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tracygehrts@alliantenergy.com

Minnesota-based company expands to Mason City, Iowa

Minnesotas Bushel BoyBushel Boy Farms has broken ground on a nearly 17-acre greenhouse with a 50,000 square foot packing house along I-35 in Mason City, Iowa. The company has acquired 50 acres for the initial $35 million project that is expected to be operational by fall of 2020. The 50 new employees will grow beefsteak, vine-on and grape tomatoes that will be shipped to customers across the Upper Midwest, including the Hy-Vee perishable distribution center in Iowa.

Bushel Boy tomatoes are grown from seeds with each plant producing fresh tomatoes for about 27 weeks in a row. The fruit is grown in special greenhouses, pollinated by bees, then ripened and shipped on the vine to stores within about 24 hours of being picked. Bushel Boy’s tomatoes possess a similar fresh garden flavor and red, ripe color to homegrown tomatoes but are available on local shelves year-round.

Iowa and Wisconsin continue to post high marks in 2019 Manufacturing Scorecard

Iowa and Wisconsin maintained stellar grades in manufacturing, logistics industry health, expected financial gap and human capital, according to Ball State University’s latest Manufacturing Scorecard report. Iowa earned an overall A grade while Wisconsin received and overall mark of B.

The 2019 Manufacturing Scorecard from Ball State’s Center for Business and Economic Research analyzes how each state ranks among its peers in several areas of the economy that underpin the success of manufacturing and logistics.

Manufacturing Industry Health – Iowa (A) Wisconsin (B)

  • The location of manufacturing depends more on local factors such as the quality and availability of the labor force, transportation infrastructure, nonwage labor costs, access to innovative technologies, and the cost of doing business.

Logistics Industry Health – Iowa (B) Wisconsin (B)

  • The movement of goods is of central importance to the production of goods. Without a robust logistics industry, manufacturing and commodity production will not occur.

Human Capital – Iowa (A) Wisconsin (B)

  • No factor matters more to businesses than the quality and availability of labor. Workers represent the largest single cost of doing business.

Alliant Energy’s Growth Sites take the spotlight at biotechnology conference

Alliant Energy recently partnered with the Iowa Economic Development Authority for a sponsorship at the 2019 BIO World Congress in Des Moines, Iowa. The event attracted 572 companies from 35 countries within the biotechnology industry. Alliant Energy’s Economic Development team represented our Growth Sites including the Big Cedar Industrial Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and the Prairie View Industrial Center in Ames, Iowa to prospective companies.

Our team also co-hosted a reception with Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Economic Development Authority with 150 conference attendees. John Larsen, Chairman, President and CEO, spoke about Alliant Energy’s connection to the industry and the many benefits of establishing a production facility in our service area.

“Alliant Energy is honored to power some of the world’s largest bio-tech companies with our electricity and natural gas. Our 2,100 Iowa employees are proud to support the growth of biotechnology in the state,” John Larsen told attendees.

Companies throughout Alliant Energy’s service area are capitalizing on the agriculture and research capabilities in plant, animal and human biosciences that Wisconsin and Iowa provide. Alliant Energy is an energy solution partner to globally recognized companies including Cargill, ADM, DuPont Industrial Biosciences, Roquette, Ajinomoto USA Inc., Ingredion Inc., Verbio, Catalent Biologicals and Wacker Chemie.

BIO is the world’s largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions and state biotechnology centers. The organization focuses on making advancements every day to deliver more nutritious food, cleaner-burning biofuels, healthier animals, cleaner water and a better standard of living for families across the state.

Top companies locate at Alliant Energy’s Prairie View Industrial Center in Ames, Iowa

Ames, Iowa is garnering more than its share of national recognition by quickly becoming a premiere location for food processing and biofuels. VERBIO, Lincolnway Energy and Barilla are all anchor tenants of Alliant Energy’s 730-acre Prairie View Industrial Center.

VERBIO, a leading manufacturer in the German biofuels market recently brought their technology to the area to produce renewable natural gas (RNG) made from corn stover and other cellulosic crop residues. Lincolnway Energy, a name plate 50 million-gallon-per year dry mill ethanol plant, assures a strong future for clean, renewable and domestically produced fuels. Pasta maker Barilla was attracted to the community by the unparalleled work ethic of Iowans and the agricultural expertise of Iowa State University.

These companies were drawn to Story County with its central location and healthy, growing economy. Ames is at the epicenter of these high growth industries with immediate access to Interstate 35, a major cross-country, north-south route connecting Mexico and Canada.

Land is still available at Prairie View Industrial Center for your next big project. The site has double-rail access and has been certified shovel ready to expedite the construction process and mitigate all development risks. When you locate at Prairie View Industrial Center, you partner with a sustainable energy provider. Alliant Energy is transforming its energy fleet to sustainable fuel sources with significant investments in wind energy.

Duluth Trading Company opening new distribution center in Dubuque, Iowa

Duluth Trading Company, which is based in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin, will be opening a 102,000 square foot distribution center in Dubuque, Iowa. The facility will employ 12 full-time staff, as well as 200 or more seasonal part-time employees during the company’s peak sales season which runs from August through February. The new operation will give more capacity to the company’s e-commerce distribution along with providing distribution to the company’s 46 brick-and-mortar locations.

Duluth Trading Company is a 30-year-old lifestyle brand of men’s and women’s casual wear, workwear and accessories. Today, Duluth Trading Company stores are as far west as Colorado and as far east as Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The retailer has been in a high growth mode opening 16 new retail stores this fiscal year.

Kraft Heinz to launch new Ready-to-Eat dessert line in Mason City, Iowa

The Kraft Heinz facility in Mason City, Iowa will be growing and adding jobs as the company retools the facility to produce a new slate of ready-to-eat dessert products. The $62.8 million development includes new processing and packaging equipment, and the implementation of a new, ammonia-free refrigeration system. The project will create 32 jobs, bringing total employment at the plant to 171.

The Kraft Heinz Company is the third-largest food and beverage company in North America and the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world. They have employees in 40 countries and sell products in nearly 200 countries. In addition to the Mason City operations, Alliant Energy also provides power to Kraft Heinz facilities in Cedar Rapids and Muscatine, Iowa and Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.

New Jersey based Catalent adding 100 jobs in Madison, Wisconsin

Global contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) leader, Catalent Biologicals, is planning a $100 million expansion at their Madison, Wisconsin facility. The company develops and manufactures pharmaceutical products made from biological sources. Growth in Madison will accommodate increased capacity of mammalian cell culture products.

The 80,000 square foot addition in Madison will house 145 new employees. When the project is completed in mid-2021, total employment at the Madison operation will reach nearly 450. Company-wide, Catalent has more than 11,000 employees at over 30 facilities across five continents, and had $2.5 billion in revenue in fiscal 2018.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa gains Iowa Fluid Power expansion

Iowa Fluid Power (IFP) announced plans for a $5.7 million development in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A 45,000 square foot expansion will create over 30% additional manufacturing and distribution space to the company’s current facility. The project will create 12 new jobs in engineering, sales engineering and other technically skilled positions.

IFP is a headquartered in Cedar Rapids with sales offices and warehouses in Minneapolis, Kansas City and Houston. The company’s motion control systems can be found on a wide variety of equipment, including agricultural vehicles, industrial systems for heavy industry, oil and gas extraction, medical, construction and even military systems.

The project is scheduled to be completed in August.