Press Releases

Goodwill packaging plant provides jobs, training in Iowa

July 2020

The soybean oil will be shipped to areas with food insecurity through USAID. Click here to see the full video from KCRG.

MADISON, Wisconsin (July 13, 2020) — Goodwill of the Heartland will begin production at a new manufacturing plant in Coralville, Iowa, next month, creating more than 40 well-paying jobs for the community over the next three years, 20 of which will be for people with significant disabilities.

Made possible by a long-term contract with the USDA, the 36,000 square foot plant will produce 10,000-14,000 metric tons of vegetable oil annually. The oil packaged in this plant will serve the World Food Program, helping feed children, teens, pregnant mothers, and refugees internationally.

“POWER Engineers was a critical partner on our oil project,” said Jessica Schamberger, vice president of operations for Goodwill of the Heartland. “Their team helped us through every phase, from site and equipment selection to plant design. Goodwill is now positioned to grow our new business line with state-of-the-art packaging equipment and a renovated food-grade facility.”

POWER Engineers, Inc. (POWER) provided comprehensive design, procurement, project management, and organizational support services, delivering a turnkey facility to Goodwill of the Heartland. During the construction phase, POWER engaged Miron Construction for building modifications, as well as Stainless Specialists, Inc. and Tri-City Electric for equipment installation.

“We jumped at the chance to work on this project,” said John Gunst, POWER vice president and Facilities division manager. “Knowing that we were able to help create opportunity, especially in such a challenging global environment, is really rewarding. We are so excited to witness the outcomes of this project and see how Goodwill is able train people and put them to work.”

While the industry standard is to deliver fully-automated filling lines on projects similar to this, Goodwill wanted to engineer jobs back into their operation. POWER helped Goodwill find the right places to add meaningful operator roles into the line for employees, providing a semi-automated production system that excels in both ergonomics and safety considerations.

“The opportunity to think creatively about the building and production line design was very appealing to our team,” said Scott Drayton, POWER project manager. “Working with Goodwill was also a real pleasure; they were kind, creative, and committed to their mission of helping others in the community. It was a truly inspiring project.”

Production at the facility is set to begin in August 2020. Read more about the project on POWER’s website: Goodwill of the Heartland Vegetable Oil Plant

 About Goodwill Industries of the Heartland

The mission of Goodwill of the Heartland is to advance the social and economic well-being of people who experience barriers to independence.  Goodwill offers life and job skill development, work experience, job placement assistance, day habilitation, supported community living, workforce services to employers and contract manufacturing, assembly and packaging. In 2019, Goodwill provided more than 20,000 services to people with barriers in its 19-county service area. For more information, including retail, donation and service locations, please visit or call toll free 1-866-466-7881.

About POWER Engineers

POWER Engineers is a global consulting engineering firm specializing in the delivery of integrated solutions for energy, food and beverage facilities, environmental and federal markets. We offer complete multidiscipline engineering and program management services. Founded in 1976, we are an employee-owned company with more than 2,600 employees and 45 offices throughout the United States and abroad.