Siemens is laying off over 600 employees at various facilities around the U.S., including the wind turbine plant in Hutchinson.
In a news release obtained by our news partners at the Hutch Post, the layoffs will affect 152 full time staff in Hutchinson, and will remove all temp workers at the wind turbine plant. That number would cut the Hutchinson workforce by half.
The cuts also include layoffs at plants in Ft. Madison, Iowa and other facilities in Florida.
Siemens released the following statement:
"These decisions are never easy and Siemens understands the impact this has on employees and the Hutchinson community. Unfortunately, this business decision was necessary to respond to market conditions that are beyond our control and affecting the entire U.S. wind power industry. We have worked very hard over the past 10 months to address the uncertainties, but this has unfortunate consequences on employment in this segment of the power industry. We must now adjust our wind power operations to reflect the current and projected business volume. The realignment will affect approximately 615 employees primarily in Iowa, Kansas and Florida. We remain committed to maintaining our U.S. factories and will continue to support the U.S. industry as well as export wind turbine components to markets across the Americas."
Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) today released the following statement in response to Siemens Corp.’s announcement that it will restructure its wind power division:
“Numerous hard-working Kansans and their families will be affected by this decision, and by no fault of their own, find themselves uncertain about their future today. Siemens Corp. picked Kansas because our workers are second-to-none. I am confident the Hutchison community will come together to support those affected and I am committed to working with them to make certain Hutchinson’s skilled manufacturing workforce has the assistance they need to bounce back.
“The downturn in U.S. wind installation using Siemens Wind Power components is in large-part a result of the uncertainty coming from Washington. Kansas leads the nation in wind-production capacity currently under construction, but the wind-energy industry has stopped making long-term investments in their businesses because of Washington’s unwillingness to craft a comprehensive domestic energy policy. Today’s announcement foreshadows what will happen across Kansas if we do not take serious steps toward becoming energy independent; jobs will be lost, local economies will suffer millions of dollars in losses, and every Kansan will ultimately be affected, because our ability to access our natural resources contributes to the cost of electricity and transportation fuels.”
KAKE's Deb Farris is working on the story and we will update this story as more information becomes available.