Iowa’s Winnebago Industries held a groundbreaking this (Monday) morning for a new “shipout center” in north-central Iowa. Spokeswoman Kelly Harms says the 46-thousand-square-foot, two-point-three-Million dollar building will include 25 stalls for pre-delivery inspection of the company’s recreational vehicles, and areas for water testing, alignment and undercoating. Harms says the state-of-the-art building will be nice for employees to work in with high ceilings, ample lighting, and “everything a brand-new building can provide.” The shipout center will help ensure quality of the Winnebago products after they’re completed. Harms says the 46-thousand-square-foot building on Winnebago’s Forest City campus cost about two-point-three-Million dollars to build and it’s a big morale booster. Winnebago CEO Bruce Herzke says much of the R-V industry’s taken a hit the last two or three years but Winnebago’s business just kept improving. Hertzke says they’ve picked up market share and grown a little more than the industry, so the workforce he’s proud of will get “the proper tools and equipment so they can continue to improve.” Hertzke says while some times will be busier than others, but he expects growth to continue — and he explains that’s why the company has factories in four towns. At Charles City, Hampton and Lorimor, there wouldn’t be enough people in any single town as business expands, so he says with four locations in Iowa, the labor force can grow in all four regions to help the company keep up with the market. Herzke adds this quarter the company hit an all-time high with 42-hundred employees. Winnebago company officials hope the shipout center will be complete by spring.
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