The state of Minnesota's economic development arm is injecting $412,515 into four manufacturing businesses expanding in St. Cloud, Elk River, Bloomington and Buffalo, state officials announced Tuesday.

The Minnesota Job Creation Grant awards have been issued to robotics systems maker Central McGowan Inc. in St. Cloud (120,000);  steel fabricator Distinctive Iron in Elk River ($42,474);  the high pressure spray gun maker P.A. SpA in Bloomington ($110,619); and lawnmower-blade maker Whirltronics Inc. in Buffalo ($139,422).

The combined awards  are expected to create 35 new jobs over the next few years, said officials from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), which oversees the grants.

“I congratulate these four businesses and cities on their expansions,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “The Job Creation Fund helps ensure that Minnesota remains a competitive marketplace for growing businesses."

Central McGowan plans to use its DEED award as part of a $1.6 million building expansion in St. Cloud.

Distinctive Iron's award will help it buy, renovate and expand into an existing building site in Elk River. That total project cost is $1.5 million. 

P.A. SpA said the funds will help its $5.5 million expansion project. The company is expanding into a 65,000-square-foot building in Bloomington.

Whirltronics is expanding its own facility and adding 12 new workers at a combined cost of $3.9 million, officials said. 

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