INDEPENDENCE – On December 3, Gov. Kim Reynolds named Geater Machining and Manufacturing, Co. (Geater) as one of 22 recipients of the Employer Innovation Fund, a matching grant that helps employers provide postsecondary training and education opportunities for their employees and future employees. Geater was awarded funding in the amount of $2,702, which will support the purchase of a 3D printing package for Jesup Community School District; provide additional training and certification for two teachers; and furnish 3D printing certifications from MakerBot for 30 high school students.
Dean Youngblut, Geater student outreach coordinator, is pleased to grow the partnership with the Jesup School District.
“This certification opportunity will allow students to learn more about the growing field of additive manufacturing and leave high school with a certification on their resume that others may not have while looking for employment,” he said.
Geater Begins Expansion
Meanwhile, Geater continues to grow to meet the needs of customers.
Work began in early November on a 16,000-sq.-ft. expansion in the machining area. This $5 million investment will make room for new machining equipment, an expanded breakroom, and a 24-hour employee fitness center.
“Independence has given outstanding support to Geater, which provides us the opportunity to continue to grow the business,” said Geater CEO Joe Meier. “We are able to build, buy new equipment, and invest in technology to accommodate increasing customer demand. Our growth is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of our employees.”
Additional work will be completed to update the Geater campus, including expanded parking, a new front entrance, and signage and flags. An office space extension will allow for greater collaboration between departments.
“We’re excited to continue to grow our workforce, as we look to add 30 employees in the next year,” said Amber Youngblut, vice president of human resources. “Geater is truly committed to being an employer of choice, and these updated employee areas will help us continue to provide work-life balance for our employees.”
Since 1962, Geater has produced machined and fabricated high-quality parts for the aerospace, electronics, and technology industries. Geater is a Small Business Administration member company and veteran-owned, Iowa-based business.
About the Grant
In this second round of grants distributed across the state, $568,000 was awarded. The first round handed out grants totaling $387,425. A third round application period is open until December 17 with $244,200 in remaining funds available.
“Future Ready Iowa provides Iowans with life-changing opportunities while simultaneously helping employers grow their local workforce talent pipeline,” said Gov. Reynolds.
“The program’s Employer Innovation Fund fuels grassroots innovation, empowering Iowa businesses and communities to create solutions that help Iowans find a good-paying job in a high-demand career. We are excited about this program’s initial success and see even greater opportunities in the future,” she added.
The purpose of the grant is to create more opportunities for working Iowans to earn non-credit and for-credit postsecondary credentials leading to high-demand jobs in the state. Employers, community leaders, and others can apply by submitting a proposal for implementing a creative solution to their local workforce needs.
“Employers’ efforts to develop their own workforce through upskilling, training, and education programs are key to help Iowa meet the 2025 goal of 70 percent of Iowans having postsecondary credentials,” said Director Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce Development.
“The Employer Innovation Fund is unique to Iowa and will help employers leverage their existing resources with a state match to upskill even more of their workforce. It also helps community organizations work with local employers to provide training dollars that also help develop a skilled workforce. We want to award all of the $1.2 million the legislature appropriated to the fund this year, so we strongly encourage employers to apply for the third round of grants,” Townsend concluded.