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 reported increases in profit for the third quarter but narrowed guidance.

Polaris posts favorable 3Q results despite hits from tariffs, exchange rates

Restructuring costs and tariffs eroded its bottom line, but not as much as analysts thought.
Welder Rick Berens worked on a wood-burning furnace at Lamppa Manufacturing. The Lamppas have made wood-burning stoves and furnaces for 80 years.

Clean-burning wood furnace maker on Iron Range growing faster than expected

Wood furnace, sauna stove manufacturer in Tower is growing, and an EPA certification that its furnace meets new, more stringent standards could make it grow even faster.
Goodwill-Easter Seals, which received a state grant for job skills programs for people with barriers, has in the past put on construction programs for

Minnesota issues $10.9M in grants to cut economic disparities in employment

State grants aim to boost wages, skills of people of color, immigrants and inmates.
More lawsuits have been filed against ATV maker Polaris over their products catching fire.

New lawsuits filed against Polaris in connection to ATV fires

One Hennepin County judge will handle all the cases.
Ecolab's headquarters in St. Paul.

Ecolab 'strongly disagrees' with U.K. agency's ruling it must divest new acquisition

Competition regulator in U.K. rules purchase of Holchem would have too much control of market.
A Hibbing taconite operation in 2006. HibTac has tried mightily to extend the life of the mine.

HibTac mine on Iron Range expected to run out of ore in 5 years

The taconite operation's ore will be gone by 2024 unless a solution is found.
Mike Dietrich, a grind operator at the Abbott Ball Co. in Connecticut, attaches a hook to lift a 1,000-pound vat of carbon drill balls to pour into th

Manufacturing in Minnesota slumps but faring better than nation as whole

Factory downturns in August and September end 32 months of growth for Midwest.
Students from Minneapolis Roosevelt High School attend a past Manufacturing Day event at Graco. The company is participating in Minnesota Manufacturin

Job vacancies in Minnesota rise again

Events are aimed at attracting workers, particularly to jobs in the manufacturing sector.
mug

Obituary: Blaine resident and 'old soul' Logan Gartin collected shoes, watches — and friends

Logan Gartin may have been her baby brother, but Cailie Derifield said he sure had a quirky old soul. As a kid, Gartin loved Johnny…
Workers at Emerson's Shakopee plant, pictured here in 2017, will be making sensors for the company's new digital transformation unit. (RENEE JONES SCH

Emerson Electric locating $650M new business in Twin Cities

Digital transformation unit is expecting revenue to reach $1 billion.
Rendering of Seven Corners Gateway hotel/apartment complex.

$69M apartment/hotel complex project next to Xcel Energy Center set to break ground

Construction starts soon on the $69 million project near the Xcel Center.
Maplewood-based 3M partially idled a plant in Decatur, Ala., that makes PFAS chemicals.

3M idles part of its Alabama plant after PFAS chemicals found in Tennesee River and ground water

Manufacturer's PFAS woes continue with this latest environmental finding.
Alexandria Industries has tried to add benefits to compete, but still is having a hard time trying to find higher skilled workers.

Shortage of workers continues to affect job growth in Minnesota

The state added 1,100 jobs in August, with unemployment rate falling to 3.3% in August, officials said.
A freighter sailed under the Lift Bridge in Duluth in this file photo. Business at the port is up, the Marine Chamber of Commerce said.

Ag, iron-ore shipments lead to a strong month at Port of Duluth-Superior

The Chamber of Marine Commerce said the volume is welcome after worries from spring floods and trade tariffs.
Apogee Enterprises' second quarter profit was down but still met Wall Street expectations.

Bloomington skyscraper glass maker confident on long-term strategy despite Q2 slip

Architectural-glass maker Apogee Enterprises reported a drop in its net income for the second quarter but its CEO said he is confident that its plan…

Ecolab University Center to become apartments downtown St. Paul

$20 million project in St. Paul will also include a grocery store.
Models on a New York Fashion Week runway Wednesday night were wearing pieces of Threeasfour's Chro-Morpho collection, created in collaboration with Ed

New style of 3-D-printed fashion hits New York runway

Threeasfour worked for months with Stratasys and Travis Fitch to create the pieces, which will travel to museums, including the Walker Art Center.
Starbucks delivery drivers are in a dispute with their employer, DPI.

