Officials with Siemens Energy have selected Hutchinson, Kansas over Sioux City, Iowa for the site of a new wind turbine production plant. Sioux City Economic Development Director Marty Dougherty says it sounds like Siemens wanted a location in the central U.S.
“We know from working with them for almost a year that we had the kind of incentive package and the kind of site that they wanted…we met all the requirements,” Dougherty said. “But, in this particular case, they made a decision based on geography.”
Last month, nearly 5,000 residents of the Siouxland region submitted responses to a labor survey as city leaders sought to ease the company’s concerns about the available labor pool. Dougherty says that information won’t go to waste.
“We will use that information with the other companies that we’re dealing with,” Dougherty said. “It’s a very positive indicator of the workforce that we have here in Sioux City and the metro area.” The Siemens plant is expected to employ around 400 people. Construction on the facility in Reno County, Kansas is scheduled to begin in August.
Dougherty says Sioux City worked closely with the state to create tax credits and incentives for Siemens – and that work could pay off down the road. “We’ve positioned ourselves very well and gotten ourselves on the map,” Dougherty said. “We’re continuing to get a lot of interest and leads from other wind energy companies, so we’re very encouraged by that.”
According to information from Governor Culver’s office, Iowa has nine wind turbine manufacturing plants that employ 2,300 people.