Business is Booming in Oelwein

OELWEIN, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- A small town in Fayette County is seeing a bit of a business boom.

Oelwein city leaders say there are several new places or expanding businesses coming to the area by the end of the year.

Businesses like Transco Railway Products. The plant in Oelwein is just wrapping up a three-year expansion.

Plant Manager Jake Steil says a string of new hires also came with the new buildings. Before the expansion there were roughly 85 employees. Now there are about 185. And managers would like to see that number jump to 250.

"We currently have first and second shift so we're looking to fill those shifts out and plus add a third," Steil said.

The plant's expansion allows Transco to repair more rail and tank cars. Steil says this plant's proven success made this expansion an easy decision from the corporate level.

"They felt confident in Iowa, and specifically in Oelwein, to reinvest in our location here both from facilities standpoint and local community standpoint," he said.

The Oelwein Chamber and Area Development says that confidence transfers to other businesses. West Union based Tindell Shoes is looking to open a new store front in downtown Oelwein later this month.

Something I've been working on for seven years is to get a shoe store in town," Oelwein Chamber and Area Development Executive Director Deb Howard said.

And construction is about half-way complete for a new hotel along Rock Island Road.

"The business clients and travelers that will just enhance our options," Howard said.

The Chamber's next concern is housing for new employees. City leaders say they're working with developers to get more housing options.

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