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Wabash National Corp. Plans Little Falls, Minn. Manufacturing Site

Wabash National Corp. purchased and plans to renovate a 53-acre manufacturing site, formerly Larson Boats, in Little Falls, Minnesota.

The firm will use the facility to manufacture select parts for the semi-trailer and truck body market using a propriety molded structural composite technology.The project entails significant renovations to its 600,000 square feet of buildings and adding machinery and equipment for manufacturing. Overall, it’s expected to cost $11 million, with $500,000 for renovations to the existing facility.

Wabash National Corp. is a diversified industrial manufacturer and North America’s leading producer of semi-trailers and liquid transportation systems. It is headquartered in Lafayette, Ind. This is its first production facility in Minnesota, where it plans to hire 70 associates.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is supporting the project with a grant of up to $188,500 from the Job Creation Fund, a $400,000 loan from the Minnesota Investment Fund (MIF) and $380,000 from the Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP). The city of Little Falls and the Morrison County Rural Finance Authority also plan to provide local incentives.

“Little Falls workers have decades of skilled manufacturing experience. Wabash National’s decision to expand is a testament to their experience and work ethic,” said Lt. Governor Tina Smith. “I’m pleased the state of Minnesota was able to help this job-creating expansion become a reality. I urge the Legislature to restore funding for the Job Creation Fund and Minnesota Investment Fund this session, so that future job-creating projects, like Wabash National, aren’t stifled.”

The company said it selected the Little Falls site as the launch facility for its MSC products because of the unique combination of an experienced and highly skilled workforce in composite manufacturing processes, along with a fully equipped and highly engineered facility capable of producing large-size parts quickly.

“We’re very excited to see a large, out-of-state advanced manufacturer and industry leader like Wabash National set up operations in Greater Minnesota,” said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. “This is particularly good news for Little Falls and Morrison County, which have both seen higher-than-average unemployment rates.”

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