What We Do
Iola Industries, Inc. has approximately 500 acres available for industrial development.
We continue to strive to serve existing businesses and industries and are always looking for new businesses that would complement those who are here.
Significant moments in the history of Iola Industries, Inc.
When severe flooding threatened Tramec’s location west of the old Sante Fe railroad tracks, the company communicated to Iola Industries that they would close their plant if they could not find an alternative in Iola. Iola Industries worked to accommodate the company in the old Herff Jones site. Shortly thereafter, Iola Industries worked with Green Cover Seed of Bladen, Nebraska to bring their business to the former Tramec site. Green Cover Seed has purchased one of the Tramec buildings from Iola Industries for their rapidly expanding operation.
Russell Stover announced the expansion of its Iola plant, with an anticipated creation of 150-200 jobs. This came after years of working with the City of Iola and Thrive Allen County to ensure the success of Russell Stover’s Iola location and a strong relationship with the company.
When Allen County built a new hospital, the former site was left vacant. In conjunction with the City of Iola, Allen County and Thrive Allen County, Iola Industries implemented two successful projects once the former hospital building had been razed: Eastgate Lofts, a new development featuring 12 market-rate modern apartments, and G&W Foods, which built a brand-new supermarket.
Iola Industries worked with Thrive Allen County to create the LeHigh Portland Trails, a free recreational network of over 13 miles for walking, hiking and biking. Through an easement granted to the Sunflower Rail-Trails Conservancy, Inc., Iola Industries has granted use of the land for the project, resulting in a very successful public health and tourism initiative.
Iola Industries partnered with the City of Iola and Allen County in order to contract Thrive Allen County to provide more comprehensive economic development services. That agreement continues to this day and has brought a wide range of benefits to our community.
Iola Industries was contacted by Van Diest Supply Company regarding their desire to obtain property to build a distribution warehouse. Iola Industries sold 6.44 acres for the warehouse site, and the facilities are presently in complete operation.
A shortage of housing had been a problem in Iola for several years. Thus, with the assistance of local businessman Larry Macha, Iola Industries purchased the west half of Cedarbrook Golf Course. This property was then divided into lots to be used in housing development to address this need. Thirty lots were subsequently sold to River Valley Homes, Ltd., for the construction of moderately priced homes. The balance of the golf course property was sold to the City of Iola. The project has grown to nearly twice the original 30 units and a number of condo units as well.
Iola Industries was contacted by Sonic Equipment Sales regarding a need to build a new facility. They were in the process of acquiring Kneisley Manufacturing Co. and moving their office and manufacturing to Iola. Consequently, Iola Industries sold approximately five acres on West Miller Road to Sonic and Kneisley Manufacturing Co. Sonic has since grown in numbers and has expanded across the US with its sales and services.
Iola Industries welcomed Precision Pump to Iola in 2004. In 2010, Precision Pump was purchased by Cameron. Precision International repurchased the company and it currently operates under that name.
Russell Stover Candies chose Iola as a site for one of its new plants, due in part to the good working relationship between the City of Iola and Iola Industries, Inc. Iola Industries, Inc. gave the City of Iola 60 acres for the site of this new plant; the city, in turn, donated it as the new plant site.
Gates Rubber Company purchased 97 acres from Iola Industries, Inc. on which they built their Iola plant. The land was the former site of the Lehigh Portland Cement Company. T&E Co., a pallet manufacturer, and D of K Vaults, Inc., also operate on land purchased from Iola Industries. The quarry, which is now a lake, is leased to Iola Elks Lodge for recreational purposes. The City of Iola has contracted for access to the lake water for emergency use.
Echlin Manufacturing Company purchased land from III, operating as Berg Manufacturing. Berg was acquired by Midland Brake, which then was acquired by Haldex Brake. Haldex concluded operations in Iola in 2010. Catalyst Artificial Lift began operations in the building in 2014 and stopped in 2019.
Iola Industries purchased the Bricc Wholesalers, Inc. tract just west of the old Santa Fe railroad tracks. The property was leased to Hose America, Inc., now Tramec Corp. Tramec purchased the property and expanded the plant. In 2004, Iola Industries repurchased the property from Tramec and leased it to R.V.B Trucking and Tramec until 2019, when, with the assistance of Iola Industries, Tramec moved to a different location in Iola. Green Cover Seed has purchased the space used by Tramec.
Iola Industries and the City of Iola subleased the old National Guard Armory building in Riverside Park to Columbia Metal Products, which is still leasing the buildings to this date.
Iola Industries Inc.’s first project was to clean up the approaches of our town. With the purchase of land previously the sites of old smelters and the city dump, III cleared the land and later sold it to Thompson Poultry. It is now the location of Pete’s Jump Start Convenience Store.
Economic Development Manager – Thrive Allen County
In collaboration with the City of Iola and Allen County, Iola Industries works with Thrive to take the lead on economic development efforts. Jonathon Goering works for business retention and growth, attracting new businesses, workforce development and enhancing quality of life in Allen County.