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ABB to Close Phoenix Solar Plant, Move Jobs to Europe

According to the Arizona Business Daily and the Phoenix Business Journal, ABB will be ceasing its U.S.–based manufacturing operations at its Phoenix solar production plant and moving those operations and jobs to Latvia and Italy.

Under federal rules requiring employers to report major job cuts, ABB has officially reported 89 layoffs in the Phoenix plant. The company will maintain some sales and service operations at the Phoenix office. The facility currently employs around 200 people.

The company announced the layoffs in a letter at the end of May, and informed the Arizona Department of Economic Security that the layoffs would occur in at least four phases.

“The first phase will occur on August 31, 2016 or within 14 days thereafter,” Christen Fox, Human Resources Director, wrote. “The second phase will occur on September 30, 2016 or within 14 days thereafter. The third phase will occur on October 28, 2016 or within 14 days thereafter. The fourth phase will occur on November 18, 2016, with the final phase being December 16, 2016.”

Melissa London Zingle, spokeswoman for ABB, stated in The Phoenix Business Journal, “The decision, taken after thorough review and analysis of all other options, reflects conditions in the wider macroeconomic climate. The consolidations will enable factory and supply chain optimization while improving cost, delivery and quality to our customers.” Zingle added, “We are not disclosing the number impacted, but the facility currently employs around 200.”

The production plant, which is located near the Sky Harbor International Airport, will remain open to support a number of sales and service operations, but by this fall, the manufacturing jobs will be shipped to Latvia and Italy.

The Swiss-based company expanded into the U.S. in 2013 after it acquired U.S. inverter Power-One Inc. for an estimated $1 billion. Included in the deal was the acquisition of the Phoenix facility, which employed 450 staff at the time.


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