Aluminum recycler Spectro Alloys is expanding and adding two metal processing furnaces that should help the business take on new orders and hold its own with aggressive competitors, company and state officials announced Wednesday.
Spectro, which will receive some assistance from the state, is adding about 5,000 additional square feet onto its Rosemount facility.
Since the Minnesota Job Creation Fund launched in 2014, the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has approved $33.7 million in rebate grants to 74 business expansion projects across Minnesota. In exchange, grant recipients have committed to hiring 4,610 new full-time workers and investing $942.4 million in the various projects.
Spectro will receive $146,007 under the program after it complies with specific hiring, wage and retention guidelines.
Construction of the building addition will begin by early spring. Equipment is being moved around inside the plant this week to make room for the new equipment, company officials said.
Spectro is investing $5.8 million in the project and plans to hire 10 extra workers at an average wage of $20.80 an hour. The company currently has 150 employees but is expected to need additional workers to act as furnace operators, sorters, forklift drivers, packagers and assistants.
Once completed, the new furnaces should allow the company to take in and process different types of aluminum that its current equipment can’t handle.
Spectro buys and melts large volumes of aluminum scrap into high-quality aluminum alloys that it then sells to foundries and die casters worldwide.
Spectro Alloys President Luke Palen said DEED’s support was “important.” Competitors also are adding new metal processing equipment, so the addition of two new furnaces at Spectro will help it remain competitive.
DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy said it is important to help Spectro “expand its already robust and innovative aluminum recycling operations. ... Spectro Alloys is a growing Minnesota company that prides itself on efficiency and environmental stewardship.”
DEED also approved other economic development aid this month:
• The agency is providing an $850,000 Job Creation Fund grant and a $450,000 loan from the Minnesota Investment Fund to Emerson’s operations in Chanhassen. Emerson is investing $15 million in renovating 30,000 square feet of office space into factory and customer training space. It will hire 80 new workers at an average wage of $27.02 an hour. Emerson’s renovation construction and hiring has already begun in Chanhassen, officials said.
•DEED is loaning $125,000 to ASV Holdings Inc. to help the manufacturer of compact track and skid steer loaders move its parts distribution operations from Southaven, Miss., to its manufacturing plant in Grand Rapids, Minn.
ASV estimates the move and expansion will cost $686,000 and create 13 jobs. The Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board has approved a $300,000 loan for ASV.
•The agency last week announced it was providing a forgivable loan to the aerial lift-truck maker Altec Inc. in Duluth. The aid will help that factory expand and add 100 new jobs to its existing crew of 230 workers. Altec is investing $8.45 million in the project and will receive $550,000 loan from the state.
“We’re definitely excited to be expanding here in Duluth,” said Dave Faynik, general manager of Altec’s Duluth operations. The company has already started hiring workers.
In addition to the state loan, Altec is also receiving some perks from the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, which owns the building where Altec is located.
The Port Authority is investing $3.5 million in building upgrades, which should help Altec’s Minnesota operation. The Duluth site is one of Altec’s seven manufacturing sites and 20 service centers in the United States and Canada.
Altec Inc. is headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., and makes aerial devices, cable handlers, chippers, cranes, digger derricks and other equipment for the electric utility, telecommunications, lights and signs and tree care industries.
• The state this week also announced it will provide a $250,000 loan to a financial technology startup named Sezzle that helps retailers set up online payment platforms and a $15.4 million loan to the city of Pipestone, Minn., to build a new water treatment plant.