Vision Solar is a company that while it has its roots in South Jersey, is expanding across the United States, from Massachusetts to Arizona.
Last month, the solar energy provider marked the opening of its flagship facility on the Black Horse Pike near the Blackwood-Washington Township border. Located next door to its original location — which will become an operations building — the new space will serve as Vision Solar’s national headquarters, with 30,000-square-feet of executive offices, as well as sales and training divisions, according to the company.
Founded in 2018, Vision Solar sells, installs and maintains residential, solar-powered electricity systems. It plans to create more than 600 jobs in 2021, mostly in New Jersey, and 1,000 by the end of 2022, company representatives said.
In May, the company will open a Connecticut location — the fifth state where its services will be available — with Texas soon to follow and Puerto Rico in 2022. Additional offices will also open in Arizona and Florida.
CEO and co-founder Jonathan Seibert, a graduate of Timber Creek High School, felt it was important to keep the headquarters here and to have a positive impact on the area.
“I grew up in Gloucester Township my whole life,” he said. “My parents still reside where I grew up, about two miles from our office. I’m definitely a South Jersey guy. Our foundation was built out of our backyard and we’re really proud of that. We’re making a commitment to the community and giving an opportunity to guys we went to school with to grow and have a great career.
“We have highly competitive paying jobs and we’re looking to continue to do that.”
Washington Township Mayor Joann Gattinelli and several members of the Township Council were present at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Approximately 200 Vision Solar employees were also in attendance.
“As the mayor of a town recognized at the Silver Level by Sustainable Jersey, I am proud to see former members of our community return to Washington Township and bring their green business and job opportunities with them,” Gattinelli said in a press release provided to NJ Advance Media. “Opening a business here, during these challenging times, speaks to the drive of Vision Solar’s leadership. We are excited for them and look forward to supporting their journey.”
Also at the ceremony, Vision Solar honored a local health care worker who has gone above and beyond during the pandemic. Susan Carlin, a Gloucester Township resident, is a licensed practical nurse at Maryville Addiction Treatment Center in Pemberton, where she helps homeless and incarcerated men through alcohol and opioid detoxification.
She has been administering about 100 COVID-19 tests a week during the pandemic.
“We always like to give back,” Seibert said. “We’re involved in multiple charities; one is Give Power in which we help third-world countries and try to supply them with water. We wanted to touch somebody who was local so through our chain of networks we found a local hero who had a lot of dedication to being a front-line worker during the pandemic. … We wanted to show our appreciation for all of our front-line workers and we plan on continuing to do so.”
Vision Solar donated a renewable energy system to Carlin, a single mother of three teen girls.
“She’ll pretty much have free electricity for the next 25 to 30 years,” Seibert said. “She was definitely ecstatic when she got the phone call. She was happy about it and I think it brought a couple of tears to some of our staff’s eyes and hers as well.”
Seibert is optimistic that Vision Solar will keep expanding as more people see the benefit to solar energy.
“We’ve been very fortunate and it’s definitely an exciting time,” he said. “We’re committed to our communities and we’re committed to converting people from fossil fuels to using clean energy to power their homes. It’s something we’re really prideful about.”