On Tuesday, MDI, broke ground on a new 35,000-square-foot plant that will replace their existing 100-year-old building in Hibbing. This facility will cost more than $5 million and is as part of a $9 million expansion of its northern Minnesota operations.
“The vision to build a more spacious and efficient facility for employees and operations in Hibbing is coming to life – it’s exciting times,” said Peter McDermot, Chief Executive Officer, MDI. “We’re investing in the community and fortunate for their support. We had a building we looked at for some time, and to renovate it to meet our needs, it was about $3.7 million. With this project at $4.7 on the building, we said wait a second, add a million dollars and lets get exactly what we need. This is a 50 year kind of investment for us.”
City and state officials, contractors, donors, and community members joined MDI employees in celebration of the facility, scheduled to open in early 2018. The Hibbing plant, which houses production of millions of plastic totes and trays, will now have double the building space and extra docks to increase operating efficiencies and business. The new location will focus on improved working conditions for employees – better lighting and restrooms, ample parking, security, and additional space for workstations.
Attendee Wade Fauth, Vice President of the Blandin Foundation, and long-time supporter of MDI’s mission, was excited about the facility’s positive impact on the community. “The Blandin Foundation is focused on enriching our community and investing in organizations, such as MDI, that make a difference. By creating greater self-sufficiency for people with disabilities, expanding the local workforce, and generating millions of dollars in annual economic impact, MDI delivers a triple bottom line for the communities it serves.”
This project is made possible through the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) who provided a $350,000 infrastructure grant and a $1 million forgivable loan, along with St. Louis County who donated $53,000 for infrastructure, numerous local donors, and MDI’s own investment from cash reserves. Another one million dollars still needs to be raised to pay for the construction.
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