Category

Project Roundup

Manufacturing work moving from Asia to Cedar Rapids, Iowa

General Mills, one of the world’s largest food companies recently completed the installation of additional lines to produce Fruit Gushers at their plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The location was chosen for transfer of a line from a closed Asia location. In addition to the Fruit Gushers products, the facility produces Fruit by the Foot, nearly 1 million lbs. per day of Cheerios and Lucky Charms along with 99% of the Betty Crocker frosting goods. The operation in Cedar Rapids has 650 employees and has received nearly $1 billion in capital since 2004.

General Mills remains focused on serving food people love through category-leading brands include Cheerios, Yoplait, Nature Valley, Häagen-Dazs, Betty Crocker, Progresso, Totino’s, Pillsbury, Old El Paso and more.

Third local expansion in 14 years for German pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturer

German pharmaceutical excipients manufacturer JRS PHARMA GmbH & Co. KG announced that they will be expanding the U.S. subsidiary’s, JRS Pharma, plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The $15.9 million project calls for an increase in production space and associated tank farm. It will add 18 employees to the current 75 staff members.

This is the company’s third expansion since locating to the community in 2006. JRS Pharma is a leader in the manufacturing of excipients, offering a complete portfolio of solutions for the global health science industry. JRS PHARMA GmbH & Co. KG and its subsidiaries have 31 production facilities over four continents.

Defense aerospace facility coming to Cedar Rapids, Iowa

United Kingdom based BAE Systems, Inc. announced that they will be investing $139 million in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to build a new 200,000 square foot classified defense aerospace facility. The 650 new employees will design and manufacture mission-critical GPS receivers that are compliant with military M-Code, anti-jamming, and anti-spoofing requirements.

Construction is planned to start this October with occupation scheduled for September 2022. The City of Cedar Rapids will incentivize the project with infrastructure improvements around the facility and a 75% property tax exemption over 20 years.

BAE Systems is a global defense, aerospace and security company employing 83,100 people worldwide and 30,500 in the United States. The company helps their customers to stay a step ahead when protecting people and national security, critical infrastructure and vital information.

Iowa adds feed mill, expands plastic packaging manufacturer

Landus Cooperative grows feed business in Yale, Iowa

Landus Cooperative, a farmer-owned agricultural cooperative headquartered in Ames, Iowa, announced plans to increase their swine and beef feed business.  The company is investing $22 million in a new 400,000-ton mill on an 80-acre site in Yale, Iowa. The project will add 18 positions to the current 725 full-time employees.

Landus Cooperative provides bulk feed and toll-milling services to the swine, beef, dairy cow and poultry production industries. The company has a global reach, distributing their line of specialized, high-quality, soybean meal-based products across six continents.

Amcor Rigid Plastics to expand in Ames, Iowa

Amcor Rigid Plastics, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of rigid plastic packaging for the food, beverage, spirits, personal/home care and healthcare industries, is expanding their manufacturing operation in Ames, Iowa. This project represents a $3.1 million capital investment that will bring six new production lines and result in the creation of 42 new employment opportunities.

Amcor operates 59 facilities in 13 countries including an additional plant served by Alliant Energy in Centerville, Iowa.

Wellman Dynamics to grow in Creston, Iowa

Wellman Dynamics announced the purchase of a 315,000-square-foot manufacturing, office and warehouse space along with approximately 20 acres of land in Creston, Iowa. Initial production at the new facility will include castings manufactured by Wellman for the CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter being manufactured for the U.S. Marine Corps.

Work on the $45 million project will take place over the next 12 months with plans for production in the facility targeted for 2022. Wellman Dynamics will create 50 new jobs to add to their existing workforce of 400 people.

Two manufacturers expand production in Clinton, Iowa

Nestle Purina Petcare and Timken Drives, LLC announced expansions in Clinton, Iowa that combined will lead to the creation of 157 new jobs. This economic growth is a great thing in Clinton County, which has one of the highest rates of unemployment in Iowa at 4.1%.

Nestlè Purina PetCare plans to invest $140 million to expand its factory in Clinton, Iowa. Purina is the largest dry dog and cat food maker in the United States. Purina’s dry dog food business has grown 7% in the past year, which is twice the rate of the category overall.

Clinton has operated a Purina pet food factory since 1969. The plant is a hub for innovation and design of new products, in addition to producing flagship brands including Purina ONE and Purina Pro Plan, both of which are experiencing double-digit growth. The expansion will add new processing and packaging lines for the production of “dry,” or kibble-based, pet foods and lead to total job growth of 73 positions. “Purina is proud to produce high quality products for dogs and cats at our Clinton factory.” said John Bear, Vice President of Manufacturing, Purina.

