Turnkey Vegetable Oil Packaging Plant Designed for Special-Needs Employees

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Soybean oil from the Coralville plant will be shipped to areas with food insecurity through USAID. Click here to see the full video from KCRG.

Client: Goodwill of the Heartland
Location: Coralville, Iowa

Goodwill converted a shuttered animal feed mill into an oil packaging plant designed to meet the needs of their workforce.

After landing a sizeable long-term contract with the USDA to package vegetable oil, Goodwill needed to launch a manufacturing plant near Coralville, Iowa. The catch: Goodwill was new to the food industry and needed a plant with specific design considerations to suit a labor force of people with significant disabilities (AbilityOne program).

Working hand-in-hand with Goodwill’s executive team, we provided a full-service turnkey package that delivered a complete design as well as equipment and subcontractors well-suited for this unique project.


  • Job Creation Through Smart Design: While the industry standard is to go fully automated, Goodwill wanted to engineer jobs back into the line. The new semi-automated filling line is designed with considerations for both ergonomics and operator safety.
  • Equipment Procurement: Our experience and network of vendors helped Goodwill find the right balance of cost and equipment performance – and we were able to get it ordered, purchased and delivered within their schedule.
  • Subcontractor Coordination: In a hot building economy, finding a quality contractor for a relatively small project can be tough. Our relationships with local builders helped connect Goodwill with the right people to get the job done and ensure that they did it well.
  • Broadened Goodwill’s Team: Goodwill took advantage of our industry relationships as well as our design and procurement experience. They were able to stay focused on their mission of supporting the community while we took care of getting the plant built.

Project Features

  • Start-to-finish production line (bulk oil receiving from tanker trucks, batch tanks with vitamin blending/addition, can filling, check weighing, labeling, palletizing, stretch wrapping and case coding)
  • 36,000 square-foot renovated building
  • Semi-automated system
  • Creates about 40+ well-paying jobs for the community, including 20+ for people with significant disabilities
  • Production rate of 10,000-14,000 metric tons of oil annually
  • Comprehensive design and project management/administration (architecture, civil, structural, process, packaging, mechanical, electrical, controls, scheduling, procurement, project/program management)