ElPlast America is one of the newest industrial businesses in Marion.
ElPlast America is one of the newest industrial businesses in Marion, located in the Marion Enterprise Center - MEC. Their story is an interesting one.
President and Part-Owner, Chad Rupert, has years of experience in the packaging business. He worked for a company that owned the Hefty brand and ran their Slide-Rite division. Over the years, he developed a working relationship with his current business partner, Marcin Pawelak, from Poland. Pawelak has been in the same industry but in the European market. Rupert had worked in larger metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles and Chicago, but when his family decided to move to Iowa, Rupert realized it was time to go into business for himself. He and Pawelak had been discussing the idea of partnering for over 10 years. Moving to Iowa provided him the tipping point to turn their ideas into action.
Rupert met with representatives from the Iowa Economic Development Authority, who put him in touch with Cheri Popp in Marion at Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO). Popp lead him to Nick Glew at MEDCO and the Marion Enterprise Center (MEC). Kirkwood’s Tyler McCarville facilitated the process to apply for tax credits to cover some initial training costs for the new ElPlast employees. A team of people vested in economic growth and opportunity in Marion helped Rupert through the steps it takes to open up a production facility from scratch. Rupert says, “Working with the City of Marion, CIPCO, MEDCO, Kirkwood and the Iowa Economic Development Authority was key to making ElPlast America a reality. Everyone has shown that they are really interested in our success, which is a great environment to start a business in!”
The last steps to opening for business are a building review and hiring. Look for ElPlast America to begin operating by July 11, 2016. Rupert has hired a Warehouse and Logistics Manager, as well as a Quality Manager. The remaining staff are in production and sales. Rupert reports they are still hiring production workers. They have a state-of-the-art facility with an emphasis on cleanliness and technology. Rupert says that he has invested in a unique production facility with no other like it in North or South America. They produce plastic press-to-seal components that are regularly seen in grocery store aisles on cheese bags and other items packaged in plastic containers.
MEDCO is pleased by the addition of ElPlast to the Marion Enterprise Center. Over $20M has been invested in this industrial park by companies who are either new to town like ElPlast, or those that have grown their existing Marion business, like Legacy Manufacturing and Electric Specialty Manufacturing. Expect to see more growth at the MEC as companies find value in shovel-ready and site-certified land.