CENTERVILLE, Iowa (AP) — A company that makes refrigerated and heated displays in grocery stores for fresh foods has announced plans to expand its operation in Centerville.
Keosauqua-based Barker Co., plans to add about 140 jobs at two sites in Centerville in the next 18 months.
Centerville lost its largest employer when Rubbermaid closed its factory there, leaving 500 employees out of work.
Mayor Greg Fenton called the expansion of Barker Co. fantastic news and said the town of about 6,000 people has the available work force to fill the jobs.
Barker plans to spend about $7 million to renovate and equip a 50,000-square-foot building in the city's industrial park. It is expected to open next spring, said Pat McMahon, company president.
The plant initially will employ about 100 workers, he said.
Barker also will add 40 people to its current 100,000-square-foot factory in Centerville, McMahon said.
The jobs will pay an average hourly wage of $22, including benefits, he said.
McMahon said the expansion is needed to meet an increased demand for Barker products.
Barker also employs about 440 people in Keosauqua.