Pella Cooperative Electric Association and LDJ Manufacturing, Inc. announced a successful application for a $1.5 million loan through the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program of the United States (USDA) to help with a $2.5 million building expansion for Fabrication LDJ.
The REDLG program provides zero-interest loans to rural utility providers, such as Pella Cooperative Electric, who in turn lend the zero-interest money to businesses in their communities. Pella Cooperative Electric uses the program as one of the economic development tools to promote community development, economic growth, and help create and retain jobs in rural Iowa.
“As a member-owned electricity co-op, we are in a unique position to utilize the borrowing power of our local businesses that we serve. Any effort we can make to contribute to our local economy is a win for us, for our members and for the community,” commented Doug Stewart, CEO of Pella Cooperative Electric. “We are delighted to be able to partner with LDJ Manufacturing on their project.”
LDJ Manufacturing, a family business founded in 1995 by Loren and Jean Van Wyk, manufactures Thunder Creek diesel fuel and service trailers outside of Pella and is a member of Pella Cooperative Electric. LDJ Manufacturing will build a 25,000 square foot addition to its existing manufacturing footprint. The new space will accommodate increased production and warehousing as well as additional workstations and tornado shelter.
“We are pleased to partner with our local utility, Pella Cooperative Electric and the USDA in our expansion project,” said Ben Cox, president of LDJ Manufacturing. “This is an exciting step forward not only for business growth, but also for local economic opportunities to create new skilled jobs and higher wages right here in our community.
The project schedule includes groundbreaking in July and expected completion in October.
This is Pella Cooperative Electric’s 15th USDA economic development loan project. In total, these loans have generated more than $6 million in additional community investment and helped retain or create more than 100 jobs in Pella and surrounding communities over the course of the program.