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 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/

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.

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.
Inge Thulin, shown at 3M Global Headquarters in Maplewood. He will retire as chairman in June, a year after stepping down as CEO.

Thulin to retire in June as 3M board chairman

Mike Roman, who became CEO last summer, will now move into the role.
Ecolab is spinning off it Upstream oil and gas business.

Ecolab to spin off its $2.4 billion Upstream oil chemicals business

The move is expected to close sometime in 2020.
Polaris created “Polaris Adventures” to both market and diversify its fleet of power-sports vehicles.

Polaris powers into vacation rentals with fleet of 'adventure' vehicles in 30 states

The company's new Adventures division offers vacation rentals in 30 states
Wireless transmitters are manufacturing in 2017 at Emerson Automation Solution in Shakopee.

Minnesota, Midwest manufacturers report growth despite inflation and trade woes

Survey found solid new hires and sales, despite inflation and trade woes.
The Tim S. Dool , a 730-foot lake freighter built in 1967, was the first ship into Duluth Harbor under the new light of 2019.

Port of Duluth has best shipping season in 5 years

Resurgence in taconite industry led to a big jump in the 2018 shipping season.
Beth Wozniak, CEO of nVent Electric PLC, said the quarter marked the fourth of sales acceleration for the company.

nVent posts solid sales increase for 4Q but misses earnings estimate

Sales increases across the three divisions of the Pentair spinoff added to 5 percent.
3M Combat Arms earplugs

Veterans sue, saying 3M Combat earplugs caused hearing injuries

More than 11 defective product lawsuits have been filed this month, including four in Minnesota.
3M's fourth-quarter profit nearly tripled, helped by the federal tax cut, while sales fell about 7 percent.

3M sails along, tweaking numbers but more upbeat than some investors

The company finished '18 strong, but recent acquisition is expected to cause a dip.

Polaris beats Q4 earnings target, but forecasts tough 2019

But tariffs, other factors raise short-term concerns.
The stacks and the steel frame for the induration building are seen on the site of Essar Steel Minnesota's taconite mine project in Nashwauk, Minn.

State seeks to bar Essar Global from involvement in $2.6B Iron Range project

DNR commissioner warns it is reviewing permits and mineral leases.
A sign in front of the 3M World Headquarters complex in suburban St. Paul.

3M will lay off 96 workers as Eagan filtration plant closes

Filtration plant to close, with the job cuts taking effect in late March through mid-April.
Iron workers on the former Essar Steel Minnesota site in 2014. The company trying to resurrect the site in Nashwauk faces millions in penalties after

Company trying to finish $2.6 billion Essar Minnesota project misses key deadline

State doubling rent and royalty costs as a result.
Factory workers assemble Altera ATVs in the Arctic Cat factory in Thief River Falls in 2015.

Arctic Cat plant in Thief River will make new line of Tracker Off Road ATVs

Tracker and Textron partnership creates new line of ATV to be made in Minnesota.
Polaris bought the assets of Larson Boat Group for an undisclosed amount.

Polaris expands in marine industry by buying assets of Larson Boat Group

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it includes the FX, Striper and Escape boat brands.
Employees worked on a production line at BMW's factory in Greer, S.C.

American factories brace for sting of 2019 trade war

America's manufacturers are scrambling to change the way they do business — from finding new suppliers to shifting more finishing work overseas — as the sting of tariffs begins to take a bigger toll on their bottom lines.
Aveda is selling Aveda Institute in northeast Minneapolis. (Provided photo)

Sale of Aveda Institute Minneapolis will involve layoffs, rehirings

Details about the transition were scant, but anxiety was high, workers said.
Aveda is selling Aveda Institute in northeast Minneapolis.

Aveda will sell famed Aveda Institute in Minneapolis

Louisiana Aveda distributor Neill Inc. Corp. is also buying a sister school in New York City.
Mold technician apprentice Cody Zempel knew right away the training program was a good fit.

Apprenticeship programs abound as labor shortage deepens in Minnesota

State and federal funds help create partnerships.
Equipment on the Essar Steel site in Nashwauk in 2014 before Essar halted the project and filed for bankruptcy.

Essar back in the picture at $2 billion Nashwauk mining and processing facility project

Troubled company from India said complex debt transactions pave the way; state officials not so sure.
The Pentair U.S. operational headquarters in Golden Valley. (GLEN STUBBE/

Pentair to spend $280 million in deals for two residential water firms

The company, run from Golden Valley, will buy Pelican Water and Aquion.
Banner Engineering CEO Ty Fayfield at the company’s new $15 million engineering center in Plymouth. The firm is a leader in sensor technology in the

Minn. company is 'well-kept secret' in $150B sensor technology industry

With a new generation at the helm, Banner Engineering is rapidly growing as a U.S. leader in sensor technology.
A worker welds the frame for the 2016 Wildcat X side-by-side vehicle in 2015 at the Arctic Cat factory in Thief River Falls.

