NEWS: With a visit to Altec, Inc. in Osceola, Iowa last month, Governor Terry Branstad doubled up the perception of positive manufacturing growth throughout Southern Iowa. Quickly following up an agribusiness / manufacturing visit to the community from Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey, the feeling in Osceola and surrounding communities is recent manufacturing growth is making a significant impact.
“While the market may soft right now, it’s nice to see companies creating jobs and maintaining a level of work that can support a growing community like Osceola.” Branstad said during a recent visit to Altec, Inc.
Not only was October 2nd National Manufacturer’s day, but Osceola, Iowa’s Mayor, Fred Diehl took the recognition one step further to proclaim the entire month of October as Manufacturers’ Month throughout the City.
Diehl stated, “Manufacturing jobs provide Osceola and Clarke County, Iowa with a payroll of over $51 Million in annual wages. We certainly want to recognize the importance of our manufacturing community.”
During The Governor’s visit to Altec, Branstad took the time to tour the recently updated plant and spend time discussing details of the company, it’s growth throughout it’s 86 year history, and the impact their presence in Osceola and Southern Iowa has had.
“One of the unique challenges the team had,” explained Mark Wegel, Altec’s Director of Corporate Communications, “Was restructuring the management staff and workforce from the previous company to increase efficiencies and profitability under Altec’s management to meet our production goals.”
From the buyout in January of 2014 to present day, the manufacturing output from the Osceola’s Altec facility has grown from a couple dozen fiberglass body components per month to over 100 units in recent months. This increase in volume is directly attributed to the strategies the new Altec management team created and the aggressive recruiting and candidate evaluations that have taken place over the last year.
“Our business is growing so fast that they have to try to get the right numbers in to meet the demand we’ve seen in recent months.” Wegel continued. “With the number of manufacturing programs available locally, we see this kind of growth potential not slowing down soon.”
Bill Trickey from The Clarke County Development Corporation (CCDC) also brought information to the table for the Governor and the Altec team, illustrating an aggressive trade education program being developed through the CCDC, Clarke Community Schools, and local businesses.
“We’re aware of the demand for additional workforce, and who better to train for these jobs, than local students and the community surrounding these companies? We’re making sure the students are aware of the opportunities for work in Clarke County and Osceola and that a steady supply of young people are prepared for these important positions.” Trickey stated.
Branstad went on to provide insight on additional programs available through Iowa Workforce Development and Iowa Department of Economic Development for manufacturing trade training programs and recruiting throughout the state.
Based on recent statistics from Iowa Workforce Development, the average annual manufacturing wage in Osceola is $46,483, compared to the County average of $34,000. The growth specific to this sector is partially attributed to new companies entering the community like Altec and others.
As manufacturing throughout Clarke County and Osceola continues to grow, the opportunities for job growth as well as increases in income for the community look abundant. Additional jobs and increases are projected to grow at a steady rate throughout Southern Iowa making a significant impact on the entire area.
As Branstad closed the meeting, he went on to say, “We’re excited to see companies like Altec lay foundation in our state. We’re always looking for great partnerships to help grow our communities and help future generations sustain Iowa’s way of life.”
For more information on Altec, contact Carl Christiansen, 1001 Furnas Drive, Osceola, IA 50213, phone: 641-342-3456. Website: http://www.altec.com/.
Twitter: @AltecInc #iowajobs
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