Manufacturer expands, adds jobs to southeast Iowa - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Manufacturer expands, adds jobs to southeast Iowa

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Crews welding the racks. Crews welding the racks.
Company has expanded over the years and more jobs have been added. Company has expanded over the years and more jobs have been added.
Scott Weiss looking over rack designs at the plant. Scott Weiss looking over rack designs at the plant.
Map of the new warehouse being built. Map of the new warehouse being built.
A look at the new powder coat painting facility. A look at the new powder coat painting facility.
FORT MADISON, Ia. (WGEM) -

The manufacturing industry is booming in Fort Madison, Iowa. 

Another local plant is expanding, which means more jobs in an area with high unemployment. 

The plant , Gregory Design and Manufacturing, is located a few miles south of downtown Fort Madison and managers hope to continue this growth for years to come. 

Hundreds of racks are packed and shipped out to the automotive plants across the country.

"It's pretty cool. When I started here, there were 10-15 people," Designer Scott Weiss said.  

But today it takes a team of almost 200 people to get those products out. The plant makes racks, which are dashboard, seat, and window designs for GM, Ford, Chrysler and others. 

"They are prototype parts that people won't see until that following and we are building them right now," Weiss said.  

Weiss has been working at the plant for 26 years. He moved up the ladder and said the jobs help families a lot. 

"I think the owner has a lot of faith in the community and likes to see a lot of hands on workers, I am happy about that," Weiss said. 

The company plans to expand and put a 45,000 square warehouse to increase production.

The powder coat painting facility was finished a couple of months ago and its one of the largest in the Midwest. 

"We empathize on the folks on the production floor," General Manager Bill Coppage said. "Our goal has been always to keep them employed, to not go the normal manufacturing status of large layoffs, you're working today but not a month from now. " 

Gregory hopes to grow for years to come.

"We are our best kept secret over here," Coppage said. "We are in the top of rack manufacturing in North America. Most people wouldn't know that about us, I believe that the industry has a bright future going forward." 

Gregory also has plants in Kahoka, Missouri AND Fayetteville, Tennessee.

All of the steel comes from U.S. Steel makers, which supplies GM, Chrysler, Nissan, and Honda. 

Production numbers at the plant per week are 800 to 1,000 racks.

The employees use an average of 20 truck loads of steel per week. 

The project is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

The company said you can apply for jobs online or at the plant. 

CLICK HERE to apply or call the plant at (319) 463-7700. 

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