Vestas has experienced its busiest year ever in the U.S. and Canada by supplying wind turbines to more than 20 new wind power projects. Additionally, Vestas’ factories are filling export orders for customers in Canada, Mexico, and Central and South America. However, the U.S. wind industry has slowed, largely due to the uncertainty of the federal Production Tax Credit extension at the end 2012. This has led to a significant reduction in turbine orders for 2013, and the market slowdown is affecting the company’s manufacturing facilities in Colorado.
As a result, this week Vestas reduced its manufacturing workforce at two blade factories in Colorado. This workforce reduction includes employees at its Brighton and Windsor facilities. This is a difficult decision because we must part with many dedicated and talented people in Colorado who have helped make the company a global leader in wind energy.
Overall, about 18% of Vestas’ entire Colorado manufacturing workforce was affected this week at its two blade factories. In 2012, the company manufacturing workforce in Colorado has decreased from more than 1,700 to about 1,200 people at four factories, which includes attrition, relocations, and reductions.
Vestas made a big investment in Colorado to establish a regional manufacturing presence that created many American jobs during an economic recession. Its four Colorado factories will continue to manufacture wind turbine components for the U.S. market, as well as export to Canada and Latin America.
The company has adopted a flexible business strategy in the U.S. and Canada during a period of changing market dynamics in the wind industry. The company will continue to scale up or down depending on business needs and market demands. Although Vestas added many jobs in service and construction to meet customer and market demands this year, overall the company reduced its workforce in the U.S. and Canada by about 20 percent in 2012 — from more than 3,400 employees to about 2,600 today. Affected positions in 2012 include those in manufacturing, sales, service, supply chain, and research and development.
Windsor, Brighton and the entire state of Colorado remain a tremendous state in which to do business. Vestas is proud to employ Americans and make products here in the U.S. The company has been in the U.S. market for more than 30 years and intends to be here for the long haul.