WinnebagoWinnebago Industries is expanding its presence in Iowa. The Forest City-based recreational vehicle manufacturer plans to open a subassembly plant in Waverly. Winnebago CEO Randy Potts says no jobs will be lost at the Forest City plant and calls the move an opportunity for the company to find workers that they are having trouble finding in north-central Iowa.

“The intention is to free up people in Forest City to do other tasks,” Potts says. “By relocating this work, we’re not moving the jobs, we’re just moving the work. This is an effort to free up more people in Forest City to do the work that isn’t very practical to relocate.” The company is purchasing a 33,400 square foot building in Waverly that will be used for wire loom assembly activities for the company’s motor homes.

Potts says Winnebago isn’t the only company dealing with a shortage of skilled workers. “This isn’t an issue that’s unique to Winnebago and north-central Iowa, I think you’re seeing it pretty much nationally and I know you’re seeing it in other parts of Iowa – where manufacturers are growing quickly and having a hard time finding the people to help with that growth,” Potts says.

The plant in Waverly is expected to employ around 70 people. Potts says Winnebago will spend between $1.5 million and $2 million to purchase the building and start operations.

(Reporting by Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City)