Keokuk, IA – RDP’s second investment into Roquette revamped the drying facilities, which enabled the company to continue purchasing grain locally, instead of shipping in dry by-products.
Roquette’s products are primarily carbohydrate derivatives that are used as ingredients in the food, pharmaceutical, paper, fermentation and other various industrial sectors including 115 different industrial applications ranging from batteries, metal castings, finished aluminum, pills, paper goods, leather goods, and concrete additives, to animal and human food ingredients. Some 6,000 employees support a vertically integrated operation that starts with farm origination and that proceeds through first stage processing and final ingredients refinement.
Roquette’s Keokuk facility is an older corn wet-mill plant that is being upgraded over time as finances allow. Such upgrades are critically important for Roquette to remain competitive in the global markets it serves and to remain in compliance with environmental regulations. An important section of the plant that is in dire need of upgrading, both to improve economics and to reduce air emissions, is the byproduct drying center. Roquette has been working for several years on the design and financing of a new drying center and, with the help of NMTCs, is now able to proceed with construction.
Supporting growth and environmental improvements at the Roquette corn processing facility is a logical target for improving the well being of low-income residents in the region. Roquette is the largest employer in Keokuk, the third largest employer in Lee County and the top corporate taxpayer in Lee County. Manufacturing represents 25% of the employment in Lee County and manufacturing jobs provide the highest average weekly wage in Lee County.
RDP’s Community Investment Program
Rural Development Partners (RDP) partnered with Roquette America in two different NMTC projects between 2008 and 2010. Under RDP’s Community Investment Program, RDP and Roquette America provided a matching funds grant of $450,000 toward workforce development and community initiatives.
$300,000 helped develop an Industrial Training Program, providing residents with educational opportunities to secure good jobs within local industry. $138,691 helped finance a flood wall, and $11,309 enabled the YMCA to provide cardio and strength training to encourage health and wellbeing.