Kalona Plastics has received a $100,000 Community Economic Betterment Account (CEBA) grant from the Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED). The award is half a loan and half forgivable loan …
Kalona Plastics has received a $100,000 Community Economic Betterment Account (CEBA) grant from the Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED). The award is half a loan and half forgivable loan and is part of Kalona Plastics $4.5 million expansion.
The project will create 40 additional jobs in Kalona, at an average starting wage of $9.35 per hour. Kirkwood Community College will train the new workers using job training funds generated from the expansion.
The expansion plans are updating of injection molding equipment and construction of a 23,300 square foot building at the Kalona plant. The plant, which opened in the spring of 1987, has 114 employees.
The firm makes handles and crisper bins for refrigerators, as well as other plastic parts for appliance manufacturers such as Maytag and Amana.
“Plastics has become one of the leading manufacturing employers in Iowa during the 1990s, employing nearly 18,000 people,” said Lois Eichacker, IDED board chairman, of Fort Madison. She added that the IDED has supported the mold maker apprenticeship-training program to upgrade the pool of skilled workers needed by these expanding industries.
CEBA provides financing to cities and counties for local business expansion projects that create or retain quality jobs.
The City of Kalona approved making the application for the grant (which must be done through a municipality) at its May 17 meeting.
As part of the grant procedures, the city will provide in-kind matching funds via a five-year tax abatement and actual physical help with grading at the site.
Part of the expansion will see creation of a 280-foot tunnel for water and other utility lines, all of which will be covered. The tunnel will be 12 foot wide and ten foot high, and the company said it can be used as an emergency shelter, such as in the event of a tornado.
The city’s matching funds will provide $16,621 through the abatement and the city services.
There also is in-kind matching from Alliant Utilities.
Kalona Plastics and a sister plant, North Liberty Plastics, are wholly owned subsidiaries of Victor Plastics, Inc.