Charles City Mayor Jim Erb, Area Development Corporation director Tim Fox and Mitas representatives Vladimir Dusanek and Ralph Kellenberger held a ceremony marking the groundbreaking of construction at the former Winnebago Industries Charles City plant, which is being converted into a farm tire factory and which will begin production early next year.
“Mitas brings to Charles City a combination of business assets that have always worked well for us in the past, those being a well respected manufacturing tradition, a skilled well-trained workforce and a strong market niche,” Mayor Jim Erb says. “Charles City is very forthcoming,” Mitas’ Vladimir Dusanek says. “This plant is key to Mitas’ expansion in North America.”
Currently, the plant’s energy center is being built, and pits for the curing presses are being constructed. A substantial share of factory equipment is being contracted to local suppliers, for example, to Tim Hildreth Company Inc. to deliver the boiler, and to others for deliveries of a nitrogen unit and HUPP Toyota forklifts. The construction works are supplied by Point Builders of Iowa.
In June, 608 job seekers attended Mitas Tires’ Career Days held in Charles City to meet with Mitas human resources representatives and discuss employment opportunities at Mitas. “The Charles City Workforce Office was indispensable in helping organize the event, which went smoothly even though Mitas headquarters is located 4,700 miles from Charles City, in Prague,” Mitas International HR Manager Ralph Kellenberger says.
Mitas is currently hiring 10 foremen and core employees, who will be sent to the Czech Republic for training. The rest of the work force of the initial 159 employees will be recruited late in 2011. In addition, 522 visitors accessed the U.S. Mitas website in connection with this event.
“We are privileged to welcome Mitas to Floyd County. Its employees are consummate and competent professionals, the company is well managed and we expect Mitas Tires North America, Inc. to perform exceedingly well in Charles City,” Tim Fox, the director of Charles City Area Development Corporation, says.