3M Gets Grant to Expand in TX, Add 55 Jobs

Texas Governor Rick Perry's office announced that 3M will receive a $194,000 grant to expand a facility in Texas-a move expected to result in about 55 new jobs.

Maplewood-based 3M Company will receive a $194,000 grant from the State of Texas to expand its facility in Angleton, Texas.

Texas Governor Rick Perry's office on Thursday announced that 3M will receive the economic incentive-which comes from the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF). The fund was created in 2003 as a way to attract businesses and increase jobs within the state. The governor's office said that the fund has so far invested more than $433 million in projects that it credits for adding 58,535 new jobs.

The governor's office also said that it expects 3M's expansion to create 55 new jobs and generate about $21.2 million in additional capital investment.

3M spokeswoman Donna Fleming Runyon said in a Friday phone interview that the company has been planning the move for a couple of years. She said that 3M relocated some of its existing manufacturing operations from New Ulm to the Texas facility, which affected about 35 Minnesota employees who were informed about the change in 2009.

She said that a portion of those employees chose to relocate to Texas, and the others have been transferred to other positions within the company-meaning that no cuts resulted from the move.

Fleming Runyon said that the Angleton facility reflects a companywide effort to locate its operations near where its products are being used. “We are consistently moving closer to where our customers are,” she said, adding that the Angleton facility will produce corrosion protection products used in the oil and gas industry.

3M has maintained a presence in Texas since 1965, and it currently operates in Austin, Brownwood, Dallas, Houston, and El Paso. The company now employs about 1,700 people in Texas and roughly 15,000 in Minnesota.

“We are thrilled that the combination of a fabulous quality of life, a skilled work force, and low cost of living were integral factors in 3M's decision to move their corrosion manufacturing plant to our city, and we look forward to a long-standing relationship,” Angleton Assistant City Manager and Economic Development Director Patti Worfe said in a statement.

Fleming Runyon said that the economic incentive from the State of Texas played a secondary role in the company's decision to relocate some Minnesota operations-it's mostly an effort to be closer to customers, she said.

But Texas has been at the center of discussions regarding economic development; for example, Austin is one of a growing number of metropolitan areas benefiting from a regionalized business development and marketing approach. To learn more about Texas' approach to attracting businesses-and how the Twin Cities hopes to bolster local activity-read the editor's note from the January issue of Twin Cities Business.

Earlier this week, 3M also announced other expansion plans, including the formation of a new flexible-circuits manufacturing business in Korea and a new manufacturing plant in Nashville, Tennessee.

3M is Minnesota's fifth-largest public company based on revenue, which totaled $26.7 billion in 2010.

 

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