TPI Composites Boosts Jasper County to Gold Wind County Seal Winner
28 Sep 2020
Wind power with its low cost and stable prices is a bottom line friendly way for companies to meet sustainability goals. Jasper County is a prime location for any business looking to take advantage of all that wind power has to offer. Iowa is a clean energy leader ranking first in the nation for percentage of electricity generated by wind, and Jasper County is a Gold Seal Winner in the Iowa Wind County Seal Program.
As reported on the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) website: Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said, “Iowa is proud to be the top-ranked state for renewable energy procurement by the nation’s retail and technology industries. Access to low-cost renewable energy is a critical part of our economic development strategy. These job-creating businesses cite our access to low-cost renewable energy as a major reason for locating in Iowa.”
The Wind County Seal Program was launched by AWEA — in conjunction with Governor Reynolds — in August 2020 to promote wind power’s economic benefits and to secure, recognize, and promote support for county leaders of renewable energy. TPI Composites, a leader in wind-blade manufacturing, helped Jasper County win its Gold Seal.
“Jasper County was awarded the gold seal because of its number of jobs dedicated to the wind industry,” said Josh Syhlman, TPI Iowa General Manager. “As Jasper County’s largest employer, we played a key part in that.”
TPI Iowa has produced over 10,000 wind turbine blades since it’s opening in 2008. “During that time, we have produced six different models of blades ranging from 37 meters in length to our current model which is 62.2 meters (204 feet) long,” said Syhlman. “These larger blades produce nearly double the energy of their predecessors making each capable of powering 1,500 average U.S. households for one year.”
TPI has realized substantial benefits from Jasper County’s skilled workforce and prime location near I-80, the “main street of the U.S.A.”
“The availability of an educated workforce was the primary reason for choosing Jasper County,” said Syhlman. “A close second was the location: meaning, the cost to transport a wind turbine blade is quite expensive, so being located close to the wind farms is key to remaining competitive. Being close to the interstate allows for cost efficient delivery of raw materials to our facility, and, more importantly, it allows for wind turbine blades of ever increasing lengths to be transported cost-efficiently to surrounding wind farms.”
“We are fortunate to have an amazingly diverse workforce with associates from over 40 countries,” said Syhlman. TPI employs almost 900. Of those jobs, approximately 700 are manufacturing jobs with the remaining focused on supporting manufacturing such as EHS [environment, health, and safety], engineering, maintenance, quality control, human resources, and management.
TPI Iowa is currently trying to fill 90 more positions. “We are hiring!’ said Syhlman. New employees benefit from the company’s dedication to training through its TPI Academy.
“TPI Academy provides an accelerated learning path for our engineers and technicians, which leads to better products, higher quality, faster operations, lower costs, and increases overall operational excellence,” said Syhlman. “These things are critical to TPIs long-term success, and provide a unique competitive advantage. For our employees, TPI Academy increases their engagement in their work, allows them to build skills, competencies, and knowledge required for career advancement, and gives more holistic meaning to the tasks of their everyday work. Knowing the “why” of what we do is a key motivator for all of TPI associates.”
Wind power makes up 42 percent of Iowa’s in-state electricity generation. “Businesses looking to relocate to Jasper County will definitely see lower energy costs due to wind, as do the residents,” said Syhlman.
Explore available TPI Iowa career opportunities here.
Jasper County is the location of choice for businesses looking for the ideal combination of low-cost real estate, a strong workforce, and great transportation access. With its strong network of state highways, along with Interstate 80 running through the center of the county, businesses have easy access to markets in the Des Moines metro area Iowa and the rest of the country. Click here to find out how Jasper County Economic Development Corporation (JEDCO) can assist with your business’s relocation and expansion needs. Email them at JEDCOIowa@gmail.com or call 641-417-9500.