In 2014, the US wind industry supported more than 73,000 well-paying jobs, including sales, engineering and manufacturing positions.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s “Wind Vision: A New Era for American Wind Power” report provides a framework for wind power to supply 10 percent of our nation’s electricity by 2020, 20 percent by 2030 and 35 percent by 2050. At these levels, according to the DOE, that translates into 230,000 jobs by 2030 and 600,000 jobs by 2050. All across the country, we see people harnessing one of the most abundant resources available, and that is good news for manufacturing. When a wind turbine goes up, all of the pieces that make that turbine create electricity are produced at facilities like ours. And, not only are on-site construction jobs created, but jobs are created all up and down the supply chain. That manufacturing footprint creates economic growth far from the farm where turbines are installed. For instance, Broadwind’s towers are manufactured in Manitowoc, WI and Abilene, TX. The steel for those towers comes from companies like Arcelor Mittal and Nucor, who are both major suppliers for us today. And the internals for the towers come from companies like Avanti in Wisconsin or Hailo Wind Systems. The turbine original equipment manufacturer (OEM) has to source the blades and rotors, as well as hire a transportation crew to transport the towers to the site, and a construction crew to erect the turbines.
The reach of wind power is far and wide. Unlike a coal plant that provides jobs and economic development in a fairly concentrated area, wind farms may cover many counties, providing property taxes, land lease payments and jobs to rural America. And it doesn’t stop when the turbines have been put in the ground. Jobs to monitor and maintain the turbines are required. Not only does the industry help America become energy independent, but the jobs created are helping Americans make a good, stable living.
Broadwind employs more than 800 people in 4 locations. Most of these jobs are high-skilled laborers who receive competitive compensation and a good benefits package. Like Sandy Hughes, featured in AWEA’s #InTheirOwnWords video, our team is full of hard working, team-oriented individuals who make coming to work each day a great experience. Sandy and her husband moved from Indiana to Abilene to be near their children who are both in the United States Air Force. Sandy joined Broadwind in the Assembly Department and her positive attitude, strong work ethic and team focus make her a great fit for the team at Broadwind. A few months later, she convinced her husband Greg to join the team too; he works in our Pre-Fab department. At Broadwind we have a saying, “One Team, One Dream” and we mean it.