people employed in the solar industry. "We're seeing this transition of people moving from automotive to alternative energy," says Steven Weathers, CEO of the Regional Growth Partnership.

Walk the hallways of these energy firms and you'll meet a fair number of physicists and chemists. But as these technologies mature, they need traditional business people, too. First Solar, a solar-panel manufacturer outside Toledo that employs more than 550 workers, currently has 38 job openings. Some of those spots require a Ph.D., but the firm has also been hiring in human resources, accounting and information technology. "Just about every discipline has an opening or two," says Carol Campbell, First Solar's HR chief.

On college campuses, students are increasingly aware of these new opportunities. Some schools are adding programs to capitalize on student interest. Last month Duquesne University in Pittsburgh enrolled the first students in its Sustainable Enterprise M.B.A. program. New student Chris Togni, 29, is part of a team consulting with a local retailer on how to reduce the waste created by its reliance on plastic bags - and after graduation he hopes to find similar work at a consulting firm. Togni, the son of a steelworker, believes this focus will make him attractive to employers. "It's my differential advantage over other M.B.A.s," he says.

The focus on all things green may be getting a little ahead of itself. Between 2005 and 2006, venture-capital investments in the clean-tech sector jumped from $623 million to $1.5 billion, with solar and biofuel garnering the biggest infusions, according to analysts at Lux Research. That's led to talk of an alt-energy bubble. "From the perspective of investors and entrepreneurs, this is the new Internet," says Lux Research president Matthew Nordan. Even employees at alt-energy firms acknowledge that renewable energy has suffered false starts in the past. Still, even skeptics suggest that for young workers charting a career path, the industry's allure is hard to beat. "It's virtually impossible to beat the long-term trends in clean tech," says Nordan.

Inside Xunlight, that optimism is pervasive. The firm, founded by University of Toledo physics professor Xunming Deng, moved into new offices just a few weeks ago. Last week the cubicles still had a pristine, unsullied look to them, and some employees didn't yet have working phones. The firm hasn't even made its first sale, but employees say its product - a superthin, flexible solar cell created using sheets of stainless steel - should be in high demand. Within two years, Deng expects to employ hundreds. Many will be twentysomethings, but there are veterans, too. "The excitement of being in a start-up is the same whether you're 32 or 52," says facilities VP Stan Rubini, as he surveys the mammoth empty warehouse in which Xunlight hopes to manufacture more than $200 million worth of solar cells each year. As fuel costs rise and concern about climate change spreads, investors and employees aren't the only ones hoping firms like this one find a viable solution. Almost everyone is.

http://www.greenenergyohio.org/page.cfm?pageID=1504
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 01:32 PM   #982
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Originally Posted by ilovetoledo View Post
what is up with all the negative threads on toledo lately?
How about toledo the GLASS CAPITAL OF THE WORLD. i think that many of you need to rethink why you are downtalking the place that you call home?
Toledo is a great city working up slowly to its full potential. Maybe someday the Hytower will be redeveloped and it will prove all of you wrong.
Negative threads? What do you mean by that? This thread is by far the most contructive forum in my web experience which we have a healthy dialogue to discuss the various developments around the region.
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 01:34 PM   #983
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Originally Posted by toledo25 View Post
I think we will get another skyscraper in the future... however, it will take a big company (i.e. google or microsoft or dana or toyota etc..etc..) to make this a reality. The cost of building skyscrapers in this day in age is somewhere around 3-5x what they cost to build in the 60's/70's. I am excited to see that once the arena is up and running what new businesses/company's it will bring to the Toledo area.

We need some high tech businesses downtown. A YouTube or Google headquarters in toledo so to speak. Or an Experience Music project (see seattle for more info) downtown. Tons of Ideas, I wish I had millions of dollars.
Very true, we should be going to the west coast to "poach" and "pirate" corporate headquarters and jobs because we have low taxes, low cost of living, abundance of professional talent, no forest fires, and no earthquakes.
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 01:36 PM   #984
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Originally Posted by ilovetoledo View Post
Lets take a poll... Do you think, in your opinion, that Toledo will house another (Toledo's 3rd real skyscraper) skyscraper in the next 20 years?
Feel free to voice your opinion on the matter in the upcomming threads.
IMO, I can see another hi-rise of probably 10-15 floors at the most of which would be condominiums or a hotel.
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 01:40 PM   #985
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Pilliod, thanks for the Newsweek article! Such a great PR for our region and we deserve so much recognition since we are severly underappreciated.

And your opinion post in regards to if we will see another skyscraper within 20 years, is very detailed and interesting and I agree with your views. Are you a planner, BTW?
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 02:39 PM   #986
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Western Union Building Redevelopment

Deleted due to Toledo Blade's request.
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 05:25 PM   #987
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Wondered how long it was gonna take you to post this bonjour..... Just read this in the paper about 20 min ago. Walked by the building a few times over the past few weeks while checkin out the arena site. Was hopin they turned it into homes with shops on the ground level but this works. Atleast these guys will be in there for a while.
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 11:57 PM   #988
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Here we go, buisnesses eating up property along the arena site. I knew this wouldnt take long and now we have first news on it. I think that Pilliod is right about the skyscraper. I didnt mean to say 3. I think that the clean tech jobs is going to take off here in the glass city. Now that the arena is going "green" so are other properties around it and i think this shows how alternate energy sources are going to take off. It was kind of interesting to hear your views on the poll. I agree with bonjourtoledo that we should be going to the west coast in hope of attracting new buisnesses. I have another question/poll to ask because i am interested in all of your opinions.

