Staff Directory 10644746

Dee DePass

Reporter | Manufacturing
phone: 612-673-7725
Dee DePass covers the manufacturing industry for the Star Tribune with an eye toward new products and technology, job growth and distribution developments in Minnesota.
Recent content from Dee DePass
Essar Steel Minnesota accuses parent firm of siphoning funds meant for Iron Range project

Essar Steel Minnesota accuses parent firm of siphoning funds meant for Iron Range project

Suit says mismanagement of money caused bankruptcy and $1 billion in unpaid bills

Ecolab buys Abednego, a water recycling expert

The deal will give the firm $40M in new annual revenue.

Fed report finds Minnesota manufacturers upbeat

Investments in factories, employment will stay the same or rise, survey says.
Polaris says it's end of the line for Victory motorcycles

Polaris says it's end of the line for Victory motorcycles

Polaris will abandon its Victory Motorcycle brand as market share dwindles.
Obituary: Celia "Mama" Garcia, who cooked with love

Obituary: Celia "Mama" Garcia, who cooked with love

When counselors at the teen recovery center in Blaine instructed cook Celia Garcia to give each child just one helping of soup, she waited until…
Former Polaris chief takes CEO role at CliqStudios

Former Polaris chief takes CEO role at CliqStudios

Tom Tiller takes over for the upscale kitchen cabinetmaker's founder.

Minnesota manufacturing improves in December as jobs, exports, orders rise

Expansion returned in the Midwest after a long period of weakness, Creighton University's index shows.
Wrongful termination suits again Starkey moved back to state court

Wrongful termination suits again Starkey moved back to state court

Federal judge says U.S. attorney was wrong to move them to federal court.
Training programs on the rise for Minnesota's changing manufacturing jobs

Training programs on the rise for Minnesota's changing manufacturing jobs

An expected surge in factory job openings means huge opportunities for job hunters, provided they know what manufacturing skills are in hot demand and where to get training.

Teamsters' drivers vote to strike O'Reilly Auto Parts in Minn.

Delivery drivers from Teamsters Local 120 voted unanimously to strike O’Reilly Auto Parts in Minnesota unless the company agrees to a renewed labor contract that…
Polaris Industries issues yet another recall, this time on Indian Motorcycles

Polaris Industries issues yet another recall, this time on Indian Motorcycles

The vehicles' fuel rails may reposition, causing a fire hazard, officials said.
Good news for Iron Range: Keetac iron ore plant will reopen in March

Good news for Iron Range: Keetac iron ore plant will reopen in March

The U.S. Steel-owned plant is the latest to reopen after a huge slump in the iron ore industry on the Range.
Cirrus Aircraft delivers first single-engine Vision Jet to customer

Cirrus Aircraft delivers first single-engine Vision Jet to customer

After a decade of work, the first Vision aircraft is delivered in Duluth.
Manufacturers in Minnesota, Midwest expect 2017 to trump 2016

Manufacturers in Minnesota, Midwest expect 2017 to trump 2016

Early surveys of industry leaders are optimistic after a tough year

Schweitzer-Mauduit International buying Conwed for $295 million.

The plastic netting maker was founded in Minneapolis in 1966.
3M expands family leave policy to 20 weeks of paid and unpaid leave

3M expands family leave policy to 20 weeks of paid and unpaid leave

Employees who become new parents will get 10 weeks paid and 10 weeks unpaid leave
Apogee buys curtain wall maker for $135 million

Apogee buys curtain wall maker for $135 million

Apogee Enterprises Inc. has acquired the assets of the Canadian curtain wall maker Sotawall Inc. for $135 million, officials announced Wednesday.Officials said the purchase should…
3M forecasts a stronger 2017, though analysts expected more

3M forecasts a stronger 2017, though analysts expected more

Executives told investors that company revenue would grow 1 to 3 percent in 2017 as the auto, aerospace, robotics and other industrial sectors improve.
3M to sell identity management unit for $850 million

3M to sell identity management unit for $850 million

Gemalto will buy unit and absorb about 450 3M employees.

ERP Iron Ore may buy bankrupt Magnetation and reopen its closed Iron Range facilities

Bankruptcy court must approve ERP Iron Ore's offer.

Minnesota exports fall 2 percent in third quarter

Orders to Canada, Mexico and Europe are slow, but shipments to China rise.

No trade laws violated in Select Comfort patent case, judge rules

The ruling closes a 13-month patent disagreement against one of it its key competitors.
Midwest, Minnesota manufacturers struggle for a fifth month

Midwest, Minnesota manufacturers struggle for a fifth month

Regional employment index drops as Midwest loses more manufacturing positions.

