Seven businesses in Minnesota are expanding with help from the Job Creation Fund, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Six of the businesses are in Greater Minnesota, and the projects are expected to create at least 226 jobs.

“This past year has brought some incredible challenges to business leaders in the state, but these expansions show that Minnesota still offers so many opportunities for growth,” DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said in a statement announcing the news on Wednesday, Feb. 3. “These awards are proof that Minnesota can grow its economy, even during a pandemic.”

The Job Creation Fund is an award-wining program recognized by the Economic Development Association of Minnesota. The pay-for-performance program provides funding to businesses after they meet certain criteria, including minimum requirements for job creation and private investments.

According to information from DEED, project details and JCF award amounts are as follows:

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Cargill, Albert Lea – $175,000

Cargill plans to expand in Albert Lea; the expansion will involve renovating the physical space and expansion of the refrigeration storage facilities. The total project cost is $24 million and will create five jobs. This project was awarded $175,000 from the Job Creation Fund, provided they meet all established criteria.

Ecolab Production, Eagan – $165,000

Ecolab is developing a Pilot Plant and Prototype Lab in Eagan. The total project cost is $3.9 million and is expected to create 14 jobs with an average wage of $36.64 an hour. This project was awarded $165,000 from the Job Creation Fund, provided they meet all established criteria.

JBS USA Holding Inc./Swift Pork Company, Worthington – $175,000

Swift Pork Company is the largest animal protein processor in the world. The company is constructing a new freezer facility in Worthington. The total project cost is $30 million and is expected to create 68 jobs. This project was awarded $175,000 from the Job Creation Fund, provided they meet all established criteria.

Midwest Co-Pack LLC, Winona – $175,000

Midwest Co-Pack will use this project to address some deferred maintenance to its facility and to repair/replace old equipment. The total project cost is $645,697 and will create 26 jobs across many disciplines throughout the business, 13 of which qualify for the award. This project was awarded $175,000 from the Job Creation Fund, provided they meet all established criteria.

Millerbernd Manufacturing Company, Winsted – $925,000

Millerbernd Manufacturing Company builds a variety of steel poles, rings and cylinders. Millerbernd is expanding two of its facilities in Winsted. Minn. One project is to construct a new 110,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. The total project cost is $12.8 million and is expected to create 28 jobs with an average wage of $21.77 an hour.

Millerbernd’s second project is to remodel and repurpose 60,000 square feet of manufacturing space for the Pole Division. The total project cost is $3 million and is expected to create 73 jobs with an average cash wage of $21.86 an hour.

These two projects were awarded $925,000 from the Job Creation Fund, provided they meet all established criteria.

Oddson Underground Inc., Windom – $100,000

Oddson Underground is a family-owned underground boring company that has grown into a fiber optics and telecommunications company. Oddson is constructing a new office building to provide meeting space for their staff. The total project is expected to cost $400,000 and create five jobs with an average wage of $20.29 an hour. Oddson was awarded $100,000 from the Job Creation Fund, provided they meet all established criteria.

Pace Dairy Foods, Rochester – $175,000

Pace Dairy Foods, a division of The Kroger Company – America’s largest grocery retailer – is a food production facility that processes and packages cheese products for shipment across the country. This multimillion-dollar project in Rochester will repurpose and renovate 5,600 square feet of existing space, including the installation of new machinery and equipment, and create 20 additional jobs, joining 265 current associates and offering an average hourly wage of over $24. The company is eligible for a $175,000 award from the Job Creation Fund based on the achievement of the project metrics.