South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, U.S. Senator John Thune, U.S. Senator Mike Rounds and U.S. Congressman Dusty Johnson joined 3M leaders for a Nov. 6 ribbon cutting to mark a major expansion at 3M’s Aberdeen, South Dakota, plant – an effort that will allow 3M to produce even more N95 respirators needed by those fighting on the front lines of the pandemic.
The Aberdeen facility has been running 24/7 since January and now will play an even bigger role in helping in the fight against the pandemic because of the 120,000-square-foot expansion to the 330,000-square-foot facility.
Denise Rutherford, 3M’s senior vice president of Corporate Affairs, said it was important to celebrate the accomplishment of 3M Aberdeen and to “look toward the future of what this facility will accomplish as we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.”
Built in 1974, the Aberdeen facility is 3M’s largest U.S. respirator plant. The expansion, which adds additional manufacturing lines and automated equipment to further increase the production of N95 respirators, was made possible by a partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense along with investments by 3M.
3M is making more respirators than ever before and continues to increase production. By the end of 2020, the company will produce 2 billion respirators globally, tripling production since 2019. The expansion in Aberdeen, where tens of millions of respirators are already being made every month, will help push monthly production of N95 respirators in the U.S. to 95 million per month.
The expansion is expected to add 100 jobs at Aberdeen’s 3M facility. That’s on top of the 200 jobs added at the plant since the beginning of the pandemic.