Deja vu all over again.
(Las Vegas Sun) — Just seven months after California-based solar power company Amonix Inc. opened its largest manufacturing plant, in North Las Vegas, the company’s contractor has laid off nearly two-thirds of its workforce.
Flextronics Industrial, the Singapore solar panel manufacturer that partnered with Amonix to staff the new $18 million, 214,000-square-foot plant, laid off about 200 of its 300-plus employees Tuesday.
Amonix’s director of manufacturing operations, Eric Culberson, said the layoffs are part of “retooling” the factory as the company prepares to roll out its next-generation product.
“The new 8700 utility-scale CPV solar power system is a higher efficiency and lower cost,” Culberson said. “Once it is ready, we will ramp back up to meet the demands of the industry.”
Culberson said the job cuts are temporary and expects to begin hiring more people in the second half of the year to meet demand.
The company scaled down at all levels of employment at the plant — which was hiring as recently as three months ago — from entry level assemblers, process engineers, production supervisors and quality-control techs, according to one employee who was laid off.
Culberson said layoffs were made across the board.
Amonix received a $5.9 million investment tax credit through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act in 2010, and another $12 million in private capital helped finance the plant.
HT: Dan Collins