by Joni Astrup
Alliance Machine in Elk River has expanded.
The company has added 17,250 square feet to its facility at 17520 Tyler St. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Monday.
Debbi Rydberg, executive director of the Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce, told the group at the ceremony that the new space means there’s room for more work, more equipment, more investment and more jobs.
Alliance Machine was founded in 1987 by Alliance President and CEO Patrick Provo. The company moved to a new 24,000-square-foot facility in Elk River in 2006.
Alliance Machine makes machined parts primarily for the defense and aerospace industries, according to Nick Freitag, sales manager. The parts range from simple circuit board frames and brackets to small bullet components for the military and fuel pump housings for commercial planes.
The end users of about 80 percent of Alliance Machine’s manufactured products are Boeing, Airbus and the U.S. military, Freitag said.
Alliance Machine has 32 full-time employees and five temporary employees. With the expansion, the company is looking to add more employees in the years to come, Freitag said.
Efforts are also underway to provide more employee training, according to Steve Jones, who is with the professional and workforce training program at Anoka Technical College and Anoka-Ramsey Community College. Jones said a proposal has been submitted to the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Program for funding to provide training to employees from Alliance Machine.
Meanwhile, Bryan Provo, vice president, general manager and CFO of Alliance Machine, said he’s grateful to be part of the city of Elk River and the state of Minnesota.
With the addition, Provo said they plan to triple their output and double their number of employees.
Kathi Schaff, director of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce’s Grow Minnesota! program, said at the ribbon-cutting that the success of manufacturers has a huge impact on the state and local economy. Each manufacturing job in the state supports approximately two other jobs, she said.
In Elk River, she said about 59 companies employ 1,500 people with a payroll of more than $64 million.
Mayor John Dietz said manufacturers are the lifeblood of any city, providing tax base and jobs.
“Bryan (Provo) not only does that, but he contributes to the community himself,” Dietz said. “He’s an active fireman and he’s a member of our Economic Development Authority, so he’s giving back to the community in more ways than one.”
Dietz said the city’s contribution to the Alliance Machine expansion was through a $200,000 forgivable loan.
He gave Provo a certificate from Gov. Mark Dayton, thanking him for his contributions to Minnesota’s economy.
Rep. Nick Zerwas, R-Elk River, representatives from the offices of U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Andrew Harvala of Heritage Construction also spoke at the ceremony.