What in your opinion do you think downtown needs to attract more people than it already is? This is excluding the mudhens, marina district, and arena. What do you think it needs to get people to start going down there more on a consistant basis.

I think that people go down there a lot now. I think that with the help of a movie theater this could draw more people (teens) to downtown.
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 12:33 AM   #989
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovetoledo View Post
Here we go, buisnesses eating up property along the arena site. I knew this wouldnt take long and now we have first news on it. I think that Pilliod is right about the skyscraper. I didnt mean to say 3. I think that the clean tech jobs is going to take off here in the glass city. Now that the arena is going "green" so are other properties around it and i think this shows how alternate energy sources are going to take off. It was kind of interesting to hear your views on the poll. I agree with bonjourtoledo that we should be going to the west coast in hope of attracting new buisnesses. I have another question/poll to ask because i am interested in all of your opinions.

What in your opinion do you think downtown needs to attract more people than it already is? This is excluding the mudhens, marina district, and arena. What do you think it needs to get people to start going down there more on a consistant basis.

I think that people go down there a lot now. I think that with the help of a movie theater this could draw more people (teens) to downtown.
For me, there needs to be more of a pedestrial, retail scene. I havent spend a whole lot of time in DT Toledo, but it looks overwhelmed with offices, social services, and bars. There are no places to just to wander in and out of, and few coffee shops, etc, where people can be seen sitting outside. At least, they don't seem obvious to casual visitor. There mostly needs to be a way to bring people in on a regular basis - casino, conventions, a way to put feet on the ground and make the place feel safe and loved.
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 03:00 AM   #990
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovetoledo View Post
Here we go, buisnesses eating up property along the arena site. I knew this wouldnt take long and now we have first news on it. I think that Pilliod is right about the skyscraper. I didnt mean to say 3. I think that the clean tech jobs is going to take off here in the glass city. Now that the arena is going "green" so are other properties around it and i think this shows how alternate energy sources are going to take off. It was kind of interesting to hear your views on the poll. I agree with bonjourtoledo that we should be going to the west coast in hope of attracting new buisnesses. I have another question/poll to ask because i am interested in all of your opinions.

What in your opinion do you think downtown needs to attract more people than it already is? This is excluding the mudhens, marina district, and arena. What do you think it needs to get people to start going down there more on a consistant basis.

I think that people go down there a lot now. I think that with the help of a movie theater this could draw more people (teens) to downtown.

Here are several things that we need downtown:

1) Video Store (Blockbuster) that is open until midnight 7 days a week
2) Book Store (Books-A-Million or Borders) that is open until 11pm 7 days a week
3) Coffeehouse (Starbuck's or Caribou Coffee) that is open until midnight 7 days a week
4) Scrambler's Marie that is open 7 days a week
5) FedEx Kinko's 24/7
6) Walgreen's with Pharmacy 24/7
7) Radio Shack that is open 6-7 days a week
8) Panera Bread that is open 7 days a week until 11pm
9) Full-scale grocery store to occupy the former Superior Antique at Erie Street Market that is open open 7 days a week
10) A second shop of Wixey Bakery open 5-6 days a week
11) Chipolte that is open 7 days a week until midnight
12) Meats & More open 5-6 days a week
13) GNC store open 5-6 days a week
14) Monnette's Produce Market open 7 days a week
15) Hardware Store (either ACE or True Value) open 7 days a week
16) Ben Franklin Store open 7 days a week
17) Veternarian clinic with boarding & grooming open 5-6 days a week

and last but not least,

17) Fitness Center with sauna open 7 days a week until midnight
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 03:05 AM   #991
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Originally Posted by Mudhen419 View Post
Wondered how long it was gonna take you to post this bonjour..... Just read this in the paper about 20 min ago. Walked by the building a few times over the past few weeks while checkin out the arena site. Was hopin they turned it into homes with shops on the ground level but this works. Atleast these guys will be in there for a while.
I posted about this when I first saw the banner going up on Sept. 29, 2007 at 2:09pm.
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 04:13 AM   #992
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All of these ideas so far are great but the final say is not up to the retailors it is up to us to show them that we want it. We can do this by shopping downtown, hanging out dt, eating, living, and partying downtown Toledo. I wish DT had all of these things to that why when i need or want something that is also in DT i make the extra trip to help and show these buisnesses that i want them and more of them downthere.
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 05:55 AM   #993
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I think that the Marina District needs a ferris wheel. Ever since they started ideas for this project a ferris wheel (all year round) came to mind. I think that this would draw even more people to the Glass City (Maybe even a Ferris Wheel made of Glass???). You could enjoy the views for the DT toledo skyline Alone with The Veteren's Glass City Skyway along with views of the East Side. I think this would be great. A survey a year ago said that Toledo was the worst spots for dates (does anyone remember that article?) This could establish a dating spot where you could shop live work party and ride rides all in one place. I want to voice my opinoin to them to get this to happen but i do not know how...
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 09:47 PM   #994
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And your opinion post in regards to if we will see another skyscraper within 20 years, is very detailed and interesting and I agree with your views. Are you a planner, BTW?

