Hundreds of jobs coming to Tama County in Spring 2012 - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hundreds of jobs coming to Tama County in Spring 2012

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TAMA (KWWL) -

On the edge of Tama city limits, a former meat packing plant sits empty -- locked up since the former business went under in 2003. Back then, the closing put 350 people out of a job.

"It hurt. A lot," Tama Mayor Dan Zimmerman said. "A lot of them stayed though, and work for Swifts in Marshall town or in Waterloo."

It appears things are taking a turn for the better. A few years ago, a new company saw the site, and saw its potential. After four years of trying, Iowa Premium Beef has the necessary funding, and is now planning a spring opening.

"They're talking about a soft opening in May. Starting out killing between 50-80 head, and employing 350 people again," Zimmerman said.

The owners are planning to bring on as many as 750 workers when the plant is at full capacity. In a town of 2,800 people, Zimmerman said, that's a big deal.

"Yeah, 750 more would be a godsend," Zimmerman said.

The mayor realizes the company could have chosen another location -- even in another state. Instead, he's looking forward to a much needed boost to the local economy.

"We were lucky, we were real luck that we got them. And hopefully it will bring Tama back around, get us back on our feet," Zimmerman added.

Zimmerman believes the added jobs will inspire growth and improvement in other areas -- including improved rental housing standards and even new restaurants and stores.

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