The new owners of a Tama meatpacking plant say it’ll be open within a few more days. The Iowa Quality Beef Supply Network started taking applications in February but hasn’t hired any workers yet. Debbie Collum-Calderwood heads Tama County Economic Development and says that will change between now and July 21st. She says they plan to hire 300 to start with for all levels of work and management, and after a “ramp-up” time of six to 8 weeks, to have 600 in all. The closing of Tama’s casino threw 13-hundred people out of work and hundreds lost their jobs earlier when the packing plant closed. Still, Collum-Calderwood says many workers are expected to move to Tama from elsewhere to take jobs at the meatpacking plant and rental housing is in demand. The board’s working with Tama County Realtors and compiling units for rent within about 25 miles of the plant and giving the info to Iowa Quality Beef to help their employees. The casino closed and left 13-hundred workers out of jobs, and even with Iowa Quality Beef planning to reopen, she says lots of people in the county aren’t getting paychecks now, which has hit the whole region hard. The Iowa Quality Beef Supply Cooperative, a group of producer-owners, was organized by the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association.
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