The following is from an article in the Mankato Free Press recently.  You can view the original article online here:

March 16, 2014

MRCI factory to bring new opportunities to clients

By Josh Moniz jmoniz@mankatofreepress.comThe Mankato Free Press

By Josh Moniz

MANKATO — MRCI WorkSource, which provides job opportunities for people with disabilities, is building a new $4 million expansion in Mankato’s Eastwood Energy Center industrial park. The project is intended to increase MRCI’s capabilities and expand its ability to provide work for its clients.

The 30,000-square-foot facility at 1750 Energy Drive will feature a state-of-the-art design with extensive work area, training rooms, a cafeteria and restrooms specially designed for the needs of the workers.

MRCI CEO Brian Benshoof said the new facility’s biggest advantage will be providing MRCI operations with the flexibility to take on new programs. He pointed out how operations at previous sites in Mankato were hindered by lack of a formal load dock. He said the new facility will have a loading dock and warehouse.

“We couldn’t get large quantities of work into the other locations,” Benshoof said. “We want something that will be big enough to carry us into the future.”

MRCI has previously faced issues with finding enough work to keep its hard-working clients consistently busy.

Benshoof said the new facility will expand MRCI’s capabilities and allow them to take on new work.

MRCI workers perform product packaging, light assembly work and other jobs for a wide range of regional companies at the site.

The new facility will initially house 90 clients and 40 MRCI staff members. The staffing will eventually be increased to 150 clients and 90 MRCI staff members.

The facility also will cover the previous operations of MRCI’s facilities on Front Street and in the former Highland Plaza strip mall on Monks Avenue. Both of those buildings have been sold to help finance the new facility.

The 85,000-square-foot MRCI building on Map Drive will not be impacted by the change in facilities.

The new project is scheduled to be completed in mid to late June.

MRCI operates with nearly 1,000 employees in all of its programs around the state and serves about 3,500 clients.

At a glance Project description: New MRCI facility with expanded production capability. Location will combine two prior MRCI programs. Cost: $4 million Location: 1750 Energy Drive in Mankato’s Eastwood Energy Center industrial park Opening: Mid to late June Developers: MRCI. Designed by Paulsen Architects and built by Gosewisch Construction