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Report: New business expansions to bring 1,500 Minnesota jobs

Thirty-one business expansions that were announced during the third quarter are expected to add about 1,500 new jobs in Minnesota.

That’s according to a new report from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). Combined with first- and second-quarter expansion plans, there were 112 such announcements during the first nine months of 2013, and they are expected to create an estimated 5,600 new jobs in the state over the next two years, the agency said.

The report, which is based on a compilation of business expansion announcements and news reports, does not take into account job losses in the state. Minnesota’s job growth has been a bit erratic recently. In September, the state lost 8,700 jobs, but it rebounded in October by adding 9,900 jobs, and the state’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.8 percent—a rate last seen in January 2008.

“We are thrilled to see this high level of expansion activity across the state,” DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben said in a statement. “The diversity of investments highlights our state’s ability to attract and grow businesses from various industries, which is contributing to job growth statewide.” (Hear more from Clark Sieben in TCB’s new “Interview Issue.”)

One of the largest expansions announced during the third quarter was from San Francisco-based Shutterfly, Inc., which is building a $60 million manufacturing facility in Shakopee that will employ nearly 330 people. (Shutterfly also reportedly anticipates hiring an additional 650 to 900 part-time and seasonal employees.)

Slalom Consulting, a Seattle-based tech consultancy, opened a Minneapolis office in September with plans to hire 50 full-time employees within its first year, along with an additional 300 people over its first five years.

Anoka-based paper product manufacturer Patriot Converting announced plans to build a new manufacturing facility in Ramsey. DEED said that the $6 million, 77,000-square-foot expansion is expected to bring 10 to 15 new jobs.

WFSI, Inc., a welding, manufacturing, and engineering firm based in Sauk Rapids announced that it’s expanding further into the city by acquiring a new building. The expansion is expected to result in 32 new jobs over the next two years, said DEED.

Twin Cities BusinessOther projects on the list include: Proto Labs adding 100 jobs in PlymouthDatacard Group relocating its headquarters to Shakopee and adding 150 jobsTSI, Inc., adding 200 jobs after expanding its headquarters in Shoreview, and Doherty Staffing adding about 125 jobs in the Alexandria area.

The Twin Cities metro area accounted for 16 of the 31 total projects. Five of the firms reporting expansions are headquartered outside of Minnesota, including two that are based outside of the United States.

DEED said the manufacturing sector reported the largest number of expansions, with 13 projects, followed by the software and technology industry, with five projects.

This article is reprinted in partnership with Twin Cities Business.

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