By PETER HUSSMANN
The Iowa Department of Economic Development today granted a $2.5 million forgivable loan to TPI Composites to build a $38 million wind blade production facility in Sioux City.
The move comes a day after TPI announced that it was reducing its workforce at its Newton wind blade plant to 233, less than half the number it needs to meet grant requirements by Jan. 1, 2011 for the development of its central Iowa facility.
In announcing the layoffs in Newton, TPI said it "continues to restructure its operations in Newton," but plans to re-hire and raise workforce levels to 400 by October and 500 by February 2011.
In its proposal before the Department of Economic Development today, TPI indicated that it planned to hire a total of 500 workers at the Sioux City facility which they expect to complete by the middle of 2011.
Iowa Gov. Chet Culver late yesterday issued a statement concerning the Newton layoffs.
"While Iowa retains its status as a national leader in wind energy manufacturing, consumer demand fluctuates as it does in any industry," he said. "There is reason to be optimistic TPI eventually will exceed its job creation goals as Iowa's burgeoning wind industry continues to establish itself."