SIOUX CITY -- More than a decade ago, Todd Jager and Tony Derrick opened a small fabrication shop with a few tools and two trucks.
The fleldging business, called Industrial Design Fabrication and Installation, grew quickly, offering many products and services to the meat and food industry. The company's patented technology is today used by such large manufacturers as ice cream maker Wells Enterprises and meatpackers that include Tyson Foods, Cargill and JBS Swift.
After outgrowing its former 25,000-square-foot building in the small town of Moville, Iowa, IDFI moved its operations in 2011 to an existing structure in nearby Sioux City that more than tripled its total space.
The company, which considered sites in the neighboring states of Nebraska and South Dakota, eventually picked the former Aalfs Manufacturing building in the Bridgeport industrial area.
IDFI occupies about 88,000 square feet of the 146,000-square-foot structure at 2501 Murray St., which offers lots of space for future growth.
"The new Sioux City location has been a perfect fit for our company," company president Jager said. "The additional space has supported our continued increase in business, given us the opportunity to substantially add to our work force and positioned us for future growth."
Jager added the added space has led to a better product flow through the shop, making the operations more efficient.
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City and state officials assisted the company's expansion and relocation through the Targeted Jobs Withholding Tax Credit Program, The company, which is investing nearly $5 million, has pledged to create an additional 33 good-paying jobs over the next three years, more than doubling its workforce.
"The success of this project highlights the commitment we have made to innovative growing companies, job creation within the community and the importance of our economic development tools," City Councilman Tom Padgett said during a presentation to company officials last year.
The city expanded the Bridgeport West Enterprise Zone to include the IDFI building. That designation brought investment tax credits and advanced job training benefits.
Through a partnership with Western Iowa Tech Community College, IDFI has developed an innovative worker-training program that leverages state dollars with private investment to provide a tuition reimbursement for new employees to complete welder certification courses at WIT. A number of new employees have taken the new jobs training program.
IDFI's experienced team of designers, drafters, project managers, machinists, fabricators and welders fabricates, installs and services various customized conveyor systems.
The company's Hercules Rail Switch, introduced in 2007, offers its clients completely replaceable parts. Previously unavailable in the food processing industry, it saves customers from having to replace an entire switch due to one bad part, according to the IDFI website.