Our Made in Eastern Iowa series continues with a look at a long time company here in Eastern Iowa. It's a business that has filled a very basic need in building for 60 years.
Cascade Manufacturing uses both wood and steel to create structures for other people's buildings. It was originally founded in 1953 as a retail lumberyard, but the business has evolved to manufacturing both wood and steel trusses. Wood trusses are very popular in home construction, while the steel manufacturing division has proven to be cold hard profit they can count on.
"It's non combustible, it's green," said Mike Noonan, Vice President of Marketing. "You can have the same design versatility that you can with wood trusses."
Business boomed when farmers started putting up bigger buildings. First, their focus was Midwest-based. Business was in "Southwest Wisconsin, Northwest Illinois, and pretty much all of Iowa to central Iowa," Noonan said. And now? The company's trusses are now in demand all over the globe.
"We've shipped actually to 40 states. 3 provinces in Canada, and actually overseas to Iraq and Afghanistan," said Noonan. A fire wiped out the Cascade facility in 1997, but they've rebuilt their building business. The company has grown to include about 185 employees at just the Cascade plants. The business focuses on providing the building blocks for projects that can help contractors get the job done.
"This gets us into construction projects that might need the wall panels from the standpoint of quality from the standpoint of getting the building up in a hurry," said Noonan.
The business, like many in the industry, took a hit when the economy suffered in 2008. Things have been rebuilding since then, and the company is running several shifts to keep up with demand. The company also has a facility in Pleasantville to build product for Central Iowa customers.