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
3M global headquarters in Maplewood.

3M to cut 1,500 jobs, reports weak financial results

$214 million in charges for litigation related to water contamination lawsuits had not been included in the company's forecasts.
People wearing masks head Wednesday for Beijing Station in Beijing, China. 3M has workers on overtime to meet the demand of people wanting protective

3M boosts production of face masks as coronavirus spreads in China

3M has dramatically boosted production of respiratory face masks in its Chinese factories in response to the sudden rise of a deadly coronavirus in Wuhan,…
3M global headquarters in Maplewood.

3M flooded with lawsuits on defective earplugs, PFAS chemicals

Firm faces litigation from 2,000 combat veterans.
Polaris taps former Michelin exec as first chief digital officer

Polaris taps former Michelin exec as first chief digital officer

Power sports vehicle maker Polaris Inc. has appointed a former Michelin Groupe executive to the newly created post of chief digital officer, effective immediately, officials…
The start of the tests comes weeks after the city of Decatur notified Maplewood-based 3M of its intent to sue for abatement costs.

3M will drill, test for PFAS contamination at Alabama school site

Chemical, dumped in regulated landfills decades ago, re-emerges as health concern.
Ecolab corporate headquarters in St. Paul.

St. Paul Ecolab jumps into livestock safety by buying company in Belgium

St. Paul-based company purchasing Flemish biosecurity and hygiene firm.
The Wayzn Slide allows dog owners to open the door for pets remotely, even if they are not home.

Sleep Number, Protolabs receive nods for innovation at big CES trade show

Sleep Number won for its new smart bed, and Protolabs shared an award for the Wayzn Slide.
Lawsuits filed by nearly 40 U.S. veterans who sued 3M Co. for defective earplugs and hearing loss have been moved to federal court.

Lawsuits against 3M regarding combat earplugs head to federal court

The cases were moved from Hennepin District Court at 3M's request.
Fastenal headquarters in Winona.

Fastenal worker loses job after angry tweet ripping holiday gift goes viral

Manager's tweet chiding firm's holiday gift violated company policy, CEO said.
Uponor’s Bryan Baxter (left), a process engineer; Andy Jensen, barrier line operator; and President Bill Gray inspect tubing manufactured in Apple V

Building sector has challenges but it is in a good spot for 2020

For Uponor North America's president, builder confidence over the longer term is a big question.
Doosan Bobcat CEO Scott Park at the company's new Global Collaboration Center in the Fifth Street Towers building in Minneapolis.

Doosan Bobcat adding 200 workers through Wisconsin acquisition

The company is buying three Schiller Grounds Care brands and a Wisconsin factory.
Emerson Automation Solution in Shakopee has expanded its operations.

Midwest manufacturing crawls back into growth territory in December

New factory orders and improved sales helped regional factories last month, study says
3M global headquarters in Maplewood.

3M sells ballistic helmet unit for $91 million

Avon Rubber could end up paying another $25 million, company officials said.
Ginny Yingling, left, of the Minnesota Department of Health, talked about PFAS with Sharon and Bruce Perkins in Woodbury.

Lawsuits intensify concerns of 3M's liabilities over PFAS

"This [PFAS] is somewhat like asbestos in that it's very ubiquitous, which means it's pretty much everywhere," said Peter Kelso of the environmental consulting firm Roux Associates.
Ecolab headquarters in downtown St. Paul.

Ecolab spinning off energy business in a deal that will create a $3.5 billion company

The St. Paul-based company will then merge the unit with Texas-based Apergy Corp.
The Cray Plaza surrounded by the twin Galtier towers in Lowertown St. Paul.

Cray Plaza in St. Paul's Lowertown sold with plans to convert offices to apartments

Bigos Management, which owns two nearby apartment towers, buys struggling St. Paul building.
Avivo, a Minneapolis nonprofit, has started a job training program for people who have undergone trauma. (Provided photo)

$400,000 grant funding job training program for people overcoming traumatic events

The pilot program, which launched this summer with six participants, has already shown progress and will be expanded.
Photo shows prototype seal for an adult feeding tube. The product won a Cool Ideas award from Protolabs. (Provided photo)

Protolabs awards two grants to improve feeding tubes for patients

New "Cool Idea" health care manufacturing awards go to Cleveland Clinic and MedStar.
3M on Thursday announced the sale of most of its drug delivery business. Shown is the company's headquarters in Maplewood.

3M to sell bulk of drug delivery unit to Altaris Capital for $650M

The deal involves the transfer of about 900 3M employees to Altaris.
Polaris headquarters in Medina

Polaris Inc. powersports company shuffles leadership roles

Three divisions have new leaders as the company adds an electrification position.
Former Honeywell CEO and Chairman James Renier, age 89. Lived in Medina.

