Job creation projects to be considered by IRRRB

June 15, 2011

EVELETH, Minnesota – Approximately 189  new jobs will be created at six northeastern Minnesota companies  under business development projects to be considered at a 9 a.m., Thursday, June 16, 2011, Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) meeting in Eveleth. 

“Creating jobs for the betterment of the region and its people is what the IRRRB is all about,” said Tony Sertich, IRRRB commissioner. “The IRRRB is pleased that as it begins a new fiscal year, the agency is able to partner with these businesses, local financial institutions and communities to help bring new jobs and economic growth to northeastern Minnesota.” 

The 13-member agency board will also act on supporting continued development of the region’s workforce through the expenditure of Higher Education Account funds for innovative college programs. Job creation projects to be considered at Thursday’s board meeting are: 

• A $250,000 loan to Sure-Fab, Inc., a Two Harbors fabrication manufacturer, toward an $850,000 expansion and equipment acquisition.  Up to 15 new full-time equivalent jobs will be created. 

• A $250,000 loan to Arowhead Promotion and Fulfillment Company, Inc., a Grand Rapids consumer refund and rebate premium fulfillment company, toward a $1.5 million working capital initiative. Sixty-three new full time and 13 part-time jobs will be created. 

• A $75,000 loan to Occupational Development Center, Inc., a Buhl non-profit which provides job opportunities for individuals with disabilities, toward a $165,000 purchase of new equipment. Sixteen new jobs will be created. 

• A $300,000 grant to the City of Two Harbors to support $1.69 million in site and infrastructure improvements along County Road 26 to help facilitate an expansion of Northshore Manufacturing and several other businesses. Northshore Manufacturing plans to increase its 75-person workforce to 125 in the next five years. 

• A $350,000 grant to the City of Virginia to support $2.96 million in site and infrastructure improvements on Ninth Avenue Northwest to help facilitate an expansion of IDEA Drilling and other businesses that could expand or locate in the area. IDEA Drilling plans to increase its 85-person workforce to 120 full-time equivalents 

• A $125,000 grant to Embro Corporation toward a $326,690 project to determine whether a Minnesota species of sphagnum moss can inhibit the growth of bacteria, suppress biofilm growth and remove and inhibit scale formation. If proven, Embro Corporation plans to establish a harvesting, processing and packaging facility in northeastern Minnesota that would support its commercial pool and spa products company. Ten full-time and 12 seasonal jobs would be created. 

• An expenditure of up to $1 million in Higher Education Account funds to provide a grant to the Northeast Higher Education District for use by the Arrowhead University Consortium to continue development of a Bachelor of Science degree engineering program. 

• An expenditure of up to $620,000 in Higher Education Account funds for continued development of the Arrowhead Institute of Technology and higher education programs in Industrial Systems Technology, Process Automation Systems, Chemical Technology, Executive Office Management and Industrial Construction. 

Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) is a state economic development agency headquartered in northeastern Minnesota whose vision is to promote and invest in business, community and workforce development for the betterment of the region. Each meeting of the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board at its headquarters in Eveleth is streamed live at www.irrrb.org