Siemens in Hutchinson announces temporary layoffs

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KWCH) Siemens Wind Energy announces it will lay off 140 workers at their Hutchinson assembly plant.

The company says the business volume through the 2018 fiscal year does not support the current employee levels.

"We understand it's not a plant layoff, it's a reduction in force on a temporary basis," says Hutchinson Mayor Jon Daveline.

The 300,000 sq. ft. plant opened in 2010.

Workers assemble a wind turbine part called the nacelles, which sits atop the wind tower.

Siemens reports it intends to make investments at the plant that involve making changes to an existing production line.

"Any type of announcement like this, the impact on the region and Hutchinson community is certainly disappointing and it's certainly particular for those impacted by it," says Daveline.

The company went through a similar situation back in 2012 when it laid off 146 employees.

Daveline says he believes the skilled workers whose jobs are affected will be able to find other opportunities.

"There's a tight labor market in the region anyway, and because of that, there will be some opportunities for people with those skill sets to secure new employment at other companies in the region," he says.

Siemens says it expects the reduction in force to begin in September.

Daveline says Hutchinson Community College career counselors will be available to help laid off workers find new jobs.

A Hutchinson wind energy company announced it will lay off some of its work force.

Siemens Wind Energy announced it would reduce its workforce by 140 employees in the fall.

The company released the following statement:

"Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy spoke today with employees about efforts to position the Hutchinson 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 workforce by about 140 employees, to be carried out in the fall. As a reflection of the importance of Hutchinson to our business strategy moving forward, we announced our intention to pursue a capital investment at the plant that involves retooling an existing production line.

We appreciate the professionalism and dedication of our valued employees, and we will assist them during this time of transition.

During the past decade, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy has made investments in the U.S. totaling over $230 million. Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy has more than 7,600 wind turbines installed in the US, providing nearly 17 GW of power – enough for over 5 million homes. The company has a strong footprint with 12 wind power facilities across the nation, consisting of manufacturing, service and office locations and over 2,000 highly-skilled employees in our wind and wind service businesses. Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy looks forward to serving the American market with its combined portfolio of wind power technology, products and services.

About SGRE’s Hutchinson site: Workers at Siemens’ 300,000-square-foot plant in Hutchinson assemble nacelles, which sit atop the wind tower, supporting the rotor and housing components for electric power generation, including the gearbox, the drive train and the control electronics. The plant opened in 2010."