James Renier, former Honeywell CEO and humanitarian, dies at 89

Jim Renier’s daughter Jessica remembers being a high schooler, dreaming of getting a driver’s license and one day owning a car. Her fantasy? Maybe a…
3M global headquarters in Maplewood.

Report: 3M may sell its drug delivery unit for $1 billion

Sale of business that makes inhalers, other products could fetch as much as $1 billion.
Pictured is Ecolab Place, the company’s corporate headquarters in St. Paul.

Ecolab pledges to cut carbon emissions to zero by 2050

St. Paul-based Ecolab is the latest company to align its environmental goals with the U.N. Global Compact's new "Business Ambition" challenge.
Cleveland Cliffs said it's buying AK Steel Holding in a $1.1 billion deal. Cliffs owns United Taconite, Northshore Mining, shown here, and part of Hib

Cleveland Cliffs buying AK Steel in $1.1B deal in bid to create integrated iron and steel making company

Cliffs to gain flat-rolled and tube steel making operations in North America and Europe.
Donaldson said sales were lower across multiple product lines.

Donaldson's first-quarter sales, profit fall short of Wall Street estimates

Donaldson Co. expected demand for its product would be uneven in its latest quarter — and it was right."The market for new equipment was soft,…
Alexandria Industries said this year its biggest problem is finding enough skilled workers.

Manufacturing slumps in Minnesota and across the country

Midwest index slides to lowest level in three years; U.S. index falls to 48.1
A shipping vessel navigated through Duluth's Harbor before heading out into Lake Superior Wednesday night. (AARON LAVINSKY/Star Tribune)

Minnesota exports fall in third quarter

With slowing orders from Canada, Europe and China, Minnesota's third quarter exports slid 2.2% to $5.6 billion from a year ago.Minnesota's rate of export decline…
Amy Hudson, who with her husband opened up a second Exercise Coach location in October, works with customer Bruce Johnson on a high-tech smart fitness

Gym franchise bringing 'smart' exercise equipment to fitness centers

The smart devices are considered a new twist to the $10 billion boutique personal training market and the larger $94 billion fitness club industry.
CEO Scott Park was in town to open Doosan Bobcat’s new Global Collaboration Center in the Fifth Street Towers building in Minneapolis.

Doosan Bobcat spending $26M to expand Litchfield plant, adding 200 workers

The news came as the construction equipment maker opened a collaboration center in downtown Minneapolis.
This 2014 photo is of U.S. Steel's Minntac taconite operation in Mountain Iron.

More than 30 nonunion workers will lose jobs at U.S. Steel Iron Range operations

As many as 40 at Keetac and Minntac plants on Iron Range to lose jobs.
"Jay Leno's Garage" features the stories behind classic cars and the people who own them, including one episode that interveiwed Patrick Dempsey.

3-D printer Stratasys strikes deal with 'Jay Leno's Garage'

New 3-D printers to run parts for his rare-car show.
Manufacturing activity in the Midwest showed some positive signs last month after two months of declines. September 2019 file photo of Loren Nelson, l

After 2 months of declines, index shows Minn. and Midwest manufacturing return to growth

October's regional numbers bring relief, in view of sinking exports, imports and inventories
The last big shift of day workers at Electrolux in St. Cloud walked out of plant Thursday afternoon.

Electrolux freezer plant closes in St. Cloud, idling 700

Today employees are expected to sign the last freezer that rolls off the production line and to donate it to a local museum.
Ecolab's profit rose 7% and adjusted profit met analysts' expectations during the July-September period.

Ecolab grows, meets 3Q expectations, but narrows 2019 outlook

Despite a downward revision, executives remain upbeat on 2020.
Cleveland-Cliffs spent $100 million earlier this year to upgrade its Northshore Mining property.

Cleveland-Cliffs' profits decline amid falling iron ore pellet prices

CEO says company believes current weak steel prices are temporary.
3M, whose vast portfolio includes self-release worker harnesses, expects a profit of $8.99 to $9.09 per share for the full year, down from $9.25 to $9

3M results hit by softening world economy but buffered by cost cuts

The manufacturing bellwether is enduring weakness abroad and in its two largest businesses.
Pentair's third quarter earnings were down 16%.

Pentair officials remain upbeat despite 16% drop in Q3 profits

Quarterly sales were flat, but the stock price rose as the results beat Wall Street expectations.
Polaris reported increases in profit for the third quarter but narrowed guidance.

Polaris expects tariff relief; otherwise it may have to move production

The company already has factories in Mexico and Poland but most of its production is in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Alabama and California.
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.