NEWTON, Iowa — Newton received news that TPI Composites, a wind blade production company in town, could lay off around 800 workers by December. Another Newton company, Arcosa Wind Towers, has also given notice it would be laying off 82 workers on Oct. 19.
“In the event that this suspension of production takes place, the City and its local economic development partners and social service providers will work to assist those residents impacted,” said Newton Mayor Michael Hansen. “Newton is a resilient community with a diversified economy, and while this potential suspension of manufacturing will have an impact on TPI employees and their families, we will continue to work together to overcome this challenge as a community.”
Mike Sell recently opened his business, Farmhouse Creation, in downtown Newton.
“It’s unfortunate, it’s sad. My dad worked at Maytag and retired from there. When Maytag left, that was a big blow to the economy here,” said Sell. “With these two companies — what it sounds like is stopping production. Hopefully not, it may be just slowing down — it’s sad to hear. Newton is a resilient place and we have great people here.”
“It’s my understanding that when they first built that, sooner or later this area was going to be saturated with wind generation units, and when that happened, they were probably going to move on,” said Newton resident Jerry Kelley. “After Maytag left, which was a large corporate manufacturer, that changed the whole makeup of the town.”
Meanwhile, employees of JBS Packing were in Newton on Friday to greet TPI employees as they left work. They posted signs and handed out flyers informing them of the signing bonus TPI employees might want to consider if they are looking for a job. HR people were also grilling burgers at a location in Newton to inform people about their job openings. The job openings are in Ottumwa and Marshalltown.