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Powering jobs in the New Energy Economy: Meet Arturo Marquez
By Tracy Idell Hamilton on February 4, 2014
Arturo Marquez, 54, is a production and maintenance manager for KACO new energy.
Arturo oversees, along with the company’s industrial engineers, the solar inverter production lines at KACO new energy’s 56,000 square foot manufacturing plant on Binz-Engleman Road. He also trains new employees to make sure they’re following the company’s standards and procedures to ensure the highest quality product.
In addition to solar inverters, KACO new energy’s San Antonio location also produces Integrated Power Stations. That’s all part of its work for OCI Solar Power, which is building 400 MW of solar farms as part of its agreement to sell the power for 25 years to CPS Energy. The first 41 MW site went live in December.
We spoke with Arturo as part of our ongoing series “Powering jobs in the New Energy Economy” to highlight some of the diverse San Antonians hired to fill the nearly 300 jobs already created by CPS Energy’s partner companies.
What did you do before you came to KACO new energy?
“I worked in the automotive industry. I was a process engineer with one of the Toyota suppliers here, Reyes Automotive, and an assistant production manager at another company before that. I have a lot of manufacturing and production experience. I’m also retired Air Force.”
Why did you switch to the solar energy sector?
“One of the plant managers I worked with before, we’d kept in touch, and when he got hired to open the plant here, he asked if I’d be willing to make the change. I also thought it would be fun and exciting to get into solar, and I was right.”
KACO is doing some of its own job training, as are other local solar component companies. Why is that?
“What we’re finding out is that there’s not a lot of workers out there with the right skill set — not just in San Antonio, but across the U.S. It’s still a pretty new industry, so not many schools are teaching about solar. But it’s growing.”