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Envirolastech Opening First Manufacturing Facility in St. Charles

Rochester startup will invest $3 million, create 26 jobs

11/21/2016 11:31:52 AM

Shane Delaney, 651-259-7236

Recycled materials manufacturer Envirolastech Inc. will invest $3 million and create 26 jobs at its first production facility in St. Charles.

The Rochester-based startup, which recycles plastics and glass into building materials, said it will invest $2 million for machinery and equipment and $1 million for building an 18,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the Chattanooga Innovation Park in St. Charles. The new jobs will be created over the next two years and pay wages averaging $15.47 an hour.

St. Charles, located about 30 miles east of Rochester in Winona County, was chosen for the facility because the site is along Interstate 90 and near Winona State University, which has a polymer engineering program. Complementary businesses in the community, including a tool and die firm, was another reason the company chose St. Charles.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is supporting the project with a $183,766 grant from the Job Creation Fund. The funding will be awarded after the company meets its hiring and investment commitments.

“This is good news for St. Charles and Minnesota. Envirolastech’s expansion will create good jobs for Minnesotans and help grow our green manufacturing sector,” said Lt. Gov. Tina Smith. “I applaud Envirolastech for their continued commitment to southern Minnesota.”

“Envirolastech is bringing needed employment investment to a community that was devastated when North Star Foods closed after a fire in 2009,” said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. “The company, with its innovative products, has much promise and is well-positioned for growth in the green-building sector.”

Envirolastech, which won the clean technology category in the Minnesota Cup competition in 2012, recycles plastics, glass and other materials into building products that can substitute for lumber, wood siding and concrete blocks. The products, manufactured from 100 percent post-consumer recycled materials, are nonbiodegradeable, impervious to water, stronger than concrete and do not get brittle in cold temperatures.

Paul Schmitt, company co-founder and technical adviser, has been working on the technology and testing the formulations for nearly two decades. Jeffery Mintz, CEO, and Geno Wente, director of logistics, are partnering with Schmitt as company principals. All three men are from Rochester.

The Job Creation Fund, which was first proposed by Gov. Mark Dayton in 2013, is a pay-for-performance program that provides funding to businesses after they meet certain criteria, including minimum requirements for job creation and private investments. Under the program, businesses must create at least 10 full-time jobs and invest at least $500,000 to be eligible for financial assistance.

Since the Job Creation Fund was launched in January 2014, DEED has awarded $33.7 million for 76 business expansion projects in Minnesota. Companies have committed to creating 4,559 full-time jobs and investing $910.9 million to expand.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and its services, visit the DEED website or follow us on Twitter.



Upon request, this information can be made available in alternate formats for people with disabilities by contacting the DEED Communications Office at 651-259-7161.

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