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Marshalltown Plant Donates $75,000 Toward Economic Development

MEDIC Donation

June 2, 2011

The JBS plant in Marshalltown, Iowa, has given $75,000 to the Marshalltown Economic Development Impact Committee (MEDIC) as a way of thanking the organization for its help in making the plant’s new Distribution Center (DC) a reality.

According to General Manager Troy Mulgrew, the MEDIC group was crucial to the success of building the 110,000-square-foot expansion near the plant, where previously there was a neighborhood park that was little used.

The Marshalltown plant is already surrounded on three sides by residential areas, and JBS saw the city block on the south side as a perfect location for the distribution center. “We’re moving around 3 million pounds of products a day, and up to now, we had to truck those products to six different distribution centers,” Mulgrew said. “We knew that we had outgrown our current product handling and distribution capabilities about 10 years ago, and getting a distribution center in our own back yard would save a lot of money and build in a great deal of efficiencies.”

Now, instead of having to load trucks full of products to take to other distribution centers, the plant conveys its products via an overhead tunnel connected to the new distribution center.

“We’re saving over 1 million gallons of diesel fuel a year since we no longer have to truck elsewhere, our products hold up better since they’re not being handled as much and being loaded and unloaded several times and we can service our customers much more efficiently,” Mulgrew said.

But to get to that point, a lot had to happen in terms of talking to city officials, and residents to get them to see the long-term benefits of taking out a park and adding a distribution center.

“We simply tried to explain to everyone that this would make Marshalltown a very efficient process model well into the future, which ultimately is a huge benefit to the community in terms of jobs and economic impact,” Mulgrew said.

That’s where MEDIC came in. Members of the organization guided JBS along the way, helping plant officials to decipher all the necessary rules and regulations, as well as navigating them through Marshalltown City Council meetings and neighborhood meetings with concerned citizens.

The new distribution center started last week and a Grand Opening is scheduled in July. Customers are already touring the facility and asking for products from the new distribution center.

“This donation was simply our way of saying thank you to MEDIC for helping us and also our way of enabling them to help even more businesses in Marshalltown,” Mulgrew said.

Photo: From left, Ken Vinson (MEDIC), Troy Mulgrew (JBS), Don Turbiville (MEDIC) and Ed Bick (JBS).