Nordex's newly built wind turbine manufacturing plant in Jonesboro, Arkansas officially opened October 4. "Two years ago, we announced our intention to make Nordex wind turbines in the United States, for the United States ," said Ralf Sigrist, President and CEO of Nordex USA, Inc. "Today we're putting our hands to the metal and doing it. We hope Congress will do the same," he added, "by finally passing meaningful renewable energy legislation."
The first Jonesboro production crew, hired earlier this year, recently completed a 10-week intensive training program at Nordex's flagship plant in Rostock, Germany. Training will continue during the early phase of production, with the team's German counterparts now taking up residence in Jonesboro for several months to work alongside their new colleagues.
"There's no way to do this without international exchange," said Joe Brenner, Vice President of Production for Nordex. "Wind energy has tremendous potential in the United States, but it's about more than just creating green jobs. We have to transfer expertise in order to build a wind industry workforce. Nordex is investing in such a workforce and bringing the needed skills to America."
Nordex broke ground on its manufacturing plant last September, completing construction in July of this year. The company has hired 150 employees in the United States to date, including 42 in Jonesboro, and has plans to employ up to 1000 nationally over four to five years. About 80 percent of the workforce in Jonesboro are locals. Construction on a second facility for assembling rotor blades is also planned for the future.
Nordex will hold a Grand Opening ceremony celebrating the completion of the plant and the start of production on Friday, October 29. The public is invited to an Open House at 4:00 pm.