A big step on the road forward this afternoon for Alcoa as plant managers and Iowa leaders break ground a brand new 300 million dollar plant expansion.
When it’s all done this area will be producing aluminum mostly for automotive manufacturers. With orders from the auto industry on the rise plenty of people are beginning to say this is a good sign of an economic recovery, and certainly a far cry of the pits of the recession that put millions of Americans out of work including hundreds of Alcoa employees.
“The first cut we laid off was 220 people, so it was over 300 people we had laid off from here for a while. All of them have been recalled and since then we’ve probably hired at least 400 people,” says local United Steel Workers President Skip McGill.
Every 3 months the world looks to Alcoa for it’s quarterly earnings reports, and good news like this expansion has many believing things are headed in the right direction.
“It’s great, absolutely Alcoa is a great company and they’re at the beginning of the alphabet and so they’re first and we’re glad they’ve chosen to expand here in Scott County,” says Iowa Governor Terry Branstad.
The expansion project should take about a year to complete, and all the construction will create about 150 jobs for local laborers. Grants totaling more than 3.6 million dollars from the State of Iowa and Scott County helped get the project of the ground. Once the new wing is brought online Alcoa will be hiring 150 new workers to it’s presses up and running.
“People that make a living wage can can buy a house, they can buy a car they can help send their kids to college they can be real Americans that can support with out a lot of help from government, and that’s what it’s really all about,” says Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba.