Staff Directory 10644746

Dee DePass

Reporter | Manufacturing
Phone: 612-673-7725
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Dee DePass is a business reporter for the Star Tribune. She spent the last four years covering Minnesota's manufacturing and mining industries. She previously covered the economy, workplace issues and banking.


Originally from the East Coast, Dee earned her undergraduate degree at Vassar College and a master's degree in journalism at the University of Maryland. In her spare time, she enjoys travel, fitness, reading, and being an adjunct journalism professor.
Recent content from Dee DePass
Polaris, working with members from the original LRV crew and a NASA astronaut, produced a Lunar Rover replica for the 50th anniversary of the moon lan

Polaris creates replica of lunar rover for moon landing anniversary

Polaris Industries builds Lunar Rover Vehicle from spare ATV parts.

New Brighton trucking firm closes doors, leaving workers in the lurch

The company last month started paying former workers a settlement after state and federal labor agencies ruled against it over an abrupt closure in 2016.
Richard Murphy Jr.

Richard Murphy Jr., who loved his family, his company and sustainability practices, dies at 67

In the 26 years since Richard Murphy Jr. became the fourth-generation head of his family’s Minneapolis warehousing business, he helped it grow from one to…
Doosan Bobcat is opening a global innovation hub in downtown Minneapolis.

Construction giant Doosan Bobcat will open global office in downtown Mpls.

Construction giant chose Minneapolis for easy accessibility.
Packages passed down a conveyor belt before receiving a shipping label at Amazon in Shakopee.

Amazon workers in Shakopee plan 4-hour strike during Prime Day

Employees at Amazon's center in Shakopee will join a 4-hour strike during peak sales event.
A U.S. bankruptcy judge has ordered sanctions and a jury trial against BMO Harris Bank on claims it destroyed e-mails and bank tapes related to Tom Pe

Bankruptcy judge orders trial for BMO Harris Bank in Tom Petters case

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kathleen Sanberg concluded BMO Harris Bank lied, gave the court "false and misleading" testimony and "intentionally destroyed and failed to preserve the Minnesota e-mail backup tapes."
Former Starkey President Jerry Ruzicka, shown here leaving the federal courthouse in Minneapolis in 2016, is set to go to prison on Moneay.

Former Starkey president heads to prison Monday

Jerry Ruzicka was convicted in March 2018 of defrauding Starkey out of millions of dollars.
3M hosted a 3M Science Tour for the media on Tuesda at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine. The tour showcased some applied uses of 3M technology in public exhi

3M has fun with products from adhesives to wall graphics at PGA tournament in Blaine

3M Open Science Tour showcased products made with company technologies.
Factories in the nine-state area tracked by the Mid-America Business Conditions Index grew, but not at the national pace. Shown is M&M Manufacturing i

Minnesota, regional factories grow, but slower than national pace

Wide labor shortages, tariffs cited as challenges.
Apogee's Q1 profit beats Wall Street expectations

Apogee's Q1 profit beats Wall Street expectations

Strength in the construction sector boosted Bloomington-based Apogee Enterprises' first-quarter earnings.Revenue for the quarter ended June 1 rose 6 % to $355.4 million. Earnings rose nearly…
Andersen Corp. has submitted plans to build a warehouse, so more space in its Cottage Grove window factory can be freed up for manufacturing.

Andersen windows looks to expand again in Cottage Grove with $35M project

Cottage Grove warehouse project would create 125 jobs in three years.
Former state legislator Tom Anzelc, seen campaigning in 2016, will handle government relations for a team that is buying two former Magnetation iron o

Former legislator Tom Anzelc part of team buying Magnetation properties for $1.95 million

U.S. Bankruptcy Court approved the sale of old Magnetation facilities.
3M announced at Circularity that it would only use recycled plastic fibers to make Scotch-Brite sponges.

Companies from 3M to Google in Minneapolis to talk green business practices

The Circularity 19 conference focused on sustainability plans and how to implement them.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice golfs with professional golfer Stacy Lewis before the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit on Wednesday in conn

Condoleezza Rice says if you are prepared, people will accept women as leaders

Former secretary of state also told the crowd at the KPMG Women's Leadership Summit that she had to take constructive criticism to be a more effective leader.
Workers locked out of Lakeville Motor Express in 2016 were wronged, according to a federal investigation.

Locked-out workers get first checks in $1.25M case against Twin Cities trucking company

LME has issued first payments after a federal ruling demanded $1.25 million in back pay.
3M global headquarters in Maplewood. (Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune)

3M Co. settles its patent infringement lawsuit against South Korea gaming firm

Terms of the patent suit were not disclosed.
3M global headquarters in Maplewood.

