Regardless of what you may have heard about the explosion of jobs afforded by the new “green” economy, it has little or no bearing on matching business, capacity, and personnel on an individual basis. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Siemens, a major manufacturer of wind turbines will be laying off 195 employees from its 600,000 square foot Siemens Wind Turbine Blade Manufacturing facility located in Fort Madison, Iowa. According to a spokesperson for Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, “short-term business volume at this location doesn't support the existing workforce level.” The facility will not be shuttered and will be operating at a reduced capacity with an estimated 400 workers. Implicit in the understanding of the layoff situation is that laid-off workers will be eligible for rehire should business fortunes improve in the next few years.
"Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy informed employees today about efforts to position the Fort Madison plant for future competitiveness. Business volume at this location through the 2018 fiscal year does not support the existing workforce level. While we remain strongly committed to the long-term viability of the U.S. wind market, a difficult decision has been made to adjust the Fort Madison workforce by about 195 employees. As a reflection of the importance of Fort Madison to our business strategy moving forward, we are making a significant capital investment at the plant to install additional blade molds for new wind turbine models. The company opened this location in 2006."
The world of energy has its ups and downs. In November 2017, Siemens announced it will lay off 6,900 workers worldwide — including 1,800 in the United States including at its Charlotte, North Carolina Energy Hub.
And on January 25, 2018, the President of Siemens and other industry leaders met with President Trump in Davos, Switzerland where the CEO of Siemens, Joe Kaeser, said "Congratulations on your tax reform. Because you were so successful with the tax reform, we decided to develop the next generation of gas turbines in the United States." When President Trump asked which state, Kaeser replied, "Charlotte, Tennessee."
Of course, he was exaggerating somewhat as the decision to test the turbines in the United States was announced prior to the passage of the tax reform legislation -- and gas turbines that were previously engineered and developed in Germany will ONLY be tested ("validated") at the Charlotte facility