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Industrial growth: Three-year review

Industrial growth is paramount to the communities we serve, making economic development vital to our success. Our team is here to provide support to the economic development partners and communities we serve.

Since 2018, we have successfully assisted in major expansions and the recruitment of new companies throughout our Iowa and Wisconsin markets.

  • 133 industrial projects across our service area.
  • Over $3.7 billion in new capital investment.
  • Nearly 9,000 new jobs.
  • 37 new manufacturing operations.

95 industry expansions, with concentration in the following sectors:

  • 28 food processing and ingredients projects.
  • 21 original equipment manufacturer projects, primarily metal equipment producers.

Projected future of high growth industries
The following is a general overview of what to expect going forward with metal equipment producers and food processing and ingredients.

Metal equipment producers
Quality is key within the fabricated metal product manufacturing industry with companies taking advantage of changing technologies. The utilization of automated cutting and robotic welding equipment will optimize quality at a much faster rate than traditional fabrication processes. Human error is significantly reduced through robotic welding, which yields a low rejection rate.

In addition to robotic equipment, companies have invested in technology that delivers data to their customers on job status, enhancing accountability and reliability. Another benefit of automation technology is that it can maintain consistent employment levels.

Food processing and ingredients
Food processing is an essential industry. Expansion to be closer to customers is a key growth driver. Fundamental challenges of food and beverage production haven’t changed over the last few years. The following is a snapshot of the top trends expected to shape the next five years:

  1. Automation/robotics/artificial intelligence.
  2. Efficiency/maintenance/new equipment.
  3. Customer demand/new products.
  4. Decline in workers/worker availability.
  5. Wage increases/retaining workers.

With the current conditions of these industries, specifically around technology and workforce, the time for companies to grow and flourish is now if they are willing to invest in both their equipment and their employees. For our economic development partners, there is an opportunity to reach out to existing companies in metalworking and fabrication, and the food processing and ingredients sectors to see what help they require to grow and prosper.

To learn more about our industry insights, contact a member of our economic team.

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