3M suspends operations in Venezuela, citing unrest

Citing unrest with no end in sight, the company will take a $160M charge.
UCare held a wellness expo for employees over a lunch hour. More than a third of the company’s employees were expected to participate.

UCare, other Minnesota Top Workplaces trying to make diversity more than a buzzword

From educational seminars to sharing cultures and starting women's groups, diversity takes time.
Todd Wilkinson, president and chief executive of Entrust Datacard, shows one of the company's larger credit card machines at Datacard's Shakopee plant

Entrust Datacard in Shakopee buys 300-employee hardware security business

The security company will remain based in Florida.
Cleveland-Cliffs is opening a new plant at its Northshore Mining operation in Silver Bay.

Cleveland-Cliffs' $100 million plant to use new ore technology

Northshore Mining plant in Silver Bay will begin producing higher-quality iron-ore product
Starkey owner Bill Austin

Starkey accused in lawsuit of lax oversight of ESOP

Lawsuit says ESOP lost money because of financial fraud and embezzlement former executives have been prosecuted for.
Zean Nielsen, CEO of Cirrus Aircraft.

Duluth-based Cirrus Aircraft selects former Tesla executive to become CEO

Zean Nielsen is now CEO of the company with more than 1,100 employees.
3M headquarters in Maplewood. (Provided by 3M) ORG XMIT: MIN1903181105391162

3M to sell its gas, fire detection business for $230 million

3M is selling a business that generates $120 million in sales annually.
Dominium is proposing more than 400 units of housing in three buildings for the long deserted Four Seasons Mall location in Plymouth. It is seeking pu

$130M housing project pitched for shuttered mall site in Plymouth

The proposal would turn former host of Four Seasons Mall into affordable senior, family housing.
An HVAC worker at Daikin Applied North America in Faribault, Minn. (Glen Stubbe/Minneapolis Star Tribune) ORG XMIT: MIN1905141645095943

Despite trade woes, Minnesota manufacturers see growth

Regional index finds trade, weather hurt manufacturing — but not in Minnesota.
Minnesota farmers and businesses shuddered at the prospect of new trade barriers with Mexico proposed by President Donald Trump. Vice President Mike P

As Trump threatens Mexico, trade war fatigue sets in for Minnesota businesses and farmers

State's farmers, business react: "We can't keep doing this"
3M's world headquarters in Maplewood. (Photo from Dreamstime.) ORG XMIT: MIN1903261016274297

New Hampshire sues 3M, others over contaminated water

The litigation is the latest in a series of legal filings that allege harm from so-called PFAS.

Minnesota exports rise to $5.4 billion despite trade war with China, others

Medical and machine products remained the most in demand.
3M's agreement with Lake Elmo settles a lawsuit that had been pending in U.S. District Court for years. The bulk of the money is expected to be used t

3M will pay Lake Elmo $2.7 million to settle yet another PFC lawsuit

3M settlement also gives the city 180 acres of 3M farmland.
Brian McLean, center, director of rapid prototype at Laika, Scott Crump, left, co-founder of Stratasys, and Rich Garrity, president of Stratasys Ameri

Eden Prairie company creates 'game-changing' 3-D tech for film with Oscar buzz

The Eden Prairie-based company's multicolor, multi-material printer has been lauded as ushering in the next generation of stop-motion animation.
Scott Allison, shown in 2018, said for his company, Minnesota Twist Drill in Chisholm, “what happened last week may not be such a bad thing,” with

Minnesota manufacturers scramble as trade war with China escalates

While some have options, others see few alternatives since they are in such competitive industries and cannot raise prices.
Daikin Applied North America added flexible shifts and other perks to help deal with the tight labor market. Pictured is the HVAC equipment plant in F

Worker shortage hurts growth, profits at Minnesota factories

Survey shows company leaders believe problem is limiting growth possibilities.
NVent Electric CEO Beth Wozniak.

Pentair spinoff nVent Electric is a Wall Street darling — so far

Spin-off has seen sales and profits grow, all while building its identity apart from Pentair.

Payday-advance firm to open Minneapolis office, hiring 100

DailyPay has 100 workers in New York and expects to double the number of employees by the end of the year, the company said
Polaris CEO Scott Wine told CNBC the company might need to move jobs to Mexico if President Donald Trump's latest tariff plan goes into effect.

New China tariffs could be 'catastrophic' for Polaris, CEO says

CEO Wine said Trump's threatened move could result in a $200 million hit for the company.
Jourdan Dunn attends The 2019 Met Gala "Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art/" on May 06, 2019 in New York City.

