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Reynolds tours Red Oak Fab during SW IA swing

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By Nick Johansen

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds made a stop in Red Oak last Thursday as part of her “Building a Better Iowa Economy” tour.

Reynolds made a stop at Red Oak fabrication and took a tour of the facility. She also made stops in Atlantic, Corning, Defiance and Dunlop as part of her tour. Reynolds was welcomed by community members and Red Oak Fabrication owner Jeff Fort and sons Jacob and Jordan, who serve as managers.

Before the tour, Jeff Fort shared some of the history of the company, which was started in 1913.

“My grandfather Ted, my dad Bill and my uncle Jack built the business. I got involved in 1978, and bought my dad out, and then my uncle left the business. My dad took care of the iron side of the building, and my uncle took care of the welding supply part of the business. I sold the supply business off in 2004, and that’s when we got more into metal fabrication,” Fort said.

Reynolds spoke following the tour and said she thought the entire operation was very impressive.

“I love the fact it’s a fourth-generation family-owned business. That is so important in keeping people in our state. It’s businesses like this that will keep our economy growing, and our main streets and communities vibrant,” Reynolds said.

Additionally, Reynolds said she was also pleased with the partnerships Red Oak Fabrication had with companies such as H&H Trailers.

“They have great partnerships with companies across the state of Iowa. I was also pleased with the diversity of the operation and the technology they utilized,” commented Reynolds.

Reynolds has been working on a number of initiatives to grow the economic and manufacturing base, such as the STEM and iJAG programs. Reynolds said she had even more initiatives to bring before the legislature starting next year.

“We’re working on tax reform, and we’re watching very closely what’s happening in Washington, D.C. I’m encouraged by the movement we’ve been seeing in the Senate. We’re closely tied because of federal deductibility, so that will have an impact on what we do here in the state. I’m hoping also that water quality is one of the first bills I have an opportunity to sign, and I want to make sure we have the most innovative energy policy in the country,” commented Reynolds.