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Job outlook unclear for DMI workers; Dallas-based firm buys plant for $20M

The prospect of the sale was first announced last month, when Otter Tail said it had a nonbinding letter of interest to sell DMI. The company said the economics of the wind power industry and expiring tax credits were hurting demand for turbines.

WEST FARGO - A day after a Texas company announced the acquisition of the DMI Industries wind turbine plant here, the fate of the plant's 216 workers remains unclear.

Trinity Industries, a Dallas-based industrial conglomerate, bought DMI from Otter Tail Corp. for $20 million. The purchase included facilities here, in Oklahoma, and in Ontario, Canada. DMI has about 500 employees in total.

A statement from Trinity on Thursday announced the sale but did not say what would happen to the workers. A Trinity spokeswoman said Friday that the company isn't yet releasing further information.

Michael Olsen, senior vice president of corporate communications for Otter Tail, said current DMI employees will wrap up existing production in mid-October. The company has been providing career transition support and severance plans, he said.

He said he's optimistic Trinity will have jobs for some or all of the current workers.

"They (Trinity) make big heavy metal stuff, and that's what that plant is good at," he said.

The prospect of the sale was first announced last month, when Otter Tail said it had a nonbinding letter of interest to sell DMI. The company said the economics of the wind power industry and... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

WEST FARGO - A day after a Texas company announced the acquisition of the DMI Industries wind turbine plant here, the fate of the plant's 216 workers remains unclear.

Trinity Industries, a Dallas-based industrial conglomerate, bought DMI from Otter Tail Corp. for $20 million. The purchase included facilities here, in Oklahoma, and in Ontario, Canada. DMI has about 500 employees in total.

A statement from Trinity on Thursday announced the sale but did not say what would happen to the workers. A Trinity spokeswoman said Friday that the company isn't yet releasing further information.

Michael Olsen, senior vice president of corporate communications for Otter Tail, said current DMI employees will wrap up existing production in mid-October. The company has been providing career transition support and severance plans, he said.

He said he's optimistic Trinity will have jobs for some or all of the current workers.

"They (Trinity) make big heavy metal stuff, and that's what that plant is good at," he said.

The prospect of the sale was first announced last month, when Otter Tail said it had a nonbinding letter of interest to sell DMI. The company said the economics of the wind power industry and expiring tax credits were hurting demand for turbines.

West Fargo Mayor Rich Mattern said he's been under the impression since that announcement that the plant will have to close at least temporarily to retool its production capabilities.

But he said finding a buyer and shuttering the plant temporarily is a better outcome than Otter Tail closing the plant for good.

"Otter Tail was going to put it down no matter what," he said. "Under the two bad choices, this is the best choice."

If jobs are lost, he said he's hopeful skilled workers will find landing places in a strong local economy.

"In this whole situation, we have to think positive," he said. "Hopefully they will retool quickly and rehire."


Source: http://www.inforum.com/even...

SEP 7 2012
http://www.windaction.org/posts/34829-job-outlook-unclear-for-dmi-workers-dallas-based-firm-buys-plant-for-20m
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