DOL: China did take Hillsboro solar panel jobs

FILE - A SolarWorld employee works in their facility Friday, Oct. 17, 2008, in Hillsboro, Ore. The energy equipment maker SolarWorld has opened a $440 million manufacturing plant in Hillsboro. The German company says the facility is North America's largest solar cell plant. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
FILE - A SolarWorld employee works in their facility Friday, Oct. 17, 2008, in Hillsboro, Ore. The energy equipment maker SolarWorld has opened a $440 million manufacturing plant in Hillsboro. The German company says the facility is North America's largest solar cell plant. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

HILLSBORO, Ore. (KOIN) — Workers at a Hillsboro home-solar-panel manufacturing plant cut in the company’s response to “illegal” competition from Chinese manufacturers will have some help from the federal government.

The cuts of 50 to 100 workers from SolarWorld’s Hillsboro plant are expected on or about Aug. 31. KOIN 6 News has learned that  special assistance is being offered for those laid-off SolarWorld employees.

That’s because the U.S. Department of Labor has determined the layoffs were indeed caused by imports of Chinese solar panels.

The federal benefits will help cover job search and relocation expenses, as well as provide credits for health insurance premiums.

SolarWorld currently employees around 700 people at its Hillsboro manufacturing plant and dozens more at a smaller office in Camarillo, Calif. Average annual compensation for permanent, full-time SolarWorld employees exceeds the national average, the Portland Tribune reported earlier in July.

— The Portland Tribune contributed some information used in this report.

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