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Vestas adds 450 jobs to Colorado plants

UNITED STATES: Vestas is to add at least 450 new jobs at its Colorado factories due to a surge in demand.

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

This is Vestas second round of hires in Colorado this year. The Danish manufacturer said it has already added around 400 positions this year at its blade factory in Windsor, tower factory in Pueblo, and blade and nacelle plants in Brighton.

The company announced in November that it would add "hundreds" of jobs at the factories to deal with an increase in orders.

However, there was some concern as Vestas revealed that the jobs would be temporary three-month positions due to the uncertainty surrounding US renewables policy.

Workers are employed through an agency, but there is the opportunity to be hired as a regular Vestas employee. Since late 2013, Vestas said it has converted around 60 people to regular employees at the Brighton blade factory.

Speaking at the time of the first hires, a company spokesperson said: "Market conditions have been taken into account with these hires, but this is not exclusively related to the expiry of the production tac credit. We are doing what we always said we wanted to do, create a more flexible, scaleable organisation."

The new hires have been brought on to deal with orders for nearly 900 turbines received in 2013, the firm said.

Vestas cut around 500 permanent employees in Colorado in 2012 as it adjusted to a downturn in the US market.

There has been a spike in turbine orders in the US as developers rushed to reach the spending threshold that would see them qualify for the production tax credit before the end-of-2013 deadline. There are fears this could drop off significantly if the policy is not extended.

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, leaving around 16,000 now in the company's employ.

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