Williamsburg Manufacturing was one of three companies to receive financial assistance today from the Iowa Economic Development Authority. Photo submitted by Williamsburg Manufacturing

Iowa Economic Development has awarded more than $800,000 in financial assistance and tax credits to three eastern Iowa companies, including one that plans to create more than 500 jobs.

The board announced awards today to Williamsburg Manufacturing, Transco Railway Products in Oelwein, and Zero Zone Refrigeration LLC in Dyersville. In all, the projects represent nearly $48 million in capital investments, IEDA officials said.

According to board documents, Williamsburg Manufacturing was awarded a $250,000 forgivable loan and $330,000 in tax credits to purchase and install material handling and welding robots, improve the electrical and ventilation systems in its existing building, and add staff to run a production line.

The company makes aluminum and high-strength steel bumpers, aluminum radiator supports, under-hood and underbody reinforcements, frame and roof rails, and engine cradles. The automotive parts supplier was awarded a contract from an original equipment manufacturer for a rear cradle, and needs to upgrade its existing facility. The estimated cost of the project is $46 million, documents show.

Williamsburg Manufacturing will also receive $50,000 in tax increment financing from the city of Williamsburg, documents show.

The company plans to add 521 jobs, 58 of which will pay a qualifying wage of $26.92 an hour.

The IEDA board also awarded $26,572 in tax credits to Transco Railways Products Inc., in Oelwein.

The company, an independent provider of freight car repair, modification and rebuilding services, plans to add a flare stack and degassing rack to its Oelwein facility, which is currently limited to cleaning only general-purpose tank cars. The upgrades will allow the company to clean and fix high-pressure rail cars, documents show.

The company plans to add 15 jobs, which will pay a qualifying wage of $17.78 per hour.

Zero Zone Refrigeration was awarded a $200,000 forgivable loan and more than $59,000 in tax credits for its project that will create 50 jobs, 34 of which will pay a qualifying wage of $22.63 an hour.

The company makes refrigerated glass door display cases, coolers and commercial refrigeration systems for the retail industry. It also provides refrigeration to the industrial market, including cold storage, food processing, pharmaceutical and biomedical facilities, and ice arenas.

Zero Zone plans to lease a spec building under construction in Dyersville to meet the growing demands of the company, making it the company's first location in Iowa. According to board documents, the 50,000-square-foot building will have room for expansion, and be used to make refrigerated rack systems for customers in North America. The project represents a capital investment of $800,000, IEDA officials said.

The IEDA board also announced awards to three startups today.

  • Ames-based Farmer’s Risk was awarded a $25,000 Proof of Commercial Relevance loan for market planning/entry activities. The company developed a software platform that aggregates the critical risk management components used by farmers. The software helps simplify solutions to what is often a complex and costly decision-making process. It aggregates crop insurance choices, cash sales data, and futures and options data that farmers use and removes the barrier to making separate decisions for each component.
  • Winpro of Clive was awarded a $250,000 Propel Fund loan for market analysis, product refinement, market planning and key personnel. The company produces plasma-based health products for dogs.
  • Member Marketplace of Marion was also awarded a $250,000 Propel Fund loan for product refinement, market planning and entry and key personnel. The company offers e-marketplace platforms for communities and small businesses to sell online together.