Minnesota's Protolabs hits Met Gala's red carpet with designer Zac Posen

The Maple Plain company partnered with Posen and GE Additive to create the one-of-a-kind wearable flower with 21 large 3D-printed petals.
The 3M headquarters complex in Maplewood

3M rolls out its biggest deal: $6.7B to buy wound-care company

The Maplewood-based company adds high-tech wound care to its line.
Manufacturing growth in Minnesota outpaced the region and the nation. Picture is Daikin Applied North America in Faribault.

Manufacturing in Minnesota in April grew faster than region, nation

The tight labor market, though, continues to worry managers, manufacturing survey shows.
Devin Gaines

Twin Cities hip-hop promoter Devin Gaines, 22, remembered as loyal friend

When Devin Gaines called, thousands came. The young promoter knew how to reach out and haul in rap fans to venues large and small across…
Wndows are framed at the Marvin factory in Warroad in 2017.

Marvin Windows and Doors rebrands as part of a bigger reorganization

Rebranding of Warroad company includes a new portfolio of products.
Ecolab headquarters in downtown St. Paul.

St. Paul cleaning chemicals firm Ecolab beats Q1 expectations

Profit jumps 20% during first quarter
Customization is a strength of Polaris’ electric GEM vehicles. Buyers can choose battery style and capacity depending on need, then get a two-, four

ATV maker Polaris growing its fleet of petite electric-cars in a big way

Polaris Industries brings its small electric vehicles to cities, campuses and retirement communities
Polaris said snowmobile sales jumped 20% during the snowy winter months.

Polaris' 20% hike in snowmobile sales helped a lackluster quarter

Polaris Industries Inc.'s first-quarter profit fell 13%. If it were not for a long winter boosting snowmobile sales, the results would have been worse.Polaris saw…
The FAA has grounded Duluth-based Cirrus Aircraft's SF50 aircrafts until they can get a sensor replaced. Pictured here is one of the SF50s when the co

FAA grounds Cirrus jets made in Duluth after malfunctions

Sensor problem in the Model SF50 jets similar to those being investigated in connection with Boeing Max 737 crashes. Cirrus notified owners of the seven-seater, single-engine jets late last week of the need to get them repaired.
Northrop Grumman Technician Phalla Kour in Plymouth displays one newly made precision-guided artillery kit. The kits are made and tested in Plymouth f

Defense tech giant spending $2M to expand in Plymouth, hire 60

Northrop Grumman is seeing more demand for smart artillery shells.
Cleveland-Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves.

Cleveland-Cliffs drops lawsuit against Minnesota DNR

Cliffs keeps lawsuit against Mesabi Metallics, claiming trespassing at Nashwauk mine site.
Former Starkey president Jerome C. Ruzicka, right, leaves the Federal Courthouse in 2016. (Mark Vancleave/mark.vancleave@startribune.com)

Judge grants two convicted in Starkey fraud case a second prison delay

Convicted in the Starkey fraud case, the two must now report on June 3.
Dylon Eisele worked on the control panel of a Delkor case loader. Delkor’s robotic packaging machines make efficient shipping cartons and food boxes

How robots turned an Arden Hills box maker into minimalists

Smarter packaging designs use less material, spare landfills and cut pollution.
Joseph Puishys, president and CEO of Apogee Enterprises Inc.

Apogee posts loss for fourth quarter

Building glass maker cites weather woes and costs tied to EFCO acquisition.
Pentair will miss first quarter earnings goals, the company said.

Winter weather blamed for disappointing quarter at Pentair, sending stock down 14 percent

The company also downgraded its full-year guidance as a result of the earnings miss.
3M Design unveils in Italy a tower inspired by nature

3M Design unveils in Italy a tower inspired by nature

"A Pinnacle of Reflection" was built with architect Matteo Thun & Partners using Maplewood-based 3M's reflective films and other optical materials.
Protolabs trainer Truly Paw said the company’s drop in health care premiums — from $300 to $55 a paycheck in her case — helped her stay at her j

As competition for skilled workers heats up, manufacturers improve health benefits

As manufacturers compete for skilled workers, they are getting more generous with health benefits.
Thermo King and electric truck maker Chanje are unveiling prototype of a food-delivery van that runs on electricity at a trade show later this month.

Bloomington's Thermo King boasts new electric refrigerator van

Thermo King aims to make delivery of produce greener with its prototype zero-emission refrigerated van.

Pine Technical College wins $1.1 million federal job training grant

The college plans to use the money to buy equipment and renovate its workforce training center.
Sentiment perked up around Midwest factories during March, a monthly survey by Creighton University found. File photo of Jeep vehicles outside the Jef

Midwest manufacturers' business conditions best since August

Report shows strong sales but slower hiring among state manufacturers.
Daikin’s manufacturing facility in Faribault.

Daikin expands again, this time with leased office in Plymouth

HVAC maker adding room for growing workforce.
Container terminals in Hong Kong steadily see traffic coming and going. However, exports to the U.S. have been hurt amid the current trade dispute.

