3M Co (NYSE:MMM) is undertaking a restructuring of sorts, with its Eagan, Minnesota plant closing in 2018 and its reallocation of resources across the business. 3M’s business realignment, as the company is calling its shift, will see the Eagan plant shut down sometime in 2018. With the 3M plant closing, this represents another hit to the already wounded manufacturing sector in the U.S., a sector that has long been the priority of politicians and particularly President Donald Trump, who mourned such job losses during his campaign and promised to bring them back.
3M closing its plant is a result of what a spokesperson said was a shift in product lines at 3M. The company is looking to prioritize its better selling products while shifting back on certain areas that have not yielded high profits in recent years.
“This is part of a realignment of the business,” said the spokesperson for the company during the announcement of the 3M plant closing.
3M Plant Shutdown to Affect 150 Employees
The 3M plant closure will leave over 100 employees without work when it does eventually shutter by the end of 2018.
The plant manufactures commercial air filtration products, refrigeration filtration products, and the “Empore” brand of filters used by the pharmaceutical industry.
Ten jobs will be moved to the 3M facilities in Maplewood, where the company maintains its headquarters, leaving 140 without work.
Part of the 3M business realignment has to do with the company shifting focus onto different types of filtration, like those that help food and beverage producers, as well as specialty “ultra filtration” products that are used in medical fields.
CEO Inge Thulin said during its annual outlook meeting that realignments are just as important to the company as acquisitions in regards to maintaining a successful business. This is not the first 3M realignment, either, with the company dropping several businesses over the years.
And neither is the Eagan plant closing the only move the company is making at this time. It’s also looking to sell its fiber optics and copper telecommunications business for $900.0 million, though the company’s employees in this sector are expected to keep their jobs if the sale goes through.
Earlier Closure and Layoffs at 3M Plant in 2017
This is the not first major 3M plant closing to take place in 2017.
An earlier 3M plant closing in 2017 occurred in Elyria, Ohio. Again, this was cited as a business decision by the company’s communication team. 3M was extricating itself from the majority of the cellulose block business, instead focusing on the finished sponge business as competition increased in that sector.
The Ohio plan closing led to 136 3M job cuts in 2017.
Both a state senator and the mayor of Elyria reached out to President Trump to try and keep these manufacturing jobs in the state, but the bid was unsuccessful. The pair of 3M plant closings led to 276 job cuts.
“3M closing 150-employee plant in Eagan,” Twin Cities Pioneer Press, December 12, 2017.
“3M will shut Eagan filtration plant in 2018,” Star Tribune, December 13, 2017.
“3M to cut 136 jobs at Elyria sponge plant,” The Morning Journal, February 3, 2017.
“3M closing Ohio plant,” Rubber and Plastics News, March 31, 2017.