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Earthmoving equipment-maker breaks ground at Dyersville site
2012 - June 27. Article from THonline.com

Digga has already started to dig in at Dyersville's 20 West Industrial Park.

The Australia-based manufacturer of earthmoving equipment broke ground Monday at the future site of a 34,500-square-foot facility. An official "gold shovel" ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. Tuesday, July 3, at the site to commemorate the milestone.

Construction should take 12 to 14 weeks, according to Digga CEO Suzie Wright, and estimated staffing levels of 30 or so won't be reached until late December or early January. But operations should be under way much sooner than that, Wright said, as the company plans to open temporary facilities within two weeks, and begin the first round of hiring soon after.

"We'll be starting with a small crew," she said.

Wright and a contingent of employees from Australia will train the new staff and implement company standards. Once production runs at full strength, the Dyersville facility will manufacture augers and gearboxes for excavating equipment throughout the U.S.

Digga's decision to expand in Dyersville was partly due to the efforts of local economic development groups, Wright said. Specifically, she credited the Dyersville Economic Development Corporation and its executive director, Jacque Rahe, for putting together a comprehensive and persuasive benefits presentation.

"We just generally got a great feel from the presentation," Wright said. "That really is what drew us here."

By working with officials from across the region and state, Rahe said the economic development group was able to create a "one-stop shop" for Digga for information and incentives. In addition to the establishment of tax incentives that could save the company around $1 million over 15 years, Rahe said local officials were able to help obtain forgivable or zero-interest loans, job-training dollars and state incentives due to the company's potential to bring high-quality jobs to the area.

Rahe said her organization believed strongly in Digga's potential to "anchor" the 20 West Industrial Park, and drive future development in the area.

"I think just the high quality of that company, Digga, (motivated us)," Rahe said. "They were constantly on the cutting edge in Australia."

The local work force is well-suited to Digga's industry, Rahe said.

"We have experience with that type of work force here in the area due to some of the past businesses that have been here," she said.

The public is invited to attend the ground-breaking ceremony. Light refreshments will be served.