Sponsored by Lane Powell

Vestas’ last promise of 1,000 jobs didn’t happen

| Print |  Email
Sunday, March 01, 2009
V90_Solano.jpg The Danish wind kings are now promising 1,000 jobs by 2011. Sound familiar?

PORTLAND Green jobs were the toast of Oregon in April 2002 when Gov. John Kitzhaber, Sen. Gordon Smith and Portland Mayor Vera Katz joined executives from Vestas, the world’s largest wind power manufacturer, to announce the construction of a new factory in Portland  that would create more than 1,000 jobs by 2004.

This was welcome news at a time when Oregon’s unemployment rate of 8.1% was highest in the nation, and it appeared on the front page of the Portland Tribune the following day, with the headline “City gets a breath of fresh air: jobs.” A similar story made the cover of the Oregonian.

Like the Tonkin Gulf incident, it never happened.

When federal subsidies hit a snag, Vestas backed away from its Portland manufacturing plans, later building in Colorado, where it plans to employ up to 2,000 people by 2010. Oregon lost out again last year when Vestas built an R & D center in Texas. Each of these deals involved substantial incentives.

Still, Oregon wasn’t completely jilted. Vestas has established its headquarters in Portland with more than 300 white-collar jobs. Now the Danish wind kings are planning a super-green building in Portland. But times are tight in the wind business. After growing by more than 30% in 2007 and 2008, global wind installations are expected to drop by 20% in 2009.

To expand in the face of that headwind, Vestas will need extraordinary government support — loans, incentives, grants, possibly even bonding support from the state. An ambitious package of incentives is under construction, with details sure to stir up debate in Portland and Salem as the legislative session unfolds.

A design team from Ankrom Moisan Associated Architects in Portland is sketching out plans for 600,000 square feet of LEED platinum-certified office space with solar power, green roofs and efficient energy systems. The company is promising to employ up to 1,000 people in Portland by 2011.

Sound familiar?

Vestas senior vice president Roby Roberts says the decision to build in Portland is by no means final. “We have to put all the numbers on the table and make sure they add up and that this thing makes sense,” he says. “We don’t know what the capital markets are going to look like. And we don’t know what the city and the state are willing to contribute.”      BEN JACKLET


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Comments   

 
Gio
0 #1 Vestas American Wind Technology is a fraudGio 2011-06-05 14:20:54
I was employed with Vestas for 3 years and suddenly was terminated. I have been in the coorporate arena for many years and never in my career experienced anything like this. I am speaking out now because, what I learned from Vestas is this: they will hire Oregonians to fufill there obligation to Portland then we are removed and replaced with Danish workers, very convient and clever of them. Over my 3 years with Vestas I watched my co-workers quickly be exited out of the building, probably between 70-100 people over a three year period. Please keep in mind these are exceptional workers including myself. This is how Vestas conducts business. When I visited offsite wind farms, I would see turbine conponents laying on the ground and contaminating the soil. When I brought this information back to the home office here in Portland Oregon I was told it would cost to much money to clean it up and that the units are scrap. Is Vestas doing and saying what they realy are? From my experience, NO. I would hope that Oregon does there due diligents before providing anymore funding or financial resources to a company that only takes from Oregon. It is not good business.
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Oregon businesses face destruction from future earthquake

The Latest
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
htctthumb1BY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

An earthquake would completely destroy many Oregon businesses, highlighting the urgent need for the private and public sectors to collaborate on shoring up disaster preparedness, said panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast summit today.


Read more...

5 things to know about veterans in the workforce

The Latest
Wednesday, July 01, 2015
070215-vetsthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

There are more than 10 million former military members working in the United States.


Read more...

Photo Diary: Forest Grove Farmers Market

The Latest
Thursday, May 14, 2015
IMG 8469BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

There are more than 160 farmers markets in Oregon, contributing an estimated $50 million in sales, according to the Oregon Farmers Markets Association. We checked in on the Forest Grove market, which for several years has brought local produce and food vendors to Main Street in the center of town.


Read more...

Cherry Raincoat

June 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Spring rains are the bane of an Oregon cherry farmer’s existence. Even a few sprinkles can crack the fruit so badly it’s not worth picking. Science to the rescue: Researchers at Oregon State University have developed a spray-on film that cuts rain-related cracking in half, potentially saving a season’s crop. The coating, patented as SureSeal, is made from natural chemicals similar to those found in the skins of cherries: cellulose, palm oil-based wax and calcium.


Read more...

The Backstory: Portland Youth Builders

The Latest
Wednesday, June 03, 2015
blog002 1BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

As part of our green workplaces story, Oregon Business checked out a community service project undertaken by Portland Youth Builders, a nonprofit alternative high school. In partnership with Whole Foods, PYB built garden boxes for a Home Forward  housing site. Home Forward is a government agency that provides housing for low income residents and people with disabilities.


Read more...

Eco Zoned

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY HANNAH WALLACE

Travelers have always come to Oregon for its natural beauty. But will the increasing popularity of agritourism, European-style hiking getaways and forest resorts relax Oregon's notoriously strict land-use laws?


Read more...

The ancient fish that stops bullets

The Latest
Friday, May 08, 2015
hagfishthumbBY CHRIS NOBLE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Hagfish may not have evolved much over the last 300 million years, but their protein-heavy slime promises advances in super-materials.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS