Wind Energy Company Rehiring Laid-Off Hutchinson Workers

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Thursday, February 28, 2013

An international wind energy company is adding more jobs in Kansas about six months after laying off half of its workforce.

It was just under six months ago when Siemens announced that nearly half the workforce would be laid off. But there's been a turn around in orders, Siemens says, and now many employees will be called back.

Folks in Hutchinson are smiling with the news Siemens is already calling back some of the employees laid off only months earlier. Siemens Wind Energy manes nacelles, which are part of the turbine housing the gearbox, drive train and electronic controls.

A Siemens spokeswoman says 18 employees were rehired in February and nearly 50 are expected to be rehired in March. The reason, she says, is to produce wind turbine components for projects outside the U.S. So, this rehiring and ramp-up of production is not connected to the recently passed extension of the production tax credit which gives U.S. companies incentives to build farms.

Whatever the reason for the rehiring, Hutchinson merchants are happy to hear of it.

“It's important,” says Long’s Clothing Store President William Long. “I mean, companies like that, you have to have new companies come in. There's always changes in the environment. The economy's up and down all the time. You just have to have more pluses than minuses.”

He’s hoping there will be more pluses to come.

“Absolutely, it's good for business,” he said.

From doom and gloom to a resurgence in orders not only renews hope to employees at Siemens, but also to the community of Hutchinson.

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