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3M to expand

3M is investing in its Alexandria facility and it announced plans this week to expand the existing abrasive manufacturing operations at the Alexandria site.

Construction on the multi-million dollar project will begin in October and is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2009.

Expanding the Alexandria facility represents 3M's ongoing commitment to support growth and meet the needs of customers by shortening supply chains and improving responsiveness, according to company sources.

It also supports 3M's strategy to invest in its "core businesses" and to move supply closer to customers, the company said.

"This expansion will help us to even better serve our customers in North America," said Chris Holmes, division vice president in a news release issued Wednesday.

"We expect to add approximately 50 new jobs when the expansion is completed," added Dave Lambert, plant manager of the 3M in Alexandria.

The Alexandria site currently employs about 275 people.

The abrasive systems division is considered 3M's "heritage business" upon which the company was founded in 1902.

Today, 3M brands are recognized around the world, making the company a leading abrasives supplier to manufacturers of medical, electronics, aerospace, automotive and thousands of other products.

3M's brands include Scotch, Post-it, Scotchguard, Thinsulate, Scotch-Brite, Filtrete, Command and Vikuiti.


Alexandria location: 2115 South Broadway.

Established in: 1967

Employees: 275 (pre-expansion)

What it does: Manufactures abrasive belts and discs.

3M worldwide sales: $22.9 billion

3M products are sold in nearly 200 countries.

Worldwide employees: more than 75,000.

Plant locations: 145 worldwide.

Sales office locations: 169 worldwide.

What are the three Ms?: The company began as Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing on the Iron Range in 1902.

Historical accomplishments: invented the world's first waterproof sandpaper in the early 1920s; masking tape invented in 1925; Scotch-light deflective sheeting for highway markings following World War II; Post-it notes introduced in 1980.