As Kraft Heinz made announcements last week of plant closings across the country, they also announced plans to build a new, state-of-the-art $200 million facility in the Quad Cities.
The Quad Cities has been in nationwide competition for this facility since June 2014, and Kraft chose the Quad Cities for two reasons: we have the best workers in the country and local economic development partners produced a competitive economic development package.
The Quad Cities Chamber, City of Davenport, Eastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC), Greater Davenport Redevelopment Corporation (GDRC), Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), and Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) all pulled together to attract the Kraft plant to the Quad Cities. We are working diligently to finalize all aspects of this project.
Working with these regional partners, the company considered hundreds of sites before choosing a 70 acre parcel in the Eastern Iowa Industrial Center that was recently designated by the State of Iowa as a certified site. This designation means that all of the preparation has been done, and the site is shovel-ready.
As part of the new development, infrastructure improvements will be done near the site. A new road will be opened up and gas and electric capacity will be increased. By adding infrastructure, we will now be able to market the surrounding sites as having high-capacity gas and electricity infrastructure in place.
"This will open up new opportunities for our region,” says Paul Rumler, Chief Economic Development Officer, Quad Cities Chamber. "Oftentimes when a major facility locates, their supply chain follows. From development opportunities around the site of the new Kraft plant, to redevelopment opportunities at the current site, this investment is just the start.”
Part of the incentive package granted by the IEDA includes $3 million toward demolishing and cleaning up the existing Kraft facility on River Dr. in Davenport.
The new facility is expected to be constructed by first quarter of 2017, and most employees are expected to retain their jobs until then. Kraft has guaranteed a minimum of 475 jobs, but that number could increase as the new facility layout and construction evolves.
Eastern Iowa Community Colleges will help retrain Kraft employees.
"Eastern Iowa Community Colleges is proud to be a part of the effort to bring a new Kraft facility to Davenport,” said EICC Chancellor Don Doucette. "To assist in this, the college has made $720,000 in training funds available to Kraft through the state-authorized Iowa Industrial New Jobs Training Program. We are very excited to work with Kraft, the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, the Iowa Department of Economic Development, and the city of Davenport to bring this new facility to the community.”
Deals like this come along once in a decade. If it weren’t for the outstanding workforce and collaboration among all of our community partners, the announcement this week would have been very different. Congratulations to the Quad Cities for being the number one choice for Kraft Heinz to make their investment.