Zierke may bring workers to Bago

Local News

A company that left Winnebago last year may be bringing some workers back to the city.

Brad Wolf, a member of the city’s Economic Development Authority board, says he recently spoke with Greg Zierke, owner of Zierke Built Manufacturing (ZBM), Inc.

“He has no more room in Fairmont,” says Wolf. “He’s hoping to get some welders back in Winnebago.”

Wolf told EDA board members at their Wednesday meeting that Zierke may not sell a vacant company building located on Sixth Avenue Southeast.

He says Zierke did not say exactly how many welders would actually be employed in Winnebago.

ZBM officials cited inadequate space and difficulty in hiring skilled welders as reason for re-locating.

When the company left Winnebago, it employed 40 people and operated two buildings covering about 70,000 square feet.

In other business, the EDA may be looking to hire Community and Economic Development Associates (CEDA) to work on business projects.

“We definitely need help,” says board member Jean Anderson. “It’s something we should look into.”

According to its website, CEDA was founded in 1986 and is based in Chatfield. It serves communities in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa.

Faribault County and the city of Blue Earth each pay CEDA at least $50,000 a year to provide economic development services.

Mary Kennedy of CEDA told board members she will now be working four days for Blue Earth and that Annie Leibel has been added to their office at the Ag Center to work four days for the county.

Mayor Jeremiah Schutt says he’s interested in meeting with CEDA officials to see what the agency can offer the city.

“You’d get the whole CEDA team, with over 100 years of experience,” says Kennedy. “Anything that an economic development coordinator would do, we could do.”

EDA board members asked Kennedy if she could have CEDA officials attend their next meeting scheduled for Jan. 2.

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