Officials from the German wind energy company Windtest were in Estherville and the surrounding area as they prepare to establish its North American headquarters in Estherville.
Based in Grevenbroich, Germany, Windtest has established itself internationally as an accredited measuring and testing institute and made its name worldwide as an independent evaluator and service provider in the wind energy sector.
On Friday, Windtest CEO Monika Kraemer said she and Jasmin Holzinger, who will head the Estherville location, have been preparing for their Estherville, which will located in the SERT building at Iowa Lakes Community College.
Kramer said they've begun taking care of some of the details-opening a bank account, getting liability insurance and looking for places for staff to rent.
"Jasmin will be moving from Germany and organizing the business," said Kraemer.
Friday morning, Kramer and Holzinger also were meeting with Iowa Lakes Community College officials to see how work is progressing on the SERT building.
She said officials from Estherville and the Iowa Lakes Corridor have been very supporting of Windtest the past two years.
"They've convinced us and we have trust in this area," she said. "This is a good place for us, our company and our test facility that we want to open in the next year."
The nearness of Iowa Lakes Community College and its wind turbine program was a major reason for the location of Windtest North America headquarters.
"We hope to find employees that the college has educated," said Kraemer. "I think this is a good combination."
While initially, the company will have just a handful of employees, Kraemer said they eventually plan to employ 10-15 people.
"We want to become an attractive operation for American employees and want to find people who want to stay with the company for many years," said Kramer.
So far the experience in the U.S. has been good.
"It' amazing to see how many hours and days people have put in," Kraemer said. "We really feel welcome here."