NEWTON, Iowa — The upcoming holiday season will also bring the end of a job for 710 workers in Jasper County, TPI Composites, Inc. confirmed on Monday.
Josh Syhlman, the company’s general manager, notified Mayor Mike Hansen of the decision to end wind blade production at the facility on December 31.
General Electric had been TPI’s main customer but it hadn’t ordered any wind blades for 2022. In 2017, GE bought Denmark-based LM Wind Power, one of TPI’s rivals. So GE can get most of its blades there.
TPI Composites, Inc. has been the county’s largest employer and provided jobs from across the region. The company’s notification to Newton’s mayor detailed the positions that it would eliminate.
Wind energy was part of a new future for the community, which suffered the gradual loss of 3,000 jobs after Maytag ultimately ceased operations in 2007. But this week, 82 employees at Dallas, Texas-based Arcosa Wind Towers were scheduled to lose their positions as that company was also scaling back operations.
The wind energy sector has dealt with declining demand from manufacturers as Congress has failed to expend the wind production tax credit and the price of steel has increased.
But TPI’s future in Newton may have been most severely impacted when its primary customer–General Electric–bought Denmark-based LM Wind Power.