In dark times when thousands of Central Oregonians are without work, some local businesses are bucking the trend, making plans to expand. PV Powered in Bend which makes solar-power systems plans to open a new facility on the east side of Bend and hopes to at least double its staff of 50. “Translating that into the number of jobs really depends on the timing of the growth and just overall economic issues that we’re working our way through right now,” said Erick Petersen, Vice President of PV Powered.
GL Suite in Bend employs 30 people. The company makes software for government regulatory and licensing agencies and plans to add 15 to 20 more employees and move to a larger building by the end of the year. “Our existing customer sales are up about 40 percent over the prior 12 month period and as that continues to grow we’ll add more and more people,” said Bill Moseley, President of GL Suite.
So why are some companies doing so much better? Both say they found a niche and have customers outside Oregon. PV Powered hopes to expand overseas. “Clean energy is without question the place to be. Wind, biomass, solar, geothermal,” said Petersen.
“The people, the customers we sell to, we’re lucky they’re just really, really stable and we’re not really impacted by the housing or any of these other industries,” said Moseley.
GL Suite has seen a consistent 30 % growth for the past eleven years. “I think for the next two years we’ll continue at least at the rate of growth we’re expecting for the next year and probably a little stronger than that,” said Moseley.
PV Powered was hit by the downturn in August when they laid off 10 people as they waited for the federal investment tax credit that wasn’t renewed until September. But now they say they’re cautiously staying positive. “We’re predicting a significant growth in the business year over year, we are growing in the residential market, we’re significantly growing in the commercial market,” said Petersen.
GL Suite also plans to add more products for their existing customers.