Minnesota Diversified Industries LLC is breaking ground Sept. 27 to triple the footprint of its plastics processing site in Grand Rapids, Minn.
The 55,000-square-foot addition means that MDI, based in St. Paul, Minn., will add a second corrugated-sheet extrusion line. It will add 100 employees during the next three years for a total of 150, President Mark de Naray said Sept. 22 by telephone.
According to a Sept. 15 report in The Herald-Review in Grand Rapids, the investment for the new building and equipment will be more than $7.5 million.
``We expect to have it operational and productive in spring,'' de Naray said. ``We will add one line with sufficient capability of adding another, if warranted.''
The year has been eventful for MDI, which teams with the U.S. Postal Service to provide job opportunities for people with disabilities and economic disadvantages. In August, it celebrated the production of its 50 millionth plastic mail tote. The plastic is extruded at the Grand Rapids facility and the totes are shipped from MDI's site in Hibbing, Minn.
The St. Paul site packages all stamps sold in post offices, retail stores and vending machines, according to MDI.
De Naray said MDI has gained incremental business with the Postal Service. Its contract with the service has increased 37 percent during the past six months.
The firm will focus on unidentified products for new commercial customers - ``products that are business-to-business products, not so much consumer,'' de Naray said. ``Some are existing products, but better mousetraps. The other phase is substitution of plastic into other products currently not made of plastic. For our company, we're certainly getting more technically competent, as well as smarter, about plastic manufacturing and assembly.''
MDI also provides a range of outsourcing and third-party logistical services for a variety of businesses.