Federal Cartridge Co. is spending $33.9 million to upgrade and expand its ammunition plant in Anoka, promising to create 50 new jobs paying more than $17 an hour, state officials said.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is assisting the project with a $900,000 loan from the Minnesota Investment Fund and a $258,000 grant from the state's Job Creation Fund. The grant will work like a rebate; funds will be awarded after Federal Cartridge completes its expansion and hiring commitments. The loan will be forgiven if objectives are met.

The jobs are promised over the next two years. The new hires will join nearly 1,400 existing workers in Anoka.

DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy had praise for the project.

"Federal Cartridge has been producing ammunition for hunters and other shooting-sports enthusiasts for nearly a century. With improved equipment and facilities, the company will be positioned for continued growth in a competitive industry," she said.

Mayor Phil Rice said it is a "win for Federal and for the city of Anoka."

Federal Cartridge was founded in Anoka in 1922 by Charles Horn. The plant manufactures a complete line of shotshell, centerfire and rimfire ammunition and components.

Federal Cartridge used to be owned by the Eden Prairie-based firm Alliant Technology Systems, which has since merged with Orbital Sciences Corp. Federal Cartridge's ammunition entity was spun off and today is owned by Utah-based Vista Outdoor.

Vista Outdoor is known for its many product brands including Federal Premium, Bushnell and Alliant Powder. The company has plants and facilities in 13 states, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico, and customer service, sales and sourcing operations in Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe and New Zealand.