Timken Drives, LLC, a subsidiary of Fulton, Illinois based Timken Company, is relocating its auger manufacturing operations to Clinton, Iowa. Timken Drives manufactures agricultural conveyor chains and auger assemblies for the off-highway mobile industrial market.  The new operation will create 84 new jobs.

United Alloy headquarters in Janesville, Wisc. gears up to support Texas expansion

United Alloy, Inc., based in Janesville, Wisc., is expanding into Seguin, Texas with a new $35 million facility. The 200,000 square-foot facility will sit on a 27-acre site and employ 100 people.

The headquarters plant in Janesville is currently installing the first of three robotic material handling systems that will provide additional capacity to supply the new facility in Texas. The equipment in Janesville will be operational once training of 30 additional team members is complete.

United Alloy made the decision to continue growing the Janesville plant, the hub of the US operations, due to their ability to draw highly skilled employees within the market. Blackhawk Technical College has partnered with United Alloy Academy training welders and fabricators the last five years. United Alloy has grown to over 400 employees in Janesville and is the largest welding, robotic welding and powder coating workforce in the Midwest.

The 20-year-old United Alloy location in Janesville has expanded three times in the last seven years. “United Alloy is growing because of our track record of attracting Wisconsin employees capable of building a world class organization,” said Tom Baer, United Alloy Chairman.

United Alloy, Inc. is a serial production metal fabrication and powder coating company that produces leak-proof metal fuel tanks, reservoirs, skids, frames, chassis, trailers, heavy metal fabrications and complex weldments.

Food manufacturers flourish across Iowa and Wisconsin

Alliant Energy continues to draw the attention of global leaders in the food production industry, serving 21 of the 100 largest food manufacturers in the nation across our Iowa and Wisconsin service area.  Our company prides itself in being an energy solutions partner that helps food production customers mitigate the risks of keeping pace with the rapidly changing consumer demands within the industry.

If your food-processing clients are looking to expand or relocate into the Midwest market, you will find that Alliant Energy understands the specific needs of the industry. In addition, our locale provides a motivated and well-educated workforce. The area offers a steady stream of food specialists through Iowa State University’s Food Science Program and the University of Wisconsin-Madison undergraduate and master’s degrees in food science.

We’re currently working with three of our food-processing customers to launch expansion projects. Collectively, these projects will create 482 new jobs and inject over $90 million in new capital investment.

Conagra expands Ft. Madison, Iowa plant

Conagra Brands’ plant in Fort Madison, Iowa makes Vienna Sausage, Nalley Chili and Brooks Beans. The expansion involves a significant investment of machinery and equipment to produce canned beans. Fort Madison was selected because it has the best production capabilities and is geographically situated closer to the source of ingredients.

Conagra Brands is one of North America’s leading branded foods companies. Conagra Brands’ portfolio includes Birds Eye, Healthy Choice, Banquet, Marie Callender’s, Slim Jim, Chef Boyardee and Gardein.

Lopez Foods adds facility in Cherokee, Iowa for meat line

Lopez Foods recently purchased and will remodel a 285,000 square-foot facility in Cherokee, Iowa. Lopez Foods will produce Canadian-style bacon logs, fresh and frozen beef patties and other new product lines to be sold to an international restaurant chain.

Lopez Foods is recognized among the top meat companies in the United States and is an industry leader in supplying a variety of protein products to the largest restaurant chains and retailers in the world.

BioSpringer expands yeast extract facility in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

BioSpringer North America is expanding its production facility in Cedar Rapids, Iowa where it produces yeast extract. Like herbs and spices, yeast extract is used by food companies and restaurants as an aromatic ingredient to design more flavorful food and beverage recipes, such as soups, sauces, seasonings and snacks but also in ready-made meals, meats and more.

BioSpringer’s operation in Cedar Rapids is part of a complex where parent company LeSaffre produces Red Star yeast products and sister company Saf-Pro manufactures specialty blends and concentrates to serve a growing demand in the artisanal baked goods category.

Online retail giant Amazon is coming to Beloit, Wisconsin

Online retailer Amazon began moving dirt on an expansive 1 million-square-foot distribution center on an 80-acre site in Beloit’s Gateway Business Park, near the interchange of I-43 and I-90-39. The estimated $130 million project is projected to create 1,000 new jobs. Construction is expected to be completed by September 2020.

Amazon marks the largest project in the 18-year history of the Gateway Business Park. Current businesses include Chicago Fittings, Kettle Foods, Kerry Ingredients, The Morse Group, NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes, Specialty Tools, Staples Order Fulfillment Center and Pratt Industries.

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.