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“We’ve now become the go-to people for turbine cleaning in the area,” says Shane of Kozal Power Washing.

“We got the jobs at Junction Hilltop, Emmetsburg, Ruthven. We really have carved out a niche market.”

The extra income from turbine washing enabled the Kozals to hire two more full-time workers, purchase new equipment, open a Tropical Sno stand in town, and start a snow removal business.

“Hardin Hilltop helped us realize other ways to branch out and gave us capital to do it,” says Wendy. “That first job really allowed everything else to happen.”

More ripples: This past year Renew Energy Maintenance, a regional heavyweight in turbine maintenance, established its Iowa office in Jefferson.

The Ausberger family (top) stand
in front of their family's turbine.

It now employs three full-time skilled technicians and hosts over a dozen other employees who are in the state temporarily for various turbine projects.

Jim Mikel, president and founder, is proud of the company’s ability to give meaningful employment to ambitious locals who may otherwise leave the state.

“Some of our best employees are local farm kids with that famous Midwestern work ethic.”

Some of those workers have received training in turbine maintenance at local community colleges, such as Iowa Lakes and Iowa Central. Many are trained in-house.

Either way, Mikel says demand for this skilled labor is on the rise: “We hope to expand employment in Jefferson to up to 10 full-time employees by the end of the year.”


(Read more Power Players)

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