MTS Systems investigating possible ethics violations by employees in China

The ethics violation probe will delay the company's fourth quarter and year-end financial results, but it is not expected to affect them greatly.
Wolves, Lynx name 'founding partners' for $130M in Target Center upgrades

Wolves, Lynx name 'founding partners' for $130M in Target Center upgrades

In exchange for its sponsorship, each founding partner will receive a customized package offering a yet-to-be disclosed "physical presence" inside the arena, plus outdoor and indoor digital signage and category exclusivity.
Honeywell launches app that gives workers access into the office building

Honeywell launches app that gives workers access into the office building

Honeywell app allows employees to regulate temperatures in the office and gives them building access if they forget ID.
Lakeville Motor Express padlocks door, shutting out 95 workers

Lakeville Motor Express padlocks door, shutting out 95 workers

Lakeville Motor Express in Roseville abruptly padlocked its doors this week, locking out 95 truck drivers and dock workers. Workers said they did not receive their paychecks on Wednesday.
Mall of America has a busier Black Friday than usual, shoppers say

Mall of America has a busier Black Friday than usual, shoppers say

After closing on the holidays, lines formed to get the specials of the day.

2012 Minnesota Cup winner Envirolastech building plant in St. Charles

The 18,000-square-foot facility would add 26 jobs, state says.
Minnesota's boat industry sees a tidal shift

Minnesota's boat industry sees a tidal shift

While basic fishing boats sell well, boat makers face challenge of attracting younger buyers.
Larson Boat closing Little Falls plant, moving work to Wis.; 114 jobs at stake

Larson Boat closing Little Falls plant, moving work to Wis.; 114 jobs at stake

Another company is looking at the Minnesota plant, but a deal is not yet inked.
Nilfisk hopes to introduce industrial-sized Roomba-like floor scrubber

Nilfisk hopes to introduce industrial-sized Roomba-like floor scrubber

Nilfisk is tapping into the expected push to grow robotic floor-cleaning supplies.

Structure of Starkey subsidiary Northland at center of embezzlement case

Northland chain started small, eventually grew to 270 stores.

Federal Cartridge to expand with help from $900,000 loan from Minnesota

Federal Cartridge in Anoka was assisted in its $33.9M expansion project with a loan and a grant.
Arctic Cat posts loss as demand for power-sports vehicles sags

Arctic Cat posts loss as demand for power-sports vehicles sags

The company also absorbed a one-time payment to settle a product liability case.
Minnesota program recycles 1M gallons of old paint in first year

Minnesota program recycles 1M gallons of old paint in first year

The 1 million gallons collected greatly exceeded expectations.
3M signals tough 2016 and 2017, but sticks to five-year growth plan

3M signals tough 2016 and 2017, but sticks to five-year growth plan

Sales are still expected to grow 2 to 5 percent by 2020.

Connexus will upgrade meter-reading capabilities with Honeywell technology

The project should help energy cooperative better manage consumption.
Midwest manufacturing slump continues for fourth month

Midwest manufacturing slump continues for fourth month

Minnesota's factory employment numbers grew in October, but the state is still in negative-growth territory while the region lags the nation.
Ecolab sales and profits slip, but third quarter meets Wall Street profit expectations

Ecolab sales and profits slip, but third quarter meets Wall Street profit expectations

Company misses Wall Street sales expectations as slumping energy sales, currencies hurt quarter

Proto Labs beats third-quarter expectations

With help from 3-D printing acquisitions, Proto Labs reported third-quarter results Thursday that handily beat Wall Street expectations. Still officials predicted economic headwinds for the…
Cliffs Natural Resources records another loss in third quarter

Cliffs Natural Resources records another loss in third quarter

CEO says restructuring of iron ore giant is nearly complete.

Ecolab sells Swisher bathroom-cleaning unit to Enviro-Master

Ecolab Inc. has sold the U.S. bathroom-cleaning business it recently bought from Swisher Hygiene.The bathroom division, which generated about $28 million a year in sales,…

Pentair's profit increases 22 percent in the third quarter

Foreign currency exchanges and recent acquisitions helped Pentair PLC report a robust third quarter with sales growth of 9 percent. The pump-and-filtration giant, which is…
3M profits beat expectations, but company lowers 2016 forecast

3M profits beat expectations, but company lowers 2016 forecast

CEO Inge Thulin noted a 'challenging macro environment' and said the company was positioned to do well as economy improves.

Polaris' Q3 significantly affected by product recalls

Sales were down 20 percent in third quarter, despite promotions that cut into bottom line.
Honeywell ends telecommuting option

Honeywell ends telecommuting option

New policy only allows work from home approved from the top, angering some employees.

Graco posts solid third-quarter earnings

Contractor sales led the quarter, which beat profit expectations.

