Wind-turbine manufacturer Vestas announced Thursday it will lay off 10 percent of its manufacturing workers in its blade factories in Windsor and Brighton.
The company said, via a press release, that the reduction was necessary to adjust to reduced market demand for wind turbine orders. All remaining hourly production workers at the two factories will move back to 40-hour work weeks starting Monday. Consequently, Vestas also will discontinue its participation in the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment work-share program on Friday, where its hourly employees were temporarily working 32-hour work weeks. Last year, Vestas reduced its workforce in Colorado from 1,700 to 1,200. Thursday, the company said its hourly production workers account for 1,100 jobs prior to the announced reduction.
Thursday’s announcement does not impact employees at the Vestas nacelle factory in Brighton or the tower factory in Pueblo. On Jan. 16, Vestas announced an agreement to supply towers for third parties for North America wind power projects. Vestas plans to add more than 100 jobs in Pueblo by the end of the first quarter of 2013.
Vestas said in the statement that company officials knew the late timing of the federal production tax credit extension would result in a significant reduction in 2013 installations relative to previous years, due to the time it takes from when an order is placed to when the project begins. However, the U.S. market will nonetheless be stronger as a result of the PTC extension, the company said, and added that it hoped to meet projections to employ 16,000 people globally by the end of 2013.
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