Charles City, Iowa, officials have agreed to apply for $500,000 in government funds that Winnebago Industries Inc. would use to buy equipment for the new motorhome factory it will build in their community, according to the Waterloo (Iowa) Courier.
Charles City is about 65 miles southeast of Forest City, Iowa, Winnebago’s home base.
Winnebago has scheduled a groundbreaking for its new plant on May 28 and the company hopes to begin production in the new facility early next year.
The new plant will create at least 300 new jobs in Charles City, according to the Courier.
The Charles City Council agreed to apply to the Iowa Department of Economic Development for a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant to provide funds to Winnebago in the form of a forgivable loan.
Winnebago plans to invest a total of $12.5 million to build a 204,000 square foot factory in Charles City to produce gas engine motorhomes. The new facility will expand Winnebago’s output capacity by 30%.
Winnebago was the retail market share leader in Class C motorhomes and it was No. 3 in terms of retail market share in the Class A motorhome category last year, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm.
Charles City already is the site of a Winnebago diesel pusher motorhome assembly plant and a wood cabinet assembly plant.
Winnebago selected Charles City for its new plant because it is near enough to Forest City to be easily served by Winnebago’s supplier operations there, but far enough away from Forest City to allow the company to reach into a different labor market.
Charles City also is along the new Avenue of the Saints highway, which is a corridor using several federal and interstate highways to create a continuous four-lane road from St. Paul, Minn., to St. Louis, Mo.