New Aluminum Casting Plant Slated for New Hampton, Iowa

A Minnesota-based company has selected New Hampton for a new aluminum casting plant that would serve Harley-Davidson and other well-known customers.

Progress Casting Group Inc. of Plymouth, Minn., has signed a development agreement to locate the plant in New Hampton, the company said in a joint statement with local officials Thursday.

The new plant is expected to create up to 150 new jobs within a three-year period, said Gary Obele, vice president of administration for Progress Casting.

The decision remains contingent upon final approval of local incentives. The Iowa Department of Economic Development Board has already approved a package of incentives that includes $500,000 from the Community Economic Betterment Account Program and $200,000 from the Physical Infrastructure Assistance Program.

Progress Casting President Robert Silhacek cited the support of local officials, along with the available labor pool, as factors that swayed the company's selection of New Hampton.

Progress Casting had been evaluating other sites in Iowa, South Dakota and Minnesota.

The company plans to invest over $10 million, including $6 million for an 85,000- square-foot building and $4 million in new equipment.

The building's design will allow for future expansion to 180,000 square feet within five years.

"We will have a very competitive wage and benefit program and look forward to hiring a hardworking, productive work force from the area and surrounding communities," Obele said.

Bob Soukup, New Hampton's economic development director, said the plant will be in the New Hampton South Industrial Park.

The completion of about $1 million in water and sewer extensions to the park last year enabled the city to offer Progress Casting a site that was ready to develop, Soukup said, proving an advantage for New Hampton over other sites.

Progress Casting is part of the family-owned Acrometal family of companies, which dates back to 1937.