Minnesota exports hit record $23 billion in 2018

Canada and China remain biggest trade partners and show biggest gains.
Minnesota DEED Commissioner Steve Grove, a former Google and YouTube executive, says, “We want the next crop of Fortune 500s to get started here.”

New DEED commissioner and former Google executive wants to encourage innovation in Minnesota

Steve Grove's goals include encouraging innovation and addressing economic inequalities.
Ecolab President Thomas Handley is retiring.

Ecolab President Thomas Handley stepping down, retiring later in year

Thomas Handley will step down as president on April 1 and retire later this year; his successor is Christophe Beck.
3M headquarters in Maplewood.

3M realigns corporate structure, combining safety with industrial businesses

Its new Safety & Industrial group will have annual revenue of $12 billion.
The stacks and the steel frame for the induration building are seen on the site of the former Essar Steel Minnesota taconite mine project in Nashwauk.

Minnesota, Iron Range leaders worry about lack of progress at former Essar site

Mesabi Metallics is under pressure to meet construction deadlines.
Tiara Hill graduated from Dunwoody with a degree in welding and will be returning to get a degree in industrial engineering.

As Minneapolis' Graco staffs up with robots, Dunwoody trains people to program them

Robots are taking positions on factory floors of companies strapped by labor shortages. Now those companies, such as Graco of Minneapolis, need people to program the robots.
The leisure and hospitality sector gained the most workers in January. Pictured are workers getting Target Center ready for the AMA Arenacross Series

State says job growth in Minnesota is slowing

The state added 3,800 jobs in January, and the unemployment rate is 3 percent.
CEO of Cliff Natural Resources, Lourenco Goncalves.

Cleveland-Cliffs CEO to state: Work with it, and company will expand

Expansion depends on Nashwauk parcel embroiled in former Essar Steel Minnesota project.
Reviva opened a new facility in Brooklyn Center that will focus on rebuilding gas engines so that they are “drop-in ready” for companies with big

Twin Cities company makes name refurbishing engines for UPS, other big fleets

Reviva, the largest diesel-engine remanufacturer in the U.S., opens plant to work on gas-powered engines
Bar stocks will be turned into parts at Graco's Minneapolis plant. Graco is among the companies with Minnesota ties that have a keen interest in seein

Manufacturing in Minnesota, Midwest still growing despite trade, hiring woes

Minnesota's growth slowed some during February.
The new agreement makes 3M one of the largest corporate headquarters to commit to using renewable energy to power its corporate operations.

3M to power all of its 30-building Maplewood HQ with renewable energy

In partnership with Xcel Energy, company aims to power its Maplewood campus with 100 percent renewable energy.
Iron workers set up a crane to move steel for the construction of buildings on the site of Essar Steel Minnesota's taconite mine project in Nashwauk,

Essar Global sues to block efforts to ban it from doing business in Minnesota

Lawsuit seeks a restraining order against two state agencies and says it would like to be involved in the Nashwauk taconite project.
Todd Braunlich, 3M's global retail analytics director, left, and Joaquin Delgado, executive vice president of the consumer business, show features of

3M opens multimillion-dollar consumer data lab on Maplewood campus

The idea is to work with customers on analyzing data to boost sales and efficiencies of products from Post-it notes to tape and filters.
Carolyn Lee, from left, executive director of the Manufacturing Institute, tours the Protolabs manufacturing facility with Protolabs president and CEO

Manufacturing advocates warn of looming labor crisis at Twin Cities event

A group spearheaded by the National Association of Manufacturers is traveling the country trying to spread the word that an industrial career path is not what it used to be
Ecolab CEO Doug Baker, shown in 2018.

Ecolab plans to trim $325 million to make operations more efficient

The announcement came as it reported fourth quarter adjusted earnings had increased more than 10 percent.
mug

Hope Crolley, 29, was lifelong Vikings fan with a huge heart, 'jovial soul'

Hope Crolley’s stepdad teased that her heart was so big, she loved the Vikings even when they were losing. Crolley knew the stats of every…
Peter Frosch will become CEO of Greater MSP on March 22.

Economic development group Greater MSP names new CEO

Peter Frosch will take the helm of the regional economic development organization Greater MSP on March 22, replacing the retiring CEO Michael Langley.Frosch, who has…
Ecolab's St. Paul headquarters. (Provided by Ecolab)

Ecolab buys training software firm Lobster Ink

Terms of the Lobster Ink deal were not disclosed.
Schwan's logo

'They should have never hired this guy': Trial date set for Schwan's suit tied to sexual assault case

Lawsuit says firm failed to do a proper background check on its truck driver.
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