Siemens closing Tollgate Road operation in Elgin; 79 to lose jobs
By Mike Danahey firstname.lastname@example.org @DanaheyECN on Twitter November 1, 2013 4:14PM
Updated: December 4, 2013 6:28AM
ELGIN — Siemens Industry is set to close its operation at 950 Tollgate Road, with most of the workers there let go by the end of this year and a small number of them continuing on until March 31, 2014.
An Oct. 22 letter obtained by The Courier-News from Terry Royer, Winergy CEO and Siemens vice president, Mechanical Drives Unit, to Elgin Mayor David Kaptain’s office states that notices went out that day to non-represented employees at the Tollgate Road facility about an anticipated permanent shutdown of production operations at the facility.
Siemens’ Georgia-based media specialist Hollie Davis said Friday the anticipated number of workers to be permanently laid off will be 79. Those include 30 machinists, nine heat treatment operators, seven quality inspectors, and seven supervisors, according to the document sent to the mayor.
A statement The Courier-News received Friday from Davis states, “In July, Siemens Industry, Inc. announced internally the closing of its gear part machining and manufacturing operations on Tollgate Road in Elgin ...This is due to a lower global market demand and a decline in pricing in the gear industry.”
The statement notes that “Siemens mechanical drives solutions range from an extensive line of gear reducers and couplings to gear motors and open gearing for many industrial applications, including industries such as mining, rail and transportation, power generation, wind, water/wastewater, cement and minerals and marine.”
“These decisions are never easy and Siemens understands the impact this has on employees and the Elgin community. Unfortunately, this business decision was necessary to respond to market conditions that are beyond our control.
We remain committed to growing our U.S. presence and will continue to serve our gear customers from our Madeline Lane facility,” the statement notes.
As such, Siemens is working with the Elgin Workforce Development Group, a division of the Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce, to help employees impacted by the closure seek employment opportunities within the community. Chamber President Carol Gieske also pointed to an effort called eacWorks, a local online jobs board — at elginchamber.com/classifieds/eacworks — that matches local employers with available jobs to anyone looking for a position.
“The site comes with the ability to sign up for feeds that automatically email when a new job posted,” Gieske said.
Winergy’s Royer is on the Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors. He testified before a subcommittee on energy and environment of the House Committee on Science Space and Technology. In May, 2012, he was among 14 executives called to the White House to a meeting that focused on Congress’s failure at the time to renew the Production Tax Credit, in April 2012. And Royer was among energy executives and academics called to the White House this past March to discuss President Barack Obama’s clean energy agenda for his second term.
Siemens is the parent company of Winergy Drive Systems Corp., which has its major North American facility at 1401 Madeline Lane in Elgin. Winergy is the world leader in manufacturing gearboxes for wind turbines, and the company employs more than 300 people in Elgin.