As promised, Vestas is continuing its workforce reductions in Colorado – this time, at its Brighton, Colo., blade manufacturing plant – due to Congress' failure to extend the wind energy production tax credit (PTC).
According to company spokesperson Andrew Longeteig, the layoffs amount to approximately 5% of Vestas' Colorado manufacturing workforce.
The latest round of layoffs are just a part of Vestas' overall plan to eliminate 3,700 total employees on the year – 1,400 more layoffs than the company had originally anticipated when it announced its first round of workforce reductions in January.
Once again, Vestas cited reduced orders resulting from the lack of a PTC extension as the reason for the layoffs. Responding to Vestas' announcement, Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo. – who has been one of the most ardent proponents of extending the PTC – slammed his colleagues for their inaction.
"This latest round of layoffs should underline for lawmakers in Colorado and across the United States the cost of politicizing the wind production tax credit," Udall said in a statement. "My colleagues need to remember that good-paying, American manufacturing jobs are at stake when we fail to give this industry the certainty it needs to make long-term investments in its workers and the United States.
"We need to redouble our efforts and extend the PTC as soon as possible," he added. "Our inaction is hurting Colorado families, ceding our leadership on wind energy to China and jeopardizing our nation's energy security."