About 50 Wacker Polysilicon employees today marked their return to the Chattanooga area after six months of intensive training at the company's headquarters in Germany.
The lead chemical operators plan to start work soon at Wacker's $1.8 billion factory under construction in Bradley County.
Konrad Bachhuber, the plant's site manager, said the employees are the backbone of the facility's future. They graduated today from the Wacker Institute at Chattanooga State Community College.
Bachhuber said 39 others are slated for another six-month stint in Berghausen, Germany, for training before they, too, start work at the plant that's slated to begin production in late 2013.
Wacker plans to hire 650 people at the plant making polysilicon for the solar power industry. Currently, it has hired 280 people.
See full story in Tuesday's Times Free Press.