by Lance Turner
Posted 10/7/2013 09:24 am
Updated 9 months ago
LM Wind Power, the Danish blade manufacturer for wind turbines, said Monday that it is adding more than 850 jobs to its U.S. manufacturing operations, which will bring employment at its Little Rock plant to a "little more than 400" at the end of 2013.
In a news release, the company said it is adding manufacturing capacity to its U.S. operations to "support increased volumes from major customers" after Congress extended the Production Tax Credit late last year.
In all, the company said it has doubled its domestic workforce in less than six months from 350 in April to a little more than 700 in August.
"The company continues to expand significantly into next year, expecting to employ around 1,200 people in the US in 2014," it said. The company said it is adding staff at factories in Grand Forks, N.D., and in Little Rock.
Last year, the company laid off 234 of its Little Rock workers, or about half its state workforce. At the time, LM attributed the layoffs to a decrease in demand for its products as Congress failed to renew the tax credit.
"We are pleased to see that the market is improving again following a period of low activity due to uncertainty around the [Production Tax Credit]," Bill Burga Jr., LM Wind Power's U.S. operations leader, said.
"With the political framework in place, our customers are winning more business again and we are ready to serve their demand for highly efficient quality blades for the US market, adding hundreds of extra jobs. Now it is crucial that the politicians remain committed to securing a stable economic framework to enable continued industry growth and increased US employment."
Once known as LM Glasfiber, LM Wind Power said it plans to add another 250 workers in 2014. It operates 14 blade manufacturing plants across the Americas, Europe and Asia. The company came to Arkansas in July 2007, and opened its $150 million North American headquarters at the Port of Little Rock in 2008.