The Iowa Department of Economic Development has approved tax incentives to help Deere and Company modernize a plant in Waterloo. Deere spokesperson Ken Golden says the foundry currently employs 470 people and the state’s assistance requires a minum of 295 jobs to be retained.
“A company like John Deere certainly has options when it decides whether it should modernize a plant or perhaps replace that plant…whether it be through outsourcing or building elsewhere,” Golden told Radio Iowa.
The John Deere Foundry in Waterloo opened in 1972. The plant produces castings for a host of agricultural equipment. Golden says the tax incentives from the state were key to the $100 million plant improvement project. The tax credits for the project amount to nearly $15 million.
“Iowa wanted to keep these jobs and we wanted to make sure that it made sense for us, from a total business sense, to keep them in Waterloo,” Golden said.
The modernization work will take place over the next 4 to 5 years. Golden says the project will improve the plant’s manufacturing capacity and flexibility. Deere employs around 12,700 Iowans around the state.