‘Green Manufacturers’ Closing U.S. plants; Moving Jobs to Mexico

Offshoring of jobs remains alive as American workers continue to receive pink slips.

Much has been said about how the “clean energy industry” will create jobs in the U.S. Maybe there is some sustainability in such products, but not necessarily stability for domestic workers. An example is that the Ford Motor Co. has told employees that it plans to relocate the manufacturing of next-generation vehicles from Avon Lake in Ohio to Mexico.

Credit: Windmill farm by Thangaraj Kumaravel, Creative Commons

According to a Wall Street Journal story by Nora Naughton, “Research firm AutoForecast Solutions expects Ford to begin production in 2023 of two electric sport-utility vehicles at its factory in Cuautitlán, Mexico. Those vehicles previously had been earmarked for the Ohio plant…. A Ford spokeswoman declined to comment.”

It isn’t known how many jobs in the Cleveland metropolitan area will be eliminated by Ford’s move.

More immediately, a small “green” company, a manufacturer of components for wind turbine blades, is closing its factory in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley and shifting the work to Mexico, putting 67 people out of work.

Reporting in The Morning Call, reporter Jon Harris wrote that Windkits LLC is planning to stop production in Upper Macungie Township in August. The work will be transferred to a facility the company owns in Matamoros, a city in northeastern Mexico near the U.S. border, sources and a company memo confirm.

It seems that the companies with “green” products can be more competitive by manufacturing outside of the United States – something that politicians in Washington, D.C., and every state capital have known for years. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has been looking for ways to become more of a “climate activist.” Maybe Gov. Wolf should put more energy into being a jobs advocate.

“All those manufacturing jobs for ‘clean’ energy, inclusive of solar panels and wind turbines and EV batteries, are subject to competitive pricing,” says Ronald Stein, an engineer and veteran of the energy industry. “Those countries with labor cost advantages and minuscule environmental regulations have a distinct advantage over manufacturing in the USA.”

“Having the manufacturing done across the border is economically enticing,” adds Stein.

Stein’s view is reinforced considering that Windkits’ parent company, Denmark-based JSB Group, “lists several production sites on its website that are ‘strategically at the center of several wind blade production clusters … that includes locations in China, India, Turkey, Denmark and Spain,” reports The Morning Call.

Stein is co-author along with Todd Royal of Clean Energy Exploitations: Helping Citizens Understand the Environmental and Humanity Abuses That Support Clean Energy set to be released this week.

About Spectrum Location Solutions

To explore whether a location-related move, expansion or consolidation makes sense for your company, contact Joe Vranich at 800-508-5138.  The no-fee, no-obligation consultation will be completely confidential.

Spectrum Location Solutions provides site-selection consulting services to help companies find optimal places to call their new home. By working with Economic Development Agencies nationwide to identify appealing sites, an appropriate workforce and economic incentives, Spectrum has found optimum settings for headquarters, back offices and manufacturing facilities. Joe established the firm more than a decade ago as The Business Relocation Coach with the motto: “Helping Businesses Grow in Great Locations!”