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
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.
Lifetouch headquarters in Eden Prairie.

Lifetouch to shut its photo studios in Bloomington, cut 154 jobs

Layoffs will begin in January; another 145 workers could transfer to Shutterfly facility.
Graco is expanding in Rogers.

Graco will double size of its Rogers plant and training center

$73 million project should be finished by end of 2019.

Polaris wants one judge to handle four defect lawsuits

Lawsuits involve 13 plaintiffs who say they were hurt in ATV fires.
Barry McCarthy, Deluxe's new president and CEO.

Deluxe Corp. names Barry McCarthy new CEO

Former Procter & Gamble and First Data manager to take helm this month.

Steelworkers union and ArcelorMittal reach tentative four-year labor contract

15,000 USW workers must vote whether to approve contract.
Manufacturing growth has slowed because of the tight job market and costs borne from tariff policies. Pictured is Douglas Machine in Alexandria, which

Minnesota manufacturers still growing, but at slowest pace in 22 months

Trade tariffs and rising interest rates slow growth in the Midwest, according to a widely watched economic report.
Bales of raw steel imports sit in an outdoor storage yard at the Insteel Industries factory in Houston, March 2, 2018. President Donald Trump is expec

U.S. steel prices increase by double-digit percentages, report says

An 11 percent increase is contrasted by foreign decreases, report says.
Officials at Honeywell spinoff Resideo Technologies rang the bell at the stock exchange on Tuesday. (Provided photo)

Minneapolis has a new public company in Honeywell spinoff — for now

Resideo Technologies is on the NYSE and will move its headquarters to Austin.
Ecolab headquarters in downtown St. Paul. (Provided by Ecolab)

Ecolab posts strong third quarter but lowers forecast

But rising raw-material costs, exchange rates led to lower full-year forecast.
Protolabs CEO Vicki Holt

Protolabs posts strong third quarter

It is renovating a new location in Brooklyn Park that is expected to open by the end of the year.
NVent Electric CEO Beth Wozniak

NVent Electric posts solid third quarter

Sales beat expectations; two of three divisions grow.
3M shares fell after the company's latest results missed expectations and executives lowered their outlook for coming months.

3M shares drop sharply after third-quarter profit misses expectations

Only two of 3M's five businesses saw increased profits in the third quarter
Polaris posted strong quarterly earnings on Monday.

Polaris posts strong Q3 results that beat Wall Street estimates

A strong third quarter saw double-digit rise in profits.

Cleveland-Cliffs' 3Q earnings seven times higher than last year

The Iron Range employer posted Q3 earnings seven times higher than in 2017.

Whistleblower case claims Target IT contractor misused retailer's data

A former manager handling Target Corp.'s information technology account filed a whistleblower lawsuit against his former employer, Tata Consultancy Services, for allegedly misusing Target's confidential…

Steelworkers, U.S. Steel reach tentative 4-year contract

If approved, it will cover 14,000 workers across nation, including Iron Range.
Ruth Hospodarsky and Jay Busch worked on a connection issue during Thursday’s Blacks in Tech Conference. Blacks in Tech Conference participants ming

Blacks in Tech Conference launches in Twin Cities

About 700 professionals came to inaugural event to network and learn about their specialties and job opportunities.
3M’s smog-reducing granules in shingles use sunlight to photocatalytically convert smog into water-soluble ions, actively reducing air pollution.

3M's new granules for shingles help curb air pollution

3M has developed coated granules that can break up some elements of smog.

North Dakota oil and gas production hit record in August

Still, the state is seeing some growing pains that could impede future expansion.

Steelworkers ratify 4-year Cleveland-Cliffs labor contract

Contract covers 1,800 USW members working at mines in Minnesota and Michigan.
Spectro Alloys company workers sorted and recycled aluminum scraps into solid ingots in Rosemount. The company has increased its recruitment budget an

Staff-starved factories in Minn., U.S. now boosting wages, perks

Labor shortages have forced manufacturers finally to act on raises, more benefits.

3M to close electronics plant in Austin, Texas

Following a key divestiture, 3M Co. will shut the smaller of its two Austin, Texas, facilities by the end of 2019, affecting 120 workers, officials…
Robots weld the cab of a 2018 Ford F-150 truck on the assembly line at the Ford Rouge assembly plant in Dearborn, Mich., last month.

Manufacturing growth slows in September amid labor, trade and inflation woes

Confidence is up, however, despite slowdown of new orders, hiring and deliveries in the nine-state region.
Cleveland Cliffs is expanding its United Taconite mine in Eveleth. (GLEN STUBBE/Star Tribune file photo)

Cliffs and USW reach four-year tentative labor contract

If ratified, deal to affect 1,800 union workers in Minnesota and Michigan.
Leona Varville

Leona Varville, wise, warm and witty, dies at 103

Known and loved for her pea soup, liver and onions, almond cookies, family dinners, card games and love of parish socials, she was adored for her dry, wry humor.
Gov. Mark Dayton as well as state and mining industry leaders will hold a town hall meeting in Nashwauk, Minn., on Monday about plans to restart const

Gov. Mark Dayton calls town hall meeting over Nashwauk mining plant revival

Minnesota DNR and Mesabi Metallics also will be on hand to answer questions on revival.

