Iowa Economic Development Awards $2 Million in Incentives to Keep 200 Dubuque Jobs

May 19, 2017

Credit SD Dirk / flickr

The Iowa Economic Development Authority has awarded about $2 million in incentives to retain 200 manufacturing jobs in Dubuque.

With city and county contributions, the Friday decision brings the total incentive package for furniture manufacturer Flexsteel Industries to more than $10 million.

The incentives will help Flexsteel demolish and clean up the site of its current plant in Dubuque, and build a new plant at a different site. The company announced last year it would close its plant in Dubuque and look for a new site.

Dubuque County Supervisor Dave Baker says he sees the plan as a win for the county, which is contributing about $1.5 million. 

"If Flexsteel wasn't going to stay here, they could've just thrown the cyclone fences up around the current plant, closed it down, taken those 200-plus jobs elsewhere, and left us with an abandoned, 120-year-old industrial site," Baker says. 

The deal is contingent on Flexsteel retaining at least 200 full-time jobs at its new plant. The existing plant employs 218 people. 

The City of Dubuque is providing about $6.5 million in incentives. 

Dubuque Mayor Roy Buol says the incentive package and Flexsteel's decision to stay have employees feeling relieved. 

"More than 200 people were waiting for nine months to see what their situation would be," Buol says. 

Flexsteel plans to start building its new plant this summer.