German industrial giant Siemens Energy is seeing limited future in the gas and power business, so it is cutting nearly 8,000 jobs around the world, including 500 at its Olean facility, where the company is ending manufacturing.
The company’s line of work has been in the oil and gas business and that isn’t doing very well right now, as green energy gets increasing support. The gas fracking business field is in even worse shape, with the low price of natural gas. New York State bans the process, but will take gas fracked in Pennsylvania.
State Sen. George Borrello represents the Olean area and is very critical of Albany energy policies and the new Biden policies in Washington.
"That’s what is frustrating for me," said the Hanover Republican. "This is about energy independence and energy security and companies like Siemens that employ real people that have good-paying jobs that support families are going to be impacted by these stroke-of-the-pen-type decisions that are made now in Albany and in Washington."
Siemens currently employs 800 workers at the former Dresser-Rand plant. Borrello said some jobs will shift to another Siemens plant in Painted Post, in Steuben County, or relocate to Houston.
"It is very unfortunate. These are good-paying jobs with skilled workers," Borrello said. "For now, they are keeping about 360 jobs, I’m told, roughly, that are research and development and administrative jobs in Olean. So it’s not completely shuttering. It’s the manufacturing that’s going to be shuttered."
He said the reality is "most of the production is leaving the United States altogether."
The transitions are expected to be phased in by mid-2022. Borello said he is working to work with state and federal officials to help those facing job cuts.
Siemens also cut 150 jobs in April at a sister location in Wellsville and in 2018 caused an uproar reaching then-House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi when it announced the closing of the plant, then with 250 employees.