Alexandria Industries breaks ground today on a major construction project that will expand its aluminum extrusion plant by 19,000 square feet.

The $16.4 million project includes the addition of a new aluminum extrusion press manufactured by the Italian firm Presezzi Extrusion Group, company officials announced Tuesday.

With it, the Minnesota-based Alexandria Industries will be able to: increase its extrusion capabilities by 30 percent; work with harder alloys; produce more complex products; and manufacture orders for customers that have tighter tolerances. The company will add 14 new jobs to help with growth.

"By combining the latest in aluminum extrusion technology with the best employees, we will continue to lead our industry," said Alexandria CEO Tom Schabel in a statement. "This investment also aligns with our company vision and commitment to excellence. The new system will provide robust extruded aluminum components for our customers, while providing us continued business growth into the future."

Alexandria Industries employs about 575 workers, mostly in the town of Alexandria.

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