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Iowa City Business Celebrates 50 Years

IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28)--An Iowa City company's decades of service were at the center of celebrations today.

International automotive component held a community event for its 50th anniversary.

In the past five decades, IAC has grown into one of Iowa City's top ten employers, and the diverse group that showed up to today's gathering helps prove that IAC's reach spans generations.

In this crowd are current IAC employees and their families.

Mixed in, the ones who came before them, Like Charles Whetstine.

"I started working here in 1967 and retired in 2004," he said.

He says seeing the men and women he once worked with gives him the chills.

"All the people that worked 30, 40 years ago are able to come in and enjoy some food and camaraderie."

A testament to the impact the plant has had in the Iowa City community

"We've gone from anywhere from employing 1,100 people to down to maybe 300 people in the downturn years," said plant manager, Brian Pedrick.

In the 2009 recession, the plant was down to about 50 employees.

"The only thing we had in this plant that was getting ready to run was the Camaro vehicle that you see behind me. General Motors kept that thing alive during our bankruptcy so that kept our plant going," Pedrick said.

Fast forward the bankruptcy settled, today many of those who were laid off are back working.

"Now we're are at about 750 or 800 employees so a lot of people affect this community by working in this facility," Pedrick said.

Different generations, all contributors to the growth and success of one business.

"It's just a joy to see that this plant has maintained the level of operations quality that it has," Charles said.

IAC has served several industries over the years.

They are now dedicated to manufacturing vehicle components for companies including Chrysler and Ford
 
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