Production glut, China issues lead to big layoffs at Hemlock

The bright promise of early 2009 dimmed considerably Monday at Hemlock Semiconductor, which said it was laying off 300 people in Clarksville and another 100 in Michigan in the face of oversupply in the polysilicon industry and the threat of Chinese tariffs against its products. Hemlock's $1 billion-plus plant in Montgomery County had been scheduled to begin production of materials for use in solar panels later this year but may never get cranking if the solar energy industry's finances don't improve in a big way.

Clarksville-area officials put on a brave face Monday, saying other industrial projects will still bring jobs to the area. Meanwhile, WPLN's Blake Farmer points out that the incentive millions paid by the state to Hemlock aren't coming back.