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Grant expected to spur job creation at Farmington business

Farmington’s Valmont Industries was one of five companies to receive grant funding in the first round of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Minnesota Job Creation Fund allocations.

The Minnesota Job Creation Fund is a $24 million program that was approved by Gov. Mark Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature last spring to encourage economic development. Valmont’s award of $129,000 was part of an overall $2.27 million distributed between the qualifying companies.

The fund is set up as a pay-for-performance program. In order to qualify, businesses must create a minimum of 10 jobs, and make $500,000 in private investments. It also requires companies to work with their local government to apply for the funding.

Valmont Industries has been part of Farmington’s Industrial Park community for nearly two decades. Originally operating as Lexington Standard, the company was acquired by Valmont in 2000. Valmont produces aluminum poles and arms and flag poles, and services the Minnesota Department of Transportation, as well as local commercial and utility markets.

The company asked for the city’s support at the Feb. 8 council meeting, city administrator David McKnight said.

In its application, Valmont indicated it hoped to get funds for a sizable expansion that would cost more than $1 million, but would also lead to the creation of 10 to 15 new jobs. The expansion is scheduled to begin Monday, April 14.

The city council was happy to support the grant application, McKnight said. Council members were even happier to hear of the grant award.

“Council is very excited to do this. (Valmont) has been here a very long time,” McKnight said. “It’s very good news for them.”

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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