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

SEATTLE (AP) — Alcoa is shutting down smelters in Ferndale and Wenatchee as the company cuts back its aluminum output and prepares to split the company.

The Seattle Times reports that the two Washington closures and other cuts at the company will cost about 1,500 jobs and be complete by the end of the next quarter.

Alcoa said in a statement that it will continue to operate the Intalco casthouse in Ferndale. In total, the Ferndale complex currently has 583 employees.

Company officials say after the latest round of cuts, Alcoa will have closed, divested or curtailed 45 percent of smelting operating capacity since 2007.

The two Washington smelters had been idle before the company restarted them in 2011.

“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,” said Gov. Jay Inslee in a statement.