Vestas in Pueblo cuts dozens of workers

At least 90 laid off Monday

POSTED: 02:16 PM MDT Aug 30, 2012    UPDATED: 11:32 PM MDT Aug 13, 2012 
PUEBLO, Colo. -

Dozens of people lost their jobs Monday at a big employer in Pueblo. Vestas Wind Systems is downsizing, cutting at least 20 percent of it's work force in the Steel City.

Vestas isn't giving an exact number of how many people were laid off, but estimates are at least 90 employees were let go.

The world's largest wind turbine producer is blaming a market slowdown due to a federal wind energy production tax break that's about to expire.

"Vestas has been such a great employer, very conscious of it's employees and so it was disappointing, but not completely surprising," said Jack Rink, CEO of the Pueblo Economic Development Corporation.

The federal renewable electricity production tax credit (PTC) gives income tax credits to those who produce and sell renewable energy. It's been in effect since 1992, but Congress is split on whether to extend the measure beyond its December expiration date.

Rink remains hopeful the tax break will be extended and is staying positive about Vestas role in Pueblo.

"Any time you lose that number of jobs, and good paying jobs, it's going to have an impact," Rink said. "We're grateful the plant will be remaining open, obviously they have more orders to fill, and we're hopeful business will come back and we'll be employing as many or more people as they have in the past."