TPI Composites announced today that the company will open a wind blade manufacturing facility for its windmills in Newton. The company is headquartered in Warren, Rhode Island, and the new plant in Iowa is expected to create about 500 jobs.
Jasper County economic development corporation executive director Craig Hamilton says today’s announcement is significant for Newton and the county as a whole after losing the Maytag plant.
Hamilton says it will be a tremendous shot in the arm, as they never expected to recover all the jobs at once, but says this is a great start and gives people a lot of hope. Some of the Maytag jobs were lost to Mexico, but Hamilton says this time Newton was chosen ahead of a foreign country. He says they were looking at a company outside the U.S., but says the transportation cost difference is what put Newton at the top of the list.
Newton Development Corporation executive director, Kim Didier, says the main reason TPI is coming, is because of the potential labor force. She says Newton has "a well skilled, trained manufacturing workforce," which has a lot to do with attracting a business. Didier says the community and quality of life add to the whole package.
Didier says TPI’s initial visit centered around the now vacant Maytag plant — but given the company’s manufacturing process, that building would have taken some costly renovations. Didier says the company was convinced by the community and then approached Newton officials about a new building. Didier says attracting a large employer is very difficult.
Didier says it’s a very competitive business, and getting them to town is almost like "winning the lottery." The Governor and several other officials were on hand for the announcement today in Newton. The state approved some 2 million dollars in economic incentives for the plant in July.