Congressman Tom Latham named USA Wind Jobs Champion

July 27, 2012


DES MOINES, IA, July 27, 2012 – Congressman Tom Latham (R-IA) was today presented with a USA Wind Jobs Champion Award for his determined support and diligent work in helping to create and sustain U.S. jobs in the wind energy industry and its manufacturing supply chain.

“I’m honored to receive this recognition, and I thank AWEA and Availon for the important work they do advancing wind energy in America,” Congressman Latham said. “Wind energy is one of the most innovative and exciting economic engines in Iowa. And, it has a bright future across the nation as it plays an important role in a comprehensive, clean and diversified national energy policy that lowers costs for hardworking taxpayers and strengthens our energy independence.”

Steve Thompson, President of Availon North American Operations with a group of employees, and Harold Prior, Executive Director of the Iowa Wind Energy Association, presented Congressman Latham with the award – a commemorative plaque and wind turbine bolt made in the U.S.A from American steel by the Dyson Corporation of Painesville, OH.

“With the support of leaders like Congressman Latham, Availon is creating good jobs and clean energy in Iowa and other states,” said Steve Thompson, President of Availon North American Operations. “We need more representatives like Tom Latham who understand that wind power is critical to economic growth, energy security and a sustainable future." Availon, Inc., a premier provider of parts and engineering services to wind power industry in North America, headquartered in Des Moines, IA.

After the award presentation, Congressman Latham toured Availon and sat down with Thompson and Prior to discuss their concerns about the Production Tax Credit and the job losses in the wind energy sectors. In Congressman Latham’s district, there are over a dozen major wind manufacturing facilities and wind developers.

The wind industry supports as many as 5,000 Iowa jobs. Iowa is ranked second in the U.S. in most installed wind capacity, exceeding California’s installed capacity for the first time in 2008. Iowa wind farms that are now online power the equivalent of more than 1,100,000 homes.

“I want to thank Congressman Latham for his strong support of American jobs and private investment in one of America’s fastest growing manufacturing sectors,” said Harold Prior, Executive Director of IWEA. “Congressman Latham understands that wind power is creating an American success story, but this success depends on stable tax policy. With the Representative’s strong support, we are working to extend American wind’s crucial Production Tax Credit and save tens of thousands of good American jobs in the wind industry.”

AWEA is the national trade association of the U.S. wind energy industry. We represent 1,000 member companies and over 100,000 jobs in the U.S. economy, serving as a powerful voice for how wind works for America. Members include global leaders in wind power and energy development, turbine manufacturing, and component and service suppliers. They gather each year at the Western Hemisphere’s largest wind power trade show, the AWEA WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition, next in Chicago, Illinois, May 7-10, 2018. Find information about wind energy on the AWEA website. Gain insight into industry issues on AWEA's blog, Into the Wind. And please join us on Facebook, and follow @AWEA on Twitter.