John Deere Seeding Group broke ground Tuesday on a significant project at its factory in Valley City. The new $20 million expansion will increase the factory that was built 15 years ago by an additional 100,000 square feet, bringing the building to over 325,000 square feet.
Gov. Jack Dalrymple joined John Deere officials and Mayor Bob Werkhoven for the celebration.
John Deere’s expansion is part of a major Interstate 94 Regional Development Corridor project by the Barnes County-Valley City Development Corporation.
John Deere employs more than 350 people, including an increase in 75 new employees over the last year, according to David Bradford, factory manager at Valley City’s John Deere facility.
Earlier this year, John Deere expanded their factory by adding four new tillage lines in addition to their existing air seeder lines.
The expansion made the factory a year-round factory, eliminating seasonal layoffs.
This latest expansion will be through both lines and will create between 50 to100 jobs over the next five years.
Construction is expected to be complete and an official ribbon cutting on the addition will take place in 2014.
“We are proud to be a part of the economic growth in the state of North Dakota and particularly here in Valley City,” Bradford told the audience. “This expansion shows our continued commitment to our community and to our customers.”
“John Deere is embarking on its 176th year in business, and we’re beginning our 16th year here in Valley City,” he said.
Dalrymple told the audience he’s had a farm operation running for over 40 years near Casselton.
“To see this kind of an expansion come into basically my home area is a great, warm feeling,” the governor said. “It tells me that what we’re doing here in North Dakota and in agriculture and what we’re doing in manufacturing is being done right.”
“This expansion means more good jobs for our people and more good opportunities for everybody,” he continued.
Dalrymple said employees at Valley City’s John Deere factory and other factories throughout the state are “outstanding, conscientious, diligent people who show up for work every day and actually care about the product that they’re making.”