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Proto Labs gets a warm welcome in Rosemount

A ribbon cutting was held for Proto Labs May 15. The company started operating at its Rosemount facility in April. Over the coming years Proto Labs will bring several hundred jobs to the community,

A Tuesday afternoon ribbon cutting officially marked the opening of Proto Labs in Rosemount. Operations at the new plant actually started in April and company CEO Brad Cleveland said things have gone "amazingly well."

Proto Labs provides custom CNC machined and injection molded parts. At its Rosemount facility the company makes injection molded parts. Cleveland said the company makes parts based their customer's designs. The parts are used in medical devices, electronics and appliances, among other things.

As one of the fastest in the business, Cleveland said business is booming, which led to the need for the Rosemount plant. The company is based in Maple Plain.

Proto Labs moved into the former Webb Companies building in the business park. The company bought the 10-year-old building for $3.95 million last winter.

Over the last several months the company has remodeled the building to fit its needs. Cleveland credited the talent of his employees in being able to keep manufacturing going while setting up the new plant.

"Installation went extremely well. It was fast and under budget," said Cleveland.

Currently, 60 employees work at the Rosemount facility. Most of the current employees were already employed with the company, but that will change. As the company continues to grow Cleveland said they will add several hundred jobs at the plant.

Part of the company's reasoning for opening the new plant in the south metro was to draw from a different employee pool. Cleveland said jobs available will include entry level to skilled manufacturing.

With the growth of the company being what it is, Cleveland said he anticipates they will soon fill the Rosemount facility and build another.

Company history

Proto Labs Inc. started in 1999 as the Protomold Company which specialized in quick-turnaround manufacture of custom plastic molded parts. In 2005, the company expanded to Europe. In 2007, the company added Firstcut quick-turn CNC machining services.

In 2009, the company took on the corporate name Proto Labs Inc. and opened a facility in Japan to offer both services. This past year Proto Labs became a publically traded company.

Cleveland said going public added visibility to the company. Additionally, the move gives employees an opportunity to own a stake in the company.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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