Supporting Jobs and Growth in Cedar Rapids

Dec 03, 2019

The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance and Hawkeye Area Labor Council join together to celebrate and support the Cargill rail yard project, as it retains jobs and sets the stage for future growth and to also thank the Cedar Rapids City Council for their role in helping move this project forward.

At the November 19 and December 3 Cedar Rapids City Council meetings, City Council voted in favor of the Cargill rail yard project. The project awaits official approval pending a third and final vote at the December 17 City Council meeting. This decision process has been no easy task, with those opposed and supportive of the project sharing valuable insight and feedback along the way.

Cargill, the $115 billion-in-sales agricultural business that has topped Forbes’ list of America's largest private companies for 28 of the past 30 years, has an incredibly large footprint here in Cedar Rapids with three operations, and now plans for that local footprint to grow. Cargill is a critical business in our local economy, as one of our community’s largest employers and a strong partner to the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance. Cargill continues to reinvest in Cedar Rapids, as they’ve most recently demonstrated through the acquisition of Diamond V, a leading manufacturer of animal nutrition and health products.

Supporting Good Manufacturing Jobs in a Manufacturing Town
Cities have to leverage their unique assets to be successful in economic development and growth. In Cedar Rapids, our unique asset is our advanced manufacturing history and our innovative advanced manufacturing future. We’re a manufacturing town in a manufacturing state. $32 billion of Iowa’s GDP - or 18% of the entire state economy - is generated by manufacturing. And at the top of the list is Cedar Rapids. We all benefit from the economic strength and tax base advantages that come with that.

Retaining the good jobs at good wages that Cargill has created over their 50 year history in Cedar Rapids is important to the long-term success of Cedar Rapids. It keeps us competitive and economically strong. It matters if these jobs are lost. It matters if we lose our reputation as friendly to businesses and manufacturers. It’s important for the health of our economy that Cargill continues to grow in Cedar Rapids.

The world of economic development is competitive. Given the chance, other regions would jump at the chance to court our area’s largest employers. Our region has a high-quality workforce, available land for development, excellent schools, the list goes on. A business-friendly climate is always a factor when businesses select where to expand.

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