World Wind & Solar's new headquarters in the heart of downtown shows off one of the oldest buildings in Tehachapi, yet serves as a place where the company can expand and provide training in a modern, refurbished building.
The company hosted its grand opening at 228 Tehachapi Blvd. on Aug. 7.
“I don’t take this for granted,” said Buddy Cummings, chief executive officer for World Wind & Solar. “It feels like a building to some, and I’m grateful for the building, but it feels like a milestone and a gratification of what a good team can do together in the right environment.”
The company started with husband and wife team Nikki and Buddy Cummings traveling all around the U.S. in a motor home, and when the company expanded, mobile home double-wide trailers were used as a base in Tehachapi.
All in all, this is a large upgrade.
The building is one of the oldest structures in Tehachapi. Some of the earliest building permit records that can be found date from 1910. The building had been a hotel, bowling alley, the Tehachapi Lumber Company and Ace Hardware store, said Nikki Cummings, president of World Wind & Solar.
A modern, yet industrial look and feel is applied to both the inside and outside of the building.
“It was stripped down — it was just the walls, the gorgeous exposed trusses and the concrete floors and nothing else. It was great because it was a blank canvas. We had to do the structural re-engineering, but we didn’t have to do much in the way of demo. It really led itself to be creative in the space because it was wide open,” said Nikki Cummings.
The building features large open spaces, training rooms, individual offices with ergonomic desks, a communal kitchen, visible ductwork, a painted shipping container as another conference room at the front entrance, exposed concrete floors, local artists' work and oriented strand board for the walls.
“I am so proud,” said Mayor Susan Wiggins. “I want to thank Buddy and Nikki Cummings for their vision to making our Main Street look so much better and all the hopes and dreams you put in here and thank you for your investment in our community.”
The husband and wife team attribute their success to their love and teamwork as a family, the support of the community, hard-working employees who follow the "Here to Serve" mentality, the city of Tehachapi, the Tehachapi Planning Commission and others who have believed in them.
The campus will serve as a primary training center for the company's work in the solar and wind industries.
Employees and students can have first aid training, and experience working with equipment. A wind turbine machine head, that is usually located on top of a wind turbine, is inside the building, along with an ABB solar converter.
Jeremy Licon, director of the wind division for World Wind & Solar said, “We are able take our technicians and have them do hands-on training with these parts that they will be out working with in the field."
A new headquarters is now a reality with more to come.
“We embarked on the adventure,” said Nikki Cummings. “And we were able to make it happen.”