Two companies are scheduled to break ground on big projects this week in the eastern Iowa town of Marion. ELPLAST manufactures a brand of press to close zippers on flexible packaging, such as those used on a bag of shredded cheese.
ELPLAST, based in Poland, is opening its North American headquarters in Marion. Chad Rupert, president of ELPLAST America, told KCRG-TV that he lived in Chicago, but moved to Iowa when his wife accepted a job in Cedar Rapids.
“When we started looking for property (for ELPLAST), we looked in Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha, and Marion,” Rupert said. “To be honest the city of Marion, from a business perspective, was doing all the right things. They’re very cooperative and it was a pretty easy decision.”
ELPLAST will break ground Wednesday on a 33,000-square-foot facility in the new Marion Enterprise Center, located off Highway 151 just east of town. Rupert anticipates the first phase of the project will create 30 to 35 jobs, but the operation could grow to as many to 80 jobs.
Legacy Manufacturing is also moving into the Marion Enterprise Center. The longtime Marion company makes lubrication equipment, water and air hoses, and other products. Mark Weems, President of Legacy Manufacturing, says they’re building a $10.4 million facility that will more than double their current space.
The hope is that the new building will allow them to make more parts for their products, rather than getting them from overseas. “This facility is critical because it will give us the space to bring American manufacturing jobs back to Marion, Iowa,” Weems said. Legacy plans to break ground on the 125,000-square-foot building late this afternoon.
The Marion Enterprise Center is a 180 acre industrial park. Legacy Manufacturing and ELPLAST are the first two tenants. There are still approximately 150 acres for sale at the industrial park.
By Heather Hubbs, KCRG-TV