OEDC Welcomes Vermeer to Ottumwa
Tuesday, June 04, 2019
Late in the afternoon of July 19, 2018, Vermeer Corporation, based in Pella, experienced the devastating effects of an EF-3 tornado. Plant 5 and 6, along with the waste management facility, were a total loss. Something would need to be done to help production get back to "normal" as soon as possible. The morning after, company CEO Jason Andringa vowed to get the team back to work within 45 days, which was accomplished, albeit in some much different spaces. And that's where Ottumwa comes into the picture...
Vermeer engineers are now working in temporary quarters outside the Vermeer Mile, thanks to C&C Manufacturing, a fairly new business themselves in the airport industrial complex. Offering a 75,000 square foot building not in use by their own team, C&C leased the facility for one year, giving Vermeer the ability to relocate design engineers to Ottumwa and start October 1, 2018. With 40 employees on site, Director of Manufacturing Quality Larry Ehliger says their primary activities here include designing new weld fixtures, prototyping, and some assembly. "We appreciate the assistance of C&C for the site, and to the City for arranging a fiber connection able to accommodate our need to send/receive large file sizes." And while their 2nd year lease won't expire until October, 2020, they may be able to return to the Vermeer Mile sometime in first quarter of the same year.
OEDC Director Sharon Stroh officially welcomed them this Spring by delivering pizza to the staff, allowing them a chance to appreciate local hospitality. "We hope they will remember their stay in Ottumwa kindly, and if they ever need our services again, Ottumwa is open for Vermeer business" adds Stroh.