Alcoa closing two smelters in state, 1,500 jobs to be cut

Alcoa closing two smelters in state, 1,500 jobs to be cut

Alcoa closing smelters in Ferndale, Wenatchee; 1,500 jobs to be cut.

Alcoa said it will idle its two smelters in Ferndale and Wenatchee as it shrinks aluminum output and splits the company in two.

The shutdown of the Washington smelters, along with other cuts at the company, will cost about 1,500 jobs and be accomplished by the end of next quarter, a spokeswoman told Bloomberg News.

The company will continue to operate the Intalco casthouse in Ferndale, which produces “value-add shaped products,” Alcoa said in a statement.

Altogether, the Ferndale complex currently employs 583, a spokesman told The Bellingham Herald.

Following the latest cuts “Alcoa will have closed, divested or curtailed 45 percent of total smelting operating capacity since 2007,” the company said.

The two smelters had been idle before Alcoa restarted them in 2011.

Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement that “today’s news is a tough blow for many hard-working Washingtonians and communities like Ferndale and Wenatchee where Alcoa employs hundreds of men and women.”