No, but I'm pretty well-read and do have a background in urban sociology. I just am a strong supporter of urban redevelopment and rethinking the way we build our cities. Toledo is making some great decisions right now. The high-density Marina District proposals look nothing short of jaw-dropping. It will be Ohio's best example of new urbanism. The downtown arena was a good decision too. While I originally supported building the arena at the former Federal Building site along Summit Street, I've since changed my thinking. The Superior Street site did require the demolition of Bijou and two older low-rises along Huron, but it also will fill in a gaping hole in the CBD's core. The site was about 2/3rd's surface lot, so it's great to see that filled in. While the arena will create another superblock, that little stretch of Superior was already pretty dead to begin with (Bijou was the only popular attraction). Other downtown streets like Summit, Monroe, Huron, Erie, Madison, Adams, and Michigan seem to be much busier, and as long has they have uninterrupted pedestrian and traffic flow, downtown Toledo will be alright. Everything is within a short walk from Superior, so the creation of a superblock on that street (Fifth Third Field already did it anyway) is not that big of a deal. It will fill in surface lots and bring people downtown. The positives greatly outweigh the negatives.

The former Federal Building site just did not make much sense. Though no buildings would be torn down, it would take out a block of Water Street and cover some of Promenade Park. There's just no point in building an arena (100% internal focus) on the waterfront. The former Federal Building site needs something that takes full advantage of river and adjacent park.

Last edited by Pilliod Njaim; October 25th, 2007 at 04:29 AM.
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 09:56 PM   #995
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A survey a year ago said that Toledo was the worst spots for dates (does anyone remember that article?

The other cities in Ohio always win those "worst city for singles" lists, though Toledo doesn't rank highly either. Personally, I think Toledo is fine for dates. There are nice beaches nearby, awesome parks, great ethnic restaurants, a world-ranked museum, nice small concert venues, and some good bars. Personally, I just prefer drinking and going to a bar, concert, or house party for dates, so Toledo offers enough for me.

My city (Athens) offers nothing in the way of real dating. People here get drunk and hook up, period. No one really dates in the traditional sense. We only have one respectable restaurant worth mention (Steven's), and everything else revolves around binge drinking and partying.

Most college towns are similar, but nothing else is on the level of Ohio University. It's America's immortal party school. Forget dating or relationships in this place. Toledo was more old-fashioned back when I lived there, and it seemed many people had "boyfriends" or "girlfriends." I'm assuming someone must be dating for that to be possible.
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 11:01 PM   #996
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A little over a year ago there was posted something about the bank foreclosing on $7.8M of debt on the Commodore Perry. Is there any new information on that? Are residents there in jeopardy?

It was on page 18, here is a link:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...240455&page=18
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Old October 24th, 2007, 12:55 PM   #997
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A little over a year ago there was posted something about the bank foreclosing on $7.8M of debt on the Commodore Perry. Is there any new information on that? Are residents there in jeopardy?

It was on page 18, here is a link:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...240455&page=18

Nick, I haven't read or heard any update since then. The Commodore Perry still seems to be full with residents and considering the source I think this story was hyped up at the time to sell papers.
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Old October 24th, 2007, 12:59 PM   #998
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovetoledo View Post
All of these ideas so far are great but the final say is not up to the retailors it is up to us to show them that we want it. We can do this by shopping downtown, hanging out dt, eating, living, and partying downtown Toledo. I wish DT had all of these things to that why when i need or want something that is also in DT i make the extra trip to help and show these buisnesses that i want them and more of them downthere.
But also you have to infuse residential population with disposable income into the downtown and surrounding area to build up retail.
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Old October 24th, 2007, 01:01 PM   #999
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Originally Posted by ilovetoledo View Post
I think that the Marina District needs a ferris wheel. Ever since they started ideas for this project a ferris wheel (all year round) came to mind. I think that this would draw even more people to the Glass City (Maybe even a Ferris Wheel made of Glass???). You could enjoy the views for the DT toledo skyline Alone with The Veteren's Glass City Skyway along with views of the East Side. I think this would be great. A survey a year ago said that Toledo was the worst spots for dates (does anyone remember that article?) This could establish a dating spot where you could shop live work party and ride rides all in one place. I want to voice my opinoin to them to get this to happen but i do not know how...
Pardon my pun, you don't happen to be Opal Covey? She kept talking about a ferris wheel for the east side of the river during her run for mayor in 2000-01 endlessly.
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Old October 24th, 2007, 01:22 PM   #1000
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Westgate Redevelopment Update

Deleted due to Toledo Blade's request.
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