MDI has officially opened its brand new facility in Hibbing, Minnesota.
Located outside downtown Hibbing near the Range Regional Airport, MDI’s new 36,000-sq-ft structure includes office space, a lunchroom, locker rooms, and a modern and bright production floor. It replaces the former 100-year-old Hibbing facility, which was originally a Greyhound bus terminal.
“MDI built this facility to provide better working conditions for employees, to strengthen overall efficiency of operations, provide room for business growth, and create more jobs in the Hibbing community,” said Peter McDermott, president and CEO. “We’re excited to welcome our current Hibbing employees into this new setting and look forward to business growth.”
The completion of MDI’s new building marks the culmination of its multi-year effort to modernize equipment and facilities and prepare the organization for new diversification and growth. This process has included moving into and renovating a new space in the Twin Cities in 2014, purchasing and renovating a new building in Cohasset in 2016, installing new equipment in Grand Rapids in 2017, and now, launching the bright new space in Hibbing.
“I want to thank all our employees whose production of more than 100 million totes and trays for a government contract over the past 25 years contributed to MDI’s ability to build this new facility,” said McDermott. “In addition, we couldn’t have done it without the support of local elected officials and donors including individuals as well as the Minnesota Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation, Blandin Foundation, St. Louis County, Cleveland Cliffs, and FabCon.”
“At the end of the day, this new building will vastly improve working conditions for the Hibbing employees while providing opportunities for MDI to grow,” said Phil Bakken, who is a long-term MDI board member and was instrumental in creating support for the Hibbing project. “While still largely dependent on the United States Postal Services for revenue, we are now expanding into other manufactured venues that will diversify sales.”
In addition to sales diversification, MDI is also working to expand the support services provided to people with disabilities. In 2017, MDI launched an innovative training program, Work Skills 101, which provides professional development opportunities for people with and without disabilities and prepares them for job growth and advancement. The new Hibbing building will improve the training by providing a modern and inviting environment in which individuals with and without disabilities can learn side by side.
Finally, with its new facilities and equipment in place, MDI is perfectly positioned to strengthen its model as an inclusive work environment and to demonstrate to all employers that people with disabilities are dependable, committed, and skilled workers.
“Any time a business expands in or relocates to our community is worth celebrating, but MDI stands out because it has a unique mission to improve people’s lives,” said District 06A State Representative Julie Sandstede, in regard to the opening of MDI’s new building. “I hope more organizations can take note of MDI’s inclusive environment and work to replicate it.”
View KBJR’s feature about the new facility.
For more information about MDI’s products and services, click here.
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