INDEPENDENCE — As a business that has been operating since 1962, it was only a matter of time before Geater Machining & Manufacturing needed to expand to support their growth, even after a previous expansion project in 2015.
The business, located at 901 12th St. N.E., creates parts for aerospace technology and electronic industries and is currently working on plans to add 30,000 square feet to its facilities.
That will eventually create nearly 30 high-quality job opportunities — with wages beginning at $18 per hour and including several benefits — over the next few months.
This made the company eligible to apply for financial assistance from the High Quality Jobs program through the Iowa Economic Development Authority, which awarded Geater support in the form of tax credits.
“Geater’s expansion is essentially a $1 million investment back into the local economy by the company,” Geater Controller Tyler Schurtz said in a press release. “We are building, buying new equipment, investing in technology, research and development and hiring to accommodate increasing production demand and secure our position as a supplier of choice for the future.”
While the main requirement in being awarded the tax credits includes applying prior to the beginning of the expansion, it also requires the company to obtain a local sponsor.
To meet that requirement, the Independence City Council will consider giving Geater a tax abatement match up to $90,000 over the next five years. Council members will vote on the decision in a meeting Aug. 14.
“In past situation, the city council supports local businesses. It’s a win-win situation for the city,” Jennifer Heller, Geater’s marketing consultant said. “Geater is putting millions of dollars of investments into the economy by creating these jobs with superior wages and full benefits. There’s a lot to be said for that these days.”
Geater’s investment in the community has already begun with an additional 6,000-square-foot office expansion project in order to house leadership positions and unify the actively expanding sheet metal and machining engineering into one design engineering department.
These departments work closely together but are on different ends of the current facilities. Therefore, putting them into one centralized location will improve efficiency and quality control as well as deliver more capacity to accomplish pre-engineering on jobs before they progress to the production floor.
“Geater Machining and Manufacturing is a well-run, quality-driven company that respects and rewards their employees,” George Lake, the director of Buchanan County Economic Development Commission, said. “They are an economic and community development multiplier for the entire region because they provide good jobs and give back to their communities. We are blessed to have Geater’s and I think it safe to say that their future looks bright.”