Steelworkers at 3M Cottage Grove plant vote to approve labor contract

After weeks of picketing, United Steelworkers at 3M’s Cottage Grove chemicals plant voted to approve a four-year labor contract that will lower some weekend wages…
Polaris Industries to buy Transamerican Auto Parts for $665 million

Polaris Industries to buy Transamerican Auto Parts for $665 million

The deal to buy Transamerican, which should close by year's end, puts Polaris in retail business for first time.
3M, Google company team up to develop health information tools

3M, Google company team up to develop health information tools

Companies envision the development of information tools
Polaris Industries co-founder David Johnson dies at 93

Polaris Industries co-founder David Johnson dies at 93

Polaris co-founder designed and made its first snowmobile in 1955.
Steelworkers picket 3M Cottage Grove chemical plant

Steelworkers picket 3M Cottage Grove chemical plant

Union members balk at 3M proposal to cut weekend pay and 401(k) contributions

Court approves final shutdown of bankrupt Magnetation LLC

Plants on Minnesota's Iron Range region and in Indiana now set to close.

Midwest manufacturers see conditions fall for third month

Midwest manufacturing conditions in September contracted for a third month amid ongoing weakness in energy and agriculture, according to a closely watched economic report from…
Starkey probe, $20M embezzlement case began with small betrayal

Starkey probe, $20M embezzlement case began with small betrayal

The controversy has been a major distraction for Starkey, which is now also embroiled in several related lawsuits.
Polaris doubling down to keep customer loyalty despite recall problems

Polaris doubling down to keep customer loyalty despite recall problems

After recalls on ATVs, experts wonder if the effort is enough.
Iron Range steelworkers ratify three-year labor contract with Cliffs

Iron Range steelworkers ratify three-year labor contract with Cliffs

Contract signals another step in company's turnaround.
Proto Labs launches new automated overmolding service

Proto Labs launches new automated overmolding service

New automated technology greatly trims manufacturing time and costs — and that should ultimately add millions in new revenue.
Three ex-Starkey execs are charged with scheme to embezzle $20M

Three ex-Starkey execs are charged with scheme to embezzle $20M

Fired president Jerry Ruzicka and executives Scott Nelson and Larry Miller are accused of conspiring with two others to embezzle from the hearing aid maker.
Somali medical transportation firms accuse Blue Cross of bait and switch

Somali medical transportation firms accuse Blue Cross of bait and switch

They say Blue Cross lured them into contracts to drive Somali patients, then dumped them.

Steelworkers OK strike authorization at 3M Cottage Grove plant

Talks continue with steelworkers at Cottage Grove chemicals plant.
Polaris Industries reduced earnings forecast 43 percent because of latest recall

Polaris Industries reduced earnings forecast 43 percent because of latest recall

The company lowered its earnings forecast by 43 percent due to costs related to fixing recalled vehicles.
Inventor sues 3M over Post-it notes

Inventor sues 3M over Post-it notes

It's his second lawsuit against the company.
Donaldson Co. jumps into beverage filtration with heavyweight customers

Donaldson Co. jumps into beverage filtration with heavyweight customers

Donaldson worked with food-industry clients like Coca-Cola, Dannon to produce LifeTec

Tennant buys Mexican distributor, gets exposure at U.S. Open

The Mexican deal gives Tennant a bigger presence in key regions of the country.
Minnesota and Midwest factory conditions contract in August

Minnesota and Midwest factory conditions contract in August

Even with bright spots in other industries, firms tied to ag and oil industries affect regional growth and jobs.
Polaris issues another ATV recall because of fire hazards

Polaris issues another ATV recall because of fire hazards

Federal report says there were 19 reports of fire, including six that resulted in injuries.

Magnetation could close its final Minnesota plant in Grand Rapids

About 160 workers could be affected, company said in government filing.
Obituary: Kathleen Ann DoBrava was a one-woman care package

Obituary: Kathleen Ann DoBrava was a one-woman care package

Kathleen Ann Hering DoBrava was a dynamo packed in a 5-foot-1-inch frame. She raised six of seven siblings and her eight children and cooked for…
Cliffs and United Steelworkers reach tentative three-year labor agreement

Cliffs and United Steelworkers reach tentative three-year labor agreement

The tentative agreement, which comes a year after the old one expired, still needs ratification.

Aura Fabricators to open $3.8 million expansion in Fergus Falls

The metal products maker received $190,000 in state money for the project, which is expected to result in 14 new jobs.

Patterson Cos. posts growth and meets first-quarter expectations

Patterson said growth in its animal health business offset sales declines in its dental division.
Stratasys partners with Boeing, Siemens and Ford on new 3-D printing technologies

Stratasys partners with Boeing, Siemens and Ford on new 3-D printing technologies

Stratasys teams with Boeing, Siemens and Ford to produce new 3-D systems.
A towering Paul Bunyan is dressed for success with duds from donated items

A towering Paul Bunyan is dressed for success with duds from donated items

State Fair exhibit displays Paul Bunyan in recycled clothing to make a point about reducing waste.
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