Centro Inc. is returning to its rural roots with a new plant in Cascade, a small town just southwest of Dubuque. The North Liberty-based custom rotational molding company that makes parts for major manufacturers is implementing a $2.5 million expansion of a 30,000-square-foot building in the Cascade Industrial Park. “We’ve had very strong demand in […]
- Unparalleled business coverage of the Iowa City / Cedar Rapids corridor.
- Immediate access to subscriber-only content on our website.
- 26 issues per year delivered digitally, in print or both.
- Support locally owned and operated journalism.
Centro Inc. is returning to its rural roots with a new plant in Cascade, a small town just southwest of Dubuque.
The North Liberty-based custom rotational molding company that makes parts for major manufacturers is implementing a $2.5 million expansion of a 30,000-square-foot building in the Cascade Industrial Park.
“We’ve had very strong demand in our primary markets, which are construction, lawn and garden, and agriculture,” said Centro Chief Financial Officer Nick Hansen. “We were looking for some additional capacity, hoping to find a community that was more of a rural community near North Liberty. That kind of goes back to Centro’s roots. The business started in Oxford in a farming community.”
The project was awarded tax benefits in March through the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) High Quality Jobs program. It is expected to create 24 jobs, of which 16 are incented at a qualifying wage of $19.41. At a special meeting March 30, the Cascade City Council also approved a property tax reimbursement application and an estimated $300,000 in economic development incentives for the project.
Centro’s goal is to run two machines in the facility within three years, Mr. Hansen said. Initially, there will be up to 15 people hired for three shifts for the first machine, adding nine more employees when the second machine is installed.
“We’re going to create 24 jobs within three years at the most,” he said. “I think it’ll be considerably faster than that, but there’s going to be one overall leader for the business unit and one BPO, which is a business process leader. The rest of the group will mostly be machine operators, depending on how much the facility grows over time.”
Centro planned to close on the building April 30 and will begin improvements such as electrical work and adding offices, restrooms and a sprinkler system. The goal is to have production up and running by mid- to late June, Mr. Hansen said.
Although the scope of the customer base is still undefined, a significant amount of John Deere parts will be made at the Cascade plant. Centro specializes in custom plastic rotomolded parts for the lawn and garden, agriculture and construction markets.
While the job market for positions like machine operators and finishers is tight, the manufacturing sector provides numerous opportunities to succeed and advance.
“It is a manual type of labor in a fast-paced environment,” said Centro Director of Sales and Marketing Ty Windy. “Our associates have grown from coming in as a finisher, all the way up to leaders throughout our organization. I think this is really an exciting time for us, because not only are we growing with our customer base, but also with our associates.”
The Cascade plant will be Centro’s 11th facility and will likely not be its last.
“Given how strong our customer demand is, I think we’ll continue to explore opportunities to add capacity as it makes sense, whether that be manufacturing on-site with our customers or opening up new independent facilities,” Mr. Hansen said.