Midwest manufacturing grows despite trade setbacks

Orders, sales help offset contractions in imports, exports in regional report.
ArcelorMittal USA will take over management of Hibbing Taconite in Hibbing, Minn., from Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. next year.

ArcelorMittal takes over Hibbing Taconite management from Cliffs

Cliffs to give up control in August. Ownership stays same.

Former Starkey CFO sentenced to 24 months in federal prison

The former president of Starkey supplier Sonion also was sentenced Thursday; he received an 18-month sentence.
FILE -- Former Starkey Laboratories president Jerry Ruzicka walked into the federal courthouse in Minneapolis with former Starkey human resources mana

Former Starkey President Jerry Ruzicka sentenced to 7 years in prison

Ruzicka was convicted in March of wire, mail and tax fraud at Eden Prairie-based Starkey Laboratories, the largest hearing aid manufacturer company in America.

3M to buy M*Modal healthcare software firm for $1 billion

Deal will give 3M firm with $200 million in annual sales.
Former Starkey President Jerome C. Ruzicka leaves the federal courthouse in 2016.

Prosecutors request at least 15 years in prison for convicted former Starkey president

Jerry Ruzicka, convicted for embezzling $20 million from Starkey, will be sentenced next week.
A federal jury has awarded investment victims of the Tom Petters’ Ponzi scheme $3.5 million in clawback money.

Bankruptcy jurors award Petters Co. victims $3.5 million in clawback money

Judgment was first of many clawback lawsuits having to do with the fraud case.
Patterson Companies headquarters in Mendota Heights.

Patterson Cos. 2Q earnings fall but meet expectations

CEO said firm has made progress in turnaround.
Ecolab headquarters in downtown St. Paul (Provided photo)

Ecolab buying England firm to expand its presence in U.K., Ireland

Acquisition deal expected to close in early 2019.
3M has increased its sustainability commitment. Pictured is its global headquarters in Maplewood.

3M: Every new product must meet a sustainability goal

Pledge announced at United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poland.
3M is among several companies that have said trade tariffs are affecting its business. (JERRY HOLT/Star Tribune file photo)

Minnesota, Midwest factories see slowest growth in two years

November results show state, Midwest manufacturing not growing as fast as nation.
FIEL - In this Sept. 24, 2018, file photo, shoppers sit on a bench with a decorated with U.S. flag browsing their smartphones outside a fashion boutiq

Minnesota exports growing at a slower rate than earlier in year

Trade tariffs, strong U.S. dollar putting pressure on markets.
FILE -- A worker checks molten steel at one of the blast furnaces at the ArcelorMittal steelworks in Dunkirk, France, Feb. 18, 2014.

Iron Range Steelworkers ratify ArcelorMittal labor agreement

Four-year contract is with ArcelorMittal operations nationwide.
Keith Woodward, Tennant's new chief financial officer. (Provided by Tennant)

Tennant Corp. appoints General Mills executive as new CFO

Keith Woodward will report directly to CEO Chris Killingstad.
Cambria demonstration ktichen at the 2018 Minnesota State Fair.

After Cambria complaint, U.S. plans to raise tariffs on Chinese quartz

The federal government said China is unfairly subsidizing quartz companies.
Marvin Cos. named two division presidents on Tuesday. Shown is the company's plant in Warroad, Minn.

Marvin Cos. announces new leadership changes

Company veterans are named division bosses.
Delkor Systems' new automated packaging machines made these and other "shelf ready" shipping boxes for Walmart, Kroger, Costco, Fisher Nuts etc. New b

Delkor Systems invention helps retailers stock shelves more efficiently

Shelf-ready packaging drives sales for Arden Hills robotic-machine maker Delkor Systems, a leader in the rapidly growing sector.
As part of a promotion with the Vikings, 3M is providing pieces of purple translucent film for fans to use on flashlights during the game.

3M helping Vikings add purple glow to stadium on Sunday

3M Co. wants Vikings fans to help U.S. Bank Stadium "glow with purple pride" on Sunday during the game against the Green Bay Packers.The company…
Despite pressures from a variety of areas, including rising material costs and trade tariffs, 3M projects strong growth for the years ahead.

3M goal: Increase earnings per share by 8 to 11 percent

CEO Mike Roman, who took over in July, lays out his aggressive five-year plan for the international company.
The difficulty of finding skilled workers is so pervasive that it is threatening business growth in Minnesota, a new Chamber of Commerce survey has fo

Minnesota Chamber of Commerce survey: Hiring woes threaten state's business growth

Report finds some progress with taxes and infrastructure but concern lingers over hiring and slower growth.
“We continue to make great progress in the integration of Sherwin-Williams and Valspar into a faster-growing, more-profitable enterprise.”

Valspar's Minneapolis HQ becomes R&D hub for Sherwin-Williams

Some feared the worst after the loss of another local headquarters. But Sherwin-Williams has moved work here from Chicago.
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