Iowa wind blade maker laying off 200 workers

Source: By Kevin Hardy, Des Moines Register • Posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Siemens will lay off 202 workers at its Fort Madison, Iowa wind blade plant, according to a notification the company made to Iowa Workforce Development.

Siemens notified affected workers on Wednesday and plans to eliminate their positions by March 24.

“Business volume at this location through the 2018 fiscal year does not support the existing workforce level,” a statement from Siemens said. “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 200 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 statement said Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy has more than 10,000 wind turbines installed throughout North America. Those are estimated to provide enough energy to power more than 6 million homes.

As first reported by the Burlington Hawk Eye, Siemens was one of the two largest employers in Fort Madison, drawing employees from Iowa, Missouri and Illinois.

Siemens opened the plant in 2006 and has shipped more than 15,000 blades. Company literature shows the plant received about $3.4 million in incentives under the U.S. Department of Energy’s manufacturing tax credit program.