Former Fairfield Castings plant has new owner and an $855,000 state assistance package.
The former Fairfield Castings LLC, Fairfield, Iowa, is now under new ownership and has received an $855,000 “assistance package” from the Iowa Economic Development Authority [IEDA].
In late June 2017, Fairfield Castings sent letters to more than 200 employees at the iron foundry that they would be laid off with “no plans for a recall,” according to an online article by the Ottumwa (Iowa) Courier.
Within days of that news report, the Fairfield Ledger website reported that the foundry had a new ownership group calling itself Faircast Inc., after an auction of the foundry’s assets was conducted.
The assistance package from the IEDA was announced in late July and consists of $600,000 in direct financial assistance as well as $255,000 in investment tax credits. The financial assistance package was granted through the High Quality Jobs [HQJ] program, says the authority.
IEDA says the HQJ program provides assistance to companies creating new jobs and investing in equipment or facilities in Iowa. Faircast has rehired 89 people at the foundry and plans to make a capital investment totaling $3.2 million. “This award will help us catch up with maintenance items that have been neglected,” says Roger Vorhies, president of Faircast, Inc. “As we focus on stabilizing the foundry, we also are setting our sights on growing the company back to its previous levels. This assistance will be essential to making that happen.”
Nearly all 221 employees were laid off from the foundry in late June after the lender for the previous ownership exercised Article 9 foreclosure proceedings. After purchasing Fairfield Casting assets at auction, Faircast restarted production on July 6, 2017.
The foundry produces ductile and gray iron green sand castings for the agricultural, rail, construction and automotive industries and has been located in Fairfield for more than 105 years. The company’s scrap-fed melt shop can produce up to 170,000 tons per year of iron.
We are proud to support the Faircast Inc. foundry project in Fairfield,” says Debi Durham, director of the IEDA. “The board understands the importance of supporting local companies and giving them the tools they need to keep operations in the state. Keeping this foundry in Iowa so that it can continue to provide good jobs is important to Iowa’s economy.”