SPENCER, Iowa (AP) — A week after a northwest Iowa manufacturer shut down its factory, the laid-off workers were back on the job Monday thanks to a Nebraska company that stepped in and bought the business.
Thurston Manufacturing Co. of Thurston, Neb., moved swiftly to complete its purchase of Simonsen Iron Works of Spencer, Iowa, so it could rehire workers and keep the plant operating, Thurston co-owner Nick Jenson said.
The Sioux City Journal (http://bit.ly/18Y3p74) reported Monday that the plant closed last week and its 32 employees were laid off. Jenson said 30 workers have been rehired; the other two found work elsewhere.
Jenson said the acquisition of the 130,000-square-foot factory allows his company to expand production and accept orders it otherwise would have to turn away.
"This acquisition is an exciting opportunity for Thurston Manufacturing, furthering company diversity into a larger number of markets and industries by continuing to operate Simonsen Iron Works as a competitive and reliable provider of contract manufacturing services," Jenson said.
Thurston Manufacturing, incorporated in 1971, makes fertilizer injection and tillage equipment used in farming.
The 160-employee company has been operating at maximum capacity — three shifts and 50 hours per week for more than eight years. Jenson said the acquisition will help Thurston diversify into different industries and increase overall capacity.
The factory will continue to make accessories for all-terrain vehicles in addition to picking up some of the farm equipment work Thurston does. In addition, Jenson said he expects to add contracts for additional parts manufacturing from farm and construction industry companies.
Simonsen Iron Works was founded in 1906.