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LCEDG helping to find jobs for workers laid off at Ft. Madison plant

The Siemens Gamesa plant in Fort Madison.
Will Buss
The Siemens Gamesa plant in Fort Madison.

Economic development leaders in Lee County are working to find jobs for workers who were recently laid off from a manufacturing plant in southeast Iowa.

171 workers’ jobs were cut indefinitely from the Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy wind turbine blade manufacturing plant in Ft. Madison.

Lee County Economic Development Group (LCEDG) Project Director Dana Millard said the county has been working with IowaWORKS, southeast Iowa’s employment and career development center that provides training, guidance and support for job searches, resume preparation and helps locate employment opportunities.

Millard said the center is finding new possible jobs for these displaced workers.

“The good news is we have a variety of positions open in Lee County and southeast Iowa for those individuals to take a look at and see if it’s a good fit for them,” Millard said.

“We do have a variety of openings that could easily absorb the individuals if they choose. We have mechanisms in place to help them connect those dots.”

Millard said the layoffs are the result of federal regulations and tariffs tied to the wind energy industry. She said the county is working with federal legislators to help mitigate any further potential economic challenges to the industry.

Millard said the southeast Iowa plant has entered “hibernation” for the time being and the layoffs are indefinite. She said these newly unemployed workers might or might not be called back to work at the Ft. Madison plant.

These were not the first layoffs at the plant this year.

In February, Siemens Gamesa laid off 121 workers at the Ft. Madison plant.

Laid off workers will receive their pensions and a severance package along with job placement assistance.

The company this past week also laid off 92 employees from its plant in Hutchinson, Kansas.

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