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TPI Composites + A Diversified Workforce

TPI Composites Workforce

August 6, 2021

Driving east on I-80 outside of Des Moines sits the city of Newton. Housing around 15,000 residents, Newton is a welcoming town with a rich history, specifically in the manufacturing industry. Until 2007, it was home to Maytag, a big brand builder of washing machines and dryers. As they moved on, they left many in the community jobless and concerned about their livelihood.

That’s where we come in.

TPI Composites is the largest independent blade manufacturer located right in the heart of Iowa and the U.S. wind market. TPI knew Newton needed infrastructure to survive and had a product that needed to be built. In 2008, management bought land on the north side of town and opened their doors to all who were ready to return to work. We have grown since then and continue to grow as a global company.

In my bio, you will see I came to TPI fresh out of college. There are endless opportunities when you are just starting your career, but after my interview at TPI, I knew this was the place for me. There were multiple factors driving my decision — number one being the diverse workforce.

How TPI Embraces Diversity, Equity + Inclusion

I can remember the first day I came to TPI for my interview and tour. The first thing I saw was a wall that showcased multiple national flags and nameplates that identified where each flag was from. I asked my tour guide why the flags were hanging there, and he told me they represented the different nationalities that worked at the TPI Iowa facility. Later in the interview, I learned TPI had over 40 different nationalities represented, from those who worked on the production floor up through the management in Iowa.

Throughout my almost three years at TPI, I can confidently say we take Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) to a whole new level. In Iowa, we have the capacity to hire both English and Spanish speaking individuals. We celebrate the six national heritage months including Black History Month in February, International Women’s History Month in March, Asian and Pacific Islander American Month in May, Pride Month in June, Hispanic Heritage Month in September and Native American Heritage Month in November. Additionally, we recognize and celebrate the first week in October as National Diversity Week.

Not only do we celebrate these historic months with activities and giveaways for our associates, but our team also works closely with the Newton Diversity Alliance and other organizations to provide fundraising and resources for those who are new to the community who may have never lived in the United States, let alone Newton.

Innovation at TPI

The second factor that drove my desire to work at TPI was their innovation and dedication to the renewable energy industry as a global company. Although we only build wind turbine blades in Newton, globally, we do much more than that. We have a field service team that goes to the wind turbine farms and repairs the blades onsite, both up-tower and down-tower. We also produce the outer shell of a bus made of composite materials and sell it to a customer who transforms it into an electric bus. I love that my company cares about the environment and includes it in their mission and vision statements. Renewable energy is ultimately the future, and TPI takes pride in being a big part of the industry.

TPI Composites currently has openings listed on our website, both on the production floor and management. I would encourage everyone who is reading this and thinking about changing their career path to consider our positions and moving to the renewable energy industry. It is thriving and isn’t going away any time soon!

Want to learn more? Visit us online at tpicomposites.com.

Greater Des Moines (DSM) welcomes diverse talent to the region. As one of the fastest growing business communities, inclusion and attracting diverse talent in the workplace is a key strategy of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. Learn more here.

Katelyn Kolsrud

Katelyn Kolsrud is the community and associate relations coordinator at TPI Composites in Newton, Iowa. She is 2018 alumni from the University of Northern Iowa and started at TPI upon graduation and continues to progress her career there.