BUSINESS NEWS: Faircast, New London Specialty Care, Fairfield businesses honored for clean energy

Submitted photo

Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Ideal Energy and   Steffensmeier Welding & Manufacturing were honored at the Bright Ideas Breakfast Sept. 26 in Des Moines for demonstrating innovation in a clean energy transition.
Submitted photo Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Ideal Energy and Steffensmeier Welding & Manufacturing were honored at the Bright Ideas Breakfast Sept. 26 in Des Moines for demonstrating innovation in a clean energy transition.

Faircast investors acquire Galesburg foundry

Faircast Inc. has announced that it has acquired an Illinois foundry, Galesburg Castings Inc.

The Fairfield Iron foundry, with roots back to 1903 as a standout manufacturer, has acquired Galesburg Castings. The increase in business with this acquisition will bring Faircast one step closer to a major modernization that includes new molding lines and sand systems. Coupled with the large capital improvements already made, Faircast Inc. is setting itself up to be a Midwestern casting powerhouse. The acquisition solidifies the vision of increasing profitability and revenue while maintaining diversity and competitiveness in the industry.

Galesburg Castings Inc. founders, John Fox and Jim Steinbeck, started the company in Galesburg in 1994 and produce gray and ductile iron castings. Galesburg Castings shares many common customers with Faircast Inc., which will only help in making this a smooth transition.

As part of the acquisition, manufacturing operations of both companies will be consolidated to Faircast Inc. in Fairfield.

New London Specialty Care receives highest rating

New London Specialty Care earned a perfect survey administered by the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals. They received zero deficiencies. There are 440 nursing facilities in Iowa. Generally, only 5 percent are found to be deficiency-free.

Skilled nursing facilities are inspected annually to evaluate services and renew state licensure. Unannounced, state surveyors arrive to interview, observe, and check records for several days. Surveyors determine compliance with regulations governing areas such as quality of care, residents’ rights, confidentiality and quality of service. If each of the many applicable regulations is met, the nursing home is awarded a “deficiency-free” survey.

“Receiving a deficiency free rating requires a great amount of attention to detail in all areas,” says Administrator Jens Lee. “With the intention of always thinking of ‘residents first’ we are committed and able to provide a safe, comfortable, loving home for all those who live here with us.” “We have worked hard as a team to receive this honorable achievement,” he added.

New London Specialty Care is a 49-bed skilled nursing facility offering rehabilitation services, skilled nursing care, long term care and hospice care. It is owned and operated by Care Initiatives, Iowa’s largest not-for-profit senior care and hospice care provider. With headquarters in West Des Moines, Care Initiatives and Care Initiatives Hospice operate 55 skilled nursing, rehabilitation, Alzheimer’s/dementia, assisted living and hospice locations throughout Iowa. For more information about Care Initiatives, visit or call 319-367-5753.

Fairfield businesses honored for clean energy transition

Two Fairfield businesses, Agri-industrial Plastics Company and Ideal Energy, were honored at the Bright Ideas Breakfast Thursday, Sept. 26, downtown Des Moines for demonstrating innovation in a clean energy transition.

Agri-Industrial Plastics Company received a Business Innovation award for pioneering Iowa’s first solar project to incorporate Tesla Powerpack, a project that will reduce the company’s peak load by 6 percent each month, delivering significant cost savings. The 517 kW project is currently the largest rooftop solar installation in the state of Iowa. The company is using the initiative as a strategic differentiator to attract top hires by staking out a cutting-edge, sustainability-focused position.

“We’re really focused on being the employer of choice in the region,” said Lori Schaefer-Weaton, President of AIP. “This solar array is like a giant billboard that says, ‘Guess what? This is not your old-school manufacturing building.’ It’s not dark, it’s not dingy, it’s not unsafe. It’s technical, it’s looking forward.” AIP is the first advanced manufacturing operation in Iowa to implement solar plus battery energy storage for peak demand management.

Ideal Energy, a Fairfield-based solar installation company, received a Business Innovation award for leadership in implementing a combination of solar and energy storage which allows large electric consumers to control costly peak demand charges. In addition to peak shaving, Ideal Energy is working to use energy storage in applications such as microgrids, adding grid capacity, emergency backup power, load shifting, and renewable integration. The company was recently ranked in the top 20 solar and energy contractor firms in the nation by Solar Power Magazine.

A third award was given to Jenny Steffensmeier of Steffensmeier Welding & Manufacturing in Pilot Grove, who received the Partner in Policy award for her efforts to advance policy around clean energy and efficiency at the state level, as her experience in taking her business 100 percent solar introduced significant cost savings.

The solar projects at both Agri-Industrial Plastics Company and Steffensmeier Welding and Manufacturing were designed and installed by Ideal Energy.

The event, hosted by the Iowa Environmental Council, focused on clean energy opportunities for Iowa, exploring how investment and policy efforts in energy efficiency, electrification, and renewable development improves the economy and the environment.

“IEC was honored to recognize three Iowa companies leading by example — while saving money! There are many more businesses doing this great work, and many others who have yet to discover the opportunities from investment in energy efficiency, electrification, or renewable projects. Iowa is ready for 100% clean energy and IEC’s number one goal is to shrink our carbon emissions while helping Iowans flourish. The solutions are well within reach and together we can make this transition benefit everyone,” says Kerri Johannsen, Program Director at IEC.