Commemorating Vermeer’s Tornado Recovery Efforts, One Year Later
A year after a tornado devastated the city of Pella, Iowa and destroyed their headquarters, Vermeer Corporation has a renewed outlook on the future, with plans underway to not only rebuild but expand their lost facilities.
A commemorative ceremony was held on July 12th, where CEO Jason Andringa announced the retirement of “Plant 5” and “Plant 6” and unveiled a monument dedicated to the plant numbers and paying tribute to the “VermeerStrong personality and ethos” of the team that made this recovery possible.
“For myself and those that were involved right after the tornado, we knew at that point that we had everything we needed – we had our team. We knew that we could recover and rebuild because we had our team,” said Jason Andringa, CEO, during his ceremonial address.
The company is currently in the process of rebuilding with the expansion of Plant 7 into a 500 000 square foot space where the retired plants once stood, the re-construction of their Eco Centre and the completion of their new R&D building. Shop 48, named in honour of the year the company started and the shop that led to the formation of Vermeer Corporation in 1948, will house the company’s engineering, research and development.
“Looking ahead, this facility is going to be world-class in every feature. We’re advancing our paint technology, coat technology and the space for our team,” said Bill Blackorby, President of Operations in a news release.
July 19th marks the one-year anniversary of the EF3 tornado that tore through the Vermeer Pella campus, causing extensive damage to their operations and injuring several employees.
Westerra Equipment is a proud dealer of Vermeer heavy equipment.