By Lynda Jensen
COKATO, MN - Raydot and Blue Research (Val-Co), which is located behind Dairy Queen in Cokato, is moving its manufacturing and distribution operations elsewhere in the US; with an administrative office that will remain in Cokato, commented Cokato site manager Jim Jacobson.
Domestic plants owned by Val-Co are located in Coldwater Ohio, two in Pennsylvania, and Buffalo, Missouri.
“Most of the operations will be sent to Coldwater Ohio, a few outsourced, and the remainder will be sent to New Holland, Pennsylvania,” Jacobson said.
“We have regional distribution warehouses in Sioux Falls, SD; Madison, NB; Boaz, AL; Morrilton, AR; and Biscoe, NC which also serve our customer base. In addition, we have manufacturing plants placed strategically around the world (Brazil, Holland, India, and China),” Jacobson added.
The following is a statement from the company: “As difficult as it is to make decisions like these that impact the lives of our valued associates, we must position VAL-CO to operate profitably under the present and foreseeable business circumstances.
“The products currently manufactured and distributed in Minnesota will be moved to the other domestic VAL-CO manufacturing plants or outsourced. Once that is completed the Minnesota manufacturing operation will be shut down. The decision to do so was not taken lightly due to the number of employees affected in Minnesota.
“The process to shift product lines will take 90-120 days to complete. We will proceed systematically by product family, moving inventory, transferring knowledge, and equipment. We will begin with the distributed product families and work our way through the manufactured lines. The majority of employees will be asked to stay to build inventory, assist in the transfer of knowledge/technology, and help to prepare and move the inventory. At the conclusion of the transfer of manufacturing operations and associated inventory, Cokato Minnesota manufacturing will be shut down.
“With a change of this magnitude, we wanted to provide as much prior notice to all employees as possible. The VAL-CO Human Resources department will work closely with all displaced workers to provide as much assistance as possible.
“Going forward, an administrative office with minimal staff will be maintained in Minnesota.”