President Obama promotes federal subsidies for the renewable energy industry, saying they will create “the jobs of the future, jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced.”
But some green jobs can be outsourced, as Michigan solar cell maker Energy Conversion Devices, Inc., demonstrated Tuesday.
ECD said it will move final assembly of some of its existing solar cell products out of an Auburn Hills, Mich. plant to Tijuana, Mexico. The decision means 140 of ECD’s Michigan workers will be out of a job this fall, the company says. About 750 ECD jobs will remain in Michigan, it says.
ECD’s decision to shift what it described as low-skill assembly jobs to Mexico is part of a broader effort to cut costs and compete with solar cell makers which have manufacturing operations in China, Malaysia and other lower-wage nations, says Martha Duggan, ECD’s head of government and regulatory affairs.