U.S. Steelworkers authorize possible strike against ArcelorMittal

As contract negotiations enter third week, the vote is in case the talks fail.
Evolve 3-D printer (Provided photo)

Evolve Additive Solutions in Minnetonka gets $19 million in equity from Lego, Stanley

Evolve's 3-D printing technology could help speed up manufacturing.
Cleveland-Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves spoke at the company's Forbes, Minn., facilities on Friday, Sept. 14.

Cleveland-Cliffs CEO feels betrayed by the state over Essar project in Iron Range

Lourenco Goncalves fights for mining rights, still hopes to have mineral operations in Nashwauk.
Iron workers set up a crane to move steel for the construction of buildings on the site of the taconite mine project in Nashwauk, Minn.

New majority investor announced for Essar project on Iron Range

The Swiss firm Mercuria has ties to company that failed earlier and declared bankruptcy.
Governor Mark Dayton

Gov. Mark Dayton meets with new owners of former Essar Steel site in Nashwauk

New owners of controversial project are set to discuss construction plans.
Jay Lund, CEO of Andersen Windows and Doors, said an Arizona factory and distribution center are needed to serve the western states where the company

Andersen Corp. to build $105 million complex in Arizona

Andersen's new factory and distribution complex will be in greater Phoenix area.
Former Starkey President Jerry Ruzicka, leaving the Federal Courthouse.

Judge rules Starkey fraud convictions should stand

Motions asking for a new trial and to dismiss the conviction are denied.
Polaris is buying WSI Industries in Monticello, pictured.

Polaris to buy Monticello contract manufacturing firm WSI

The Monticello, Minn.-based company is one of the recreational-vehicle company's suppliers.

Minnesota DNR sued over Nashwauk mining permit

Cleveland Cliffs accuses state of refusing it mining permit on land it owns.
A rendering of Mayo Clinic's $600 million expansion in Arizona.

Mayo Clinic spending $800M to expand in Arizona, Florida

Mayo will spend $648 million in Phoenix and $144 million in Jacksonville. The expansion will nearly double the size of the Phoenix campus.

Minnesota's Q2 exports jump 15 percent to record $5.9 billion

Canada remains state's largest trading partner.
Troy Bussert and Jay Ugland assembled one of Daikin's largest HVAC units in the company's existing Faribault plant. Daikin is building a second factor

Daikin's new HVAC factory in Faribault to receive $2.35 million help from state

New factory promises to add 200 new jobs next year.
Medina-based Polaris Industries, which makes ATVs, snowmobiles and Indian Motorcycles, is one of several manufacturers facing higher costs from new U.

Factories report robust business in August

Key reports show Minnesota, Midwest and nation all report uptick in orders but caution that tariffs, interest rates could affect business in coming months.
Brian Hedberg, co-founder of Sprowt Labs, said, “Long term we see ourselves as a platform for accelerating the craft-beer supply chain.”

Sprowt Labs launches malting system for nano-brewers

Sprowt Labs hopes its malting machine can expedite the growth of craft brewing at the most micro of levels.
Tom Duffy of Clairton raises his fist as hundreds of United Steelworkers rally and march on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018, in Clairton, Pa. U.S. Steel's con

Steelworkers will continue to work past Saturday contract deadline with U.S. Steel, ArcelorMittal

Temporary extension keeps the work going at a mine in Virginia, Minn.
One of Vomela's recent projects was the LeBron James Nike wrap on the Sherwin-Williams building in Cleveland. It recently came down when James went to

Vomela Companies starts construction on new St. Paul headquarters

The 300,000-square-foot headquarters is being built on 3M's former campus and will open in July 2019.

Andersen Corp. to sell large window and door division in $190 million deal

Four plants, employing 4,000 workers, will go to North Carolina-based Ply Gem.
Paul Bunyan at the Eco Experience building is programmed to belt out 35 facts about Minnesotans’ trash habits.

Minnesota State Fair's Eco Experience shows off economics of recycling

At Eco Experience building, state officials make case for recycling as a job creator.
Troy Bussert and Jay Ugland assembled one of DAIKIN's largest HVAC units in the Faribault plant.

Daikin Americas, with its home base in Minnesota, aims to become continent's No. 1 HVAC brand

With plants in Faribault and Owatonna, Daikin Applied Americas is making Minnesota home.

Judge rules against Tom Clark in Nashwauk mining property case

Restraining order targets Tom Clarke as Nubai Global deemed mine's likely owner.

ASV cites tariffs as factor as quarterly profit, sales drop

Skid-steer maker said it expects slower-than-expected sales growth to continue through 2018.
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