Starbucks delivery drivers in Midwest, including Minnesota, in labor dispute

Officials say any food shortages are unrelated, and the drivers have not missed any deliveries.
A robot at Graco assembles air hose needle valves at Graco on Feb. 14, 2019, A key manufacturing index slipped into negative territory in Minnesota an

Minnesota and Midwest manufacturing slowed sharply in August

Tariffs were seen as factor as a key manufacturing measure slipped into negative territory for the first time in 32 months.
3M lifer Mike Roman just completed his first year as the company’s CEO and has been appointed board chairman. He took the helm while battling two di

3M CEO seeing 'baptism by fire' with trade war, slowing economy

A little more than a year on the job, Mike Roman is dealing with a slowing economy, a growing trade war and Wall Street worries.
Ultra Machining employees work with a high precision milling machine, as it turned out parts for knee replacements, in this file photo of the Monticel

Ultra Machining Company in Monticello expanding, adding 60 workers

Medical device and aerospace parts maker's plan would add 60 factory workers in Monticello.
3M global headquarters in Maplewood.

3M is selling military helmet and armor business for at least $91M

Bullet-resistant products unit is small but had a high profile.
1 Ecolab Place in downtown St. Paul. (Provided photo)

St. Paul-based Ecolab acquires Georgia firm with $40M in sales

The company is best known for its Sterilox Fresh line of products.
A mountain of direct-reduced-grade iron pellets is ready to ship from Cleveland-Cliffs’ Northshore Mining plant in Silver Bay.

In new day for Iron Range, iron ore plant in Silver Bay celebrates $100M upgrades

Upgraded plant is latest sign of resurgence for state's ore-processing industry.

Pace Industries will shut its Arden Hills die-casting plant by October

It's unclear why the company is closing the die-casting facility.
Daikin in Faribault is one of the companies in Minnesota that is expanding manufacturing.

Minnesota, Midwest manufacturing growth slows to lowest level in 42 months

Trade tariffs, flooding and weak farm income contribute to drop.
NVent Electric's stock is down after it downgraded its forecast.

Pentair spinoff nVent sees profit jump, but stock falls on downgraded forecast

Pentair spinoff meets expectations in second quarter as profits rise 39%, but sales slip 1%.

After years of losses, Stratasys is back in the black

It was welcome news for the 3-D printer manufacturer that has struggled with growing competition and some product stumbles.

Cleaning products are hot, Tennant results show, and stock takes off

Solid growth in Asia and the Americas boosted Tennant Co.'s second-quarter profit and beat Wall Street expectations, sending shares up more than 13% on Wednesday.The…
Ecolab headquarters in downtown St. Paul.

Price hikes, new business help overcome rising costs in Ecolab's quarter

Freight costs and unfavorable currency exchanges affected the St. Paul company's results.
NVent Electric is buying Spanish electrical enclosures firm Eldon.

Pentair spinoff nVent to buy Spanish enclosures firm for $130M

Purchase of Eldon helps expand nVent's European reach, and will generate $90M in revenue.
3M global headquarters in Maplewood.

3M settles patent lawsuit against abrasives company over paint technology

The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
A still from Polaris' new ad campaign "Think Outside."

Polaris launches rebranding campaign, aiming to diversify audience

The outdoor vehicle maker aims to boost its customer base by 50% via outreach.
3M headquarters in Maplewood

3M discloses investigation into irregularities in China

Company found irregularities in expenditures, filings say.
3M global headquarters in Maplewood.

3M says slower global economy will continue to challenge company

Only one of 3M's four business units saw sales rise during the spring quarter.
Peter Frosch, CEO of Greater MSP.

Greater MSP launches network to help Minnesota startups thrive

Goal is to increase small and tech firms here, solve problems and drive economic growth
Polaris' latest results were helped by market-share gains in its Indian motorcycle business.

Polaris beats sales expectations despite 'catastrophic' trade tariffs

The maker of off-road vehicles, motorcycles and boats saw sales rise across all product divisions.
Pentair's North American headquarters in Golden Valley.

More focused after spinning off electrical division, Pentair posts stronger Q2 results

Filtration giant more than doubles Q2 profits after selling off electrical division.
New iron concentrator equipment has been installed inside Cleveland-Cliffs' Northshore Mining plant in Silver Bay.

$100M upgrade completed ahead of schedule at Iron Range taconite plant

Northshore Mining is ahead of schedule making higher-grade iron-ore pellets in Silver Bay.
The space created by Renewal by Andersen's 2016 expansion is now cramped, and the company broke ground Monday on a new warehouse/office facility nearb

Andersen Corp. breaks ground on $35 million warehouse, office expansion in Cottage Grove

The warehouse and office expansion is expected to result in 125 news jobs
Workers in Viracon’s building glass factory in Owatonna laminated sheets of glass into windows that will become CyberShield-protected.

Owatonna producing building glass to prevent corporate spying, hacking

Viracon's CyberShield building glass blocks Wi-Fi signals, keeps data inside the building.
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