CHEROKEE, Iowa (KTIV) – A business that began in Cherokee, Iowa, a decade ago, celebrates the expansion of a $2 million facility.
Foundation Analytical Laboratory on Friday held the grand opening of that new facility in Cherokee.
The lab tests samples of food and animal feed for quality assurance.
As part of their grand opening, staff also gave tours of the new lab. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig was among those who attended.
“So one this is again high tech, high paid jobs for folks, Diane Young hires people from this area, alot of farm kids work here, and again this is a great example of how these kinds of jobs can be in small towns,” said Naig.
When they first opened their doors 10 years ago, the owner of the laboratory had a small facility and one employee.
Today, the company employs 27 people.
“Here we are 10 years later now in a new facility that we were able to design,” said Diane Young, Director of Technical Services for Foundation Analytical Laboratory.
The old lab was a 6,600 square foot facility that was split into two floors.
The new lab is a 12,000 square foot facility.
“We are going to be able to attract more customers, and we are going to be able to have better efficiency here, and we can have a lot more collaborations,” said Young.
Young says the facility has a wet chemistry and a microbiology lab.
“We test products that are samples from all over the United States, we can get up to 500 samples a day from every location from all different customer types,” said Young.
Those customers include food companies, ethanol plants, pet food companies, and water service providers.
Young says expanding her company in Cherokee was very important to her.
“I really have a passion for our community and I wanted to have a place where us kids who graduated in the sciences have a place to come back to for a career and to be able to raise our families and be a part of the community,” said Young.
Young says 24 of her teammates grew up in Cherokee, and she is very proud of that.