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United States

Vestas committed to workforce cut despite Colorado hirings

UNITED STATES: Vestas it is to add "hundreds" of manufacturing jobs at its three Colorado factories in the first half of next year despite plans to cut its global staff count to 16,000.

A nacelle at Vestas' Brighton, Colorado factory
A nacelle at Vestas' Brighton, Colorado factory

With a target of reducing the size of its workforce by the end of the year by 200, there is a likelihood that a greater number of jobs than expected may be lost at other facilities to compensate for the Colorado hirings. 

Speaking to Windpower Monthly earlier this week, Vestas senior vice president Morten Albaek said: "We are now down to 16,200 employees that means we now only have 200 to leave the company. I believe we will be at our target of 16,000 by the years end."

Jobs will be added at its Windsor blade factory and the blade and nacelle factories in Brighton. Vestas has previously announced that it is to create about 100 jobs at its tower factory in Pueblo, also in Colorado.

The company has said orders for wind turbines are expected to pick up in the United States before the end of the year. A number of developers are currently rushing to make orders in order to meet the requirements of the US production tax credit, which is expected to expire at the start of the new year.

Vestas cut about 500 employees in Colorado in 2012.

Some will be concerned over the permanence of these new jobs, with a spokesperson for Vestas saying: "We have always said that we want a flexible workforce which can be scaled up and be scaled down to respond to demand."

Despite this move to take on new employees in Colorado, the company has said it still intends to cut jobs elsewhere.

At the end of 2011, Vestas had 22,721 employees worldwide, but as the company struggled to return to profitability, deep cuts and the closure of a number of facilities have chipped away at this figure.

Vestas said that a small number of employees will be taken on before the end of the year, with the bulk of the intake happening in the first three quarters of 2014.

Vestas added that it is aiming to achieve its 16,000-employee target by "continuing the hiring freeze, outsourcing, and a limited number of job cuts".

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