Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board approves $15 million to construct a new wood products manufacturing facility
[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz today announced the Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board approved $15 million in funding for the construction of the new Huber Engineered Woods LLC (HEW) oriented strand board (OSB) manufacturing facility in Cohasset, bringing 150 new jobs to the region. The plant will increase the company’s production of innovative ZIP System® and AdvanTech® structural panels. HEW is a subsidiary of J.M. Huber Corporation, one of the largest family-owned companies in the United States.
Contingent upon site acquisition, approval of certain legislative initiatives and financial assistance from additional state entities, the Cohasset location will be HEW’s sixth mill in the United States and its first presence in Minnesota. Its other five manufacturing facilities are located in Georgia, Maine, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Virginia. The Cohasset project involves constructing a new state-of-the-art facility located on more than 400 acres in southwest Itasca County. It will feature advanced processes and technologies to be the most efficient and sustainable operation within the HEW manufacturing network.
“The State of Minnesota is proud to collaborate with Huber Engineered Woods to bring 150 new jobs to Cohasset,” said Governor Walz. “Huber is an innovative and unique leader in the building products industry, and we’re excited about the positive economic impact this investment will make in the region.”
“We’re thrilled to partner with Huber Engineered Woods to welcome 150 jobs to northeastern Minnesota. This is a win for our state,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan.
HEW is a leading specialty building products innovator that supports the growing needs of single-family, multifamily, and commercial teams seeking to build high-performing structures. The Cohasset mill will produce a wide range of the company’s subflooring, roof, and wall panel products and increase HEW’s ability to service Western and Midwestern housing markets.
“This new chapter of growth for our company, with the development of our sixth mill, is the result of tremendous collaboration between our company, Governor Walz, and leaders within a range of entities in the State of Minnesota.” said HEW President Brian Carlson. “We look forward to being an integral part of the community and a key partner in the future success of the county and the state. We are pleased and excited to bring this new investment and set of employment opportunities to Itasca County and the surrounding areas. It is our desire for our new operations to be a shining example of our company’s commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workforce.”
The HEW plant is projected to provide more than 150 new jobs to Itasca County area with a median hourly wage of $31 plus a benefits package. HEW’s Cohasset operations will contribute to business growth for adjacent industries, including Minnesota’s logging and trucking sectors. Projections are calling for the daily commission of 150 logging trucks. The annual exporting of finished goods will require 20,000 trucks and 330 rail cars.
“Northeastern Minnesota’s infrastructure and transportation systems are geared to expand and support the success of Huber’s new facility in Cohasset,” said Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Commissioner Mark Phillips. “Our region’s workforce is highly skilled, hard-working, and ready to help Huber Engineered Woods produce its products in Minnesota.”
The new facility will be built at Cohasset’s “North Site” and require infrastructure upgrades including water, sewer, natural gas, rail, and road. The company projects that 300 to 400 construction workers will be needed to build the new facility.
“I’m thrilled that Huber is going to add 150 jobs to northeastern Minnesota and grow our state’s economy,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “Minnesota’s workforce is well positioned to ensure Huber’s new manufacturing plant succeeds. We are honored to welcome Huber to a Minnesota economy that continues to build what matters.”
The facility will be built on land currently owned by Minnesota Power, the region’s electric energy provider, and near the company’s Boswell Energy Center.
“Minnesota Power and ALLETE are proud to be among the partners who played a role in attracting this new business to Cohasset, where our Boswell Energy Center has been a powerful partner of the community since 1958,” said ALLETE chair, President, and CEO Bethany Owen. “As Boswell’s mission evolves as part of Minnesota Power’s vision to deliver 100 percent carbon free energy by 2050, we are excited to welcome Huber to our region and help bring this significant natural resource-based investment to Cohasset and Itasca County in support of a sustainable and just transition for Boswell’s host communities.”
A collaboration of key organizations helped bring Huber’s investment and employment opportunities to Cohasset: Department of Employment & Economic Development (DEED), Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), the city of Cohasset, Itasca County, Minnesota Power, and Itasca County Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). While the company and all parties involved are enthused to take the next steps with the project, it is contingent on, among other steps, financial assistance from the additional state and local entities to move forward.
“We are excited Huber has chosen this site to expand their business,” said Itasca County Commissioner Davin Tinquist. “This will be a tremendous boost, not only to the local economy of Cohasset but to all of Itasca County. This is good for the timber industry, for the local job market and for our tax base.”
“The City of Cohasset is incredibly pleased to publicly announce this project. The increases in jobs, tax base, and economic impact to Cohasset are significant,” said Cohasset City Administrator Max Peters. “It is projects like this that grow the region’s taxable market value. The city of Cohasset is very thankful to all of the organizations and agencies whose contributions and hard work made this project a reality.”
Learn more about the HEW Cohasset Mill at HEWMNmill.com.
About Huber Engineered Woods
Huber Engineered Woods is a subsidiary of J.M. Huber Corporation, which was founded in 1883 and has grown to be one of the largest family-owned companies in the United States. J.M. Huber Corporation is a global company with approximately 4,000 employees in more than 20 countries. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Huber Engineered Woods is a building products leader in delivering roof, wall and subfloor solutions for quiet, stiff floors and weather-resistant building envelopes. Fueled by on-the-jobsite analysis and building science principles, AdvanTech® subflooring, ZIP System™ building enclosure and EXACOR™ product solutions have changed how construction teams build better buildings. Learn more about Huber Engineered Woods at Huberwood.com.
Additional Project Partner Media Contacts
Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation
Sheryl Kochevar, Communications Director
Department of Employment & Economic Development
Jen Gates, Communications Director
Amy Rutledge, Manager, Corporate Communications
City of Cohasset
Max Peters, City Administrator
218.328.6225 ext. 22
Brett Skyles, County Administrator
Itasca Economic Development Corporation
Tamara Lowney, President