Newton Transformation Council (2007)

Newton Transformation Council (2007)

Newton, Iowa

Project Overview

The town of Newton (population 15,000) had been home to the Maytag Corporation for nearly 100 years. In 2007, it was announced that the company was being sold, and then subsequently news emerged that as many as 3000 jobs would be lost by major plant closure and relocation. Newton, Iowa faced a crossroads in its history. The local Mayor rallied community leaders and formed the Newton Transformation Council. This Council was an action-working group convened to help shape a new future for the community. It drew together key economic development, social service organizations and local leaders. This organization served as a catalyst to bring forth new thinking and creative approaches to economic and community development. With the support of local groups, it was decided to turn adversity into opportunity. By banding together, and thinking creatively, the community moved forward to attract new resources, harness new investment and industries, and to ultimately rewrite their own history.

"I love this t-shirt because it symbolizes to me the work we did that fateful night (September 21, 2006) with 300 + plus residents to put our vision together with David Beurle, CEO of Future iQ’s help. To me, that was the night that we created hope for our community and a sense of empowerment to move beyond the loss of Maytag and forge a new identity which is celebrated in the video. This is lasting transformation!!!”
- Kim Didier, Executive Director, DMACC

Future iQ's Role in this Project

  • The Newton Transformation Council hosted a ‘Community Visioning Session’, facilitated by Future iQ Partners.
  • This event drew nearly 300 people and began to define a future vision for the community, and people formed together in action teams. This session became a defining moment in Newton’s history. The community of Newton saw hope in the emerging economies associated with renewable energy.
  • By the fall of 2008, Newton had attracted more than 1,200 new jobs through an impressive list of advanced manufacturing and high-tech companies, mostly in renewable energy wind sector.
  • Redeveloped old Maytag site into community facilities and college grounds.
  • Attracted new Federal Government funding programs, and Newton was responsible for the formation of new thinking in program support from Federal agencies.
  • President Obama chose Newton as the location to announce his renewable energy policy in 2009, in recognition of its example in industrial transition to new energy based manufacturing economies.
Vintage photo of Maytag washer. President Obama announcing Newton as the location of renewable energy policy. A row of wind turbines in Newton.

Additional Resources and More Information