Manufactured and modular homebuilder Homark Homes is investing $6 million in an expansion that will add 19 jobs at its manufacturing facility in Red Lake Falls in northwestern Minnesota.
The employee-owned company said it plans to expand its product line to include multifamily modular housing. Homark expects to add the new jobs paying an average wage of $16 an hour within three years.
To assist with the expansion, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) will award Homark $456,000 from the Minnesota Job Creation Fund if the company meets performance goals.
The fund was first proposed by Governor Mark Dayton last year and was among $24 million in business incentives that were approved in the 2013 legislative session. Officials said the program is helping the state to compete for new jobs and businesses.
"Thanks to this new expansion, 19 hard-working Minnesotans will have jobs that pay, on average, $16 per hour," said Governor Dayton. "That is great news for northwestern Minnesota and great news for our state. I thank Homark Homes for their important expansion."
"The Minnesota Job Creation Fund is making it possible for companies like Homark Homes to expand and add quality jobs in their communities," said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. "Homark has developed a successful business model in Red Lake Falls and is contributing to the city's economic growth."
Homark, which started as a mobile home manufacturer in a former flax processing plant in Red Lake Falls, has built more than 36,000 homes since the 1960s. When the owners decided to sell the company, 46 Homark employees stepped forward and bought the business in 1991. The homes are built inside a climate-controlled production facility and shipped to destinations throughout the continental United States, Alaska and Canada.
The company has been developing a niche in modular "man camps" and hotels for the expanding energy and mining industries in North Dakota and Canada.
The Minnesota Job Creation Fund is a new pay-for-performance program that provides up to $1 million to businesses after they meet certain criteria, including minimum requirements for job creation and private investments. Under the program, businesses must create at least 10 full-time jobs and invest at least $500,000 to be eligible for financial assistance.
The program is available to businesses engaged in manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, technology and other eligible activities. Companies must work with the local government (city, county or township) where a project is located to apply to DEED to receive designation as a Job Creation Fund business.