Schemmer’s The Forge Project Makes Headlines

Schemmer’s The Forge project, formerly known as the Odd Fellows Building in Jefferson, Iowa, is making headlines across the nation for bringing top technology to untapped rural talent.

On Saturday, September 7, Pillar Technology, an Accenture company with a Des Moines office, opened its $1.8M center. Pillar technology’s goal is to boost the state’s tech pool and is partnering with Jefferson to bring tech training that begins in high school, continues through college and ends with four months of free training at The Forge with an opportunity for a six-month apprenticeship at the Jefferson Forge Academy.

U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna, a California Democrat, and others have been working to connect this rural Iowa community of 4,200 to Silicon Valley tech leaders to provide training for jobs typically found in large cities.

Linc Kroeger, a Pillar executive, said the fast-track training should position graduates for good-paying jobs — with little debt — at either Pillar or another company.

Kroeger earlier estimated the training would put graduates in line for jobs that pay $75,000 a year. He said the new office has space for 30 employees and 16 trainees.

Schemmer The Forge Project Jefferson Iowa

The Forge Project, Jefferson, Iowa

The 6,000 SF building, which is considered a contributing building to the Jefferson Square Commercial Historic District, was renovated into premium office space. The building was renovated in accordance with the State Historical Preservation Office and National Park Service’s Historical Preservation Standards and Guidelines.

Forge project consisted of a complete gut and remodel, but key historical features were highlighted including:

  • windows set in cast stone window arches
  • pressed-metal ceiling
  • large wooden interior doorways on second floor in the former Independent Order of Odd Fellows meeting space

First Floor Forge Project

The first floor of the building is split between a training bay and an open office bay that can double as a venue for community events.

Second Floor Forge Project

The second floor is an open office space. This is truly a catalytic project for the community of Jefferson and rural Iowa as a whole. Schemmer provided architectural services for renovation and assistance with State and Federal historic tax credit applications.

To read more about this unique project click on the links below.

Des Moines Register - Reynolds: Jefferson initiative to bring high-tech jobs to rural Iowa could be model for nation  - New Technology Hub Offers a Unique Opportunity to Rural Students

Schemmer - Design with Purpose. Build with Confidence.

Schemmer continues to study and implement renewable energies when possible. If energy costs rise or regulations require lower consumption, we’ll be ready. It is our responsibility to identify where we can help clients save energy, conserve the natural environment and look for sustainable solutions.