Solar panel startup business transitioning into factory
SOUTH BEND, Ind.--A local solar panel manufacturing business that’s used to distributing products to large-scale installation companies, is now making big strides to start supplying them right here in Michiana!
Crossroads Solar started from the bottom as a startup business, and will now offer high quality, certified production and distribution in South Bend. Their mission is to try and put an end to the climate crisis we are facing as a nation, and plans to tackle the issue locally, too.
“If you don’t see that the climate is changing, you must live in a jar,” Crossroads Solar President Patrick Regan said. “It’s going to take a collection of steps to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that we emit into the atmosphere, and you will be involved with it, your company will be involved with it, just because we have to do it. And we have to do it sooner rather than later.”
Bringing solar panels to homes, churches and businesses isn’t the only thing the company is striving to do either. They’re also working to bring jobs to convicted criminals who are struggling, to get back into the swing of things. Crossroads only hires former felons who are reintegrating themselves into the community, providing them with not just good paying wages, but also an opportunity to reshape their lives out of prison.
“We are unique in that we are local, but lots of people make solar panels. But we also do it with men and woman who are reintegrating out of the prison system into society. So, everybody that works for us will have spent years or decades in prison, and that’s a requirement to get the job,” Regan said. “We can fix the climate issue, we make a small dent in the climate issue, and a small dent in the prison reform, social justice system at the same time."
To celebrate everyone’s hard work, Crossroads Solar is hosting a ribbon cutting in South Bend on 251 E. Sample Street today at 3:30 PM at their facility, “Vested Interest Complex.” Colleagues and customers that’ve helped during the development process, as well as South Bend Mayor James Mueller, who will provide the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon, are attending the event.
“I may not look it but I'm beaming! It's been a long road to get here and the idea of having a local solar manufacturing company in Michiana is unique by many orders of magnitude. So, the way I see it, is anybody whether it's at the state level, city level, the county level, the business level, the RV level, they shouldn’t buy panels that are sourced outside of our community when they’re made right here in our community,” Regan said.