Former Maytag HQ May See Jobs Return

Newton, Iowa lost 1,800 jobs when Whirlpool closed its Maytag operations, but new manufacturer brings over 700 jobs.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Newton, hit hard by the upcoming closure of its former Maytag plant, may get an economic boost from a manufacturer interested in bringing more than 700 jobs to the central Iowa city, state officials said.

The manufacturer, which has not been announced, is considering several sites in Newton and may begin production as early as next year, according to the Iowa Department of Economic Development.

The Newton City Council and the Jasper County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to ask the state for $2 million Monday to lure the project to Newton. The business, described as a structural composite manufacturer, would create up to 723 jobs over three years, state officials said.

The announcement comes as Whirlpool Corp. winds down operations at the former Maytag headquarters and factory in Newton. Both are expected to close later this year. Whirlpool, based in Benton Harbor, Mich., purchased struggling Newton-based Maytag last year and announced it would end all operations in Newton, eliminating 1,800 factory and office jobs.

Production level wages for the new factory would range from $12.25 to $13.40 an hour, plus benefits, state and local economic development leaders said in a news release.

Gov. Chet Culver and officials from Newton, Jasper County and the economic development department helped recruit the company to Iowa, the statement said.

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