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PDM Closes in Proctor

dmir227's picture

I happened to drive by Proctor today and noticed an auction sign on the fence around the former DM&N back shop buildings along 2nd Street. A quick check of the Proctor Journal web site brought disappointing news that the growing steel fabrication business that had used the building abruptly closed last month and their equipment is being auctioned off. There was no note of this on the PDM (based in Eau Claire) web site and it still included this info: “In 2010 PDM acquired Dynamic Structural Steel in Proctor, MN, amodern structural steel fabricator. Our Proctor plant has since added bridge work to their repertoire, incorporating their technology and efficient straight-line fabrication process. Located just 150 miles north of Eau Claire, Proctor has its own trucking fleet, which allows for streamlined shipping and easy collaboration with our Eau Claire plant on bridge components.”  

The Journal article said the operation grew from 23 to 56 employees, expanded by 50,000 sq. feet and added an office section of 4,000 sq. feet.  It was operating 20 hours a week M-F when it closed. Originally Dynamic Structural Steel started in the Hallett Dock 6 engine house near Mikes Yard but moved into the DM&IR backshop when their business grew. I had noticed flat cars of steel frequently at the facility so they were using rail to some extent. Calls to PDM from the Journal were met with a “no comment.”  Word is that the business was shifted to other PDM plants.  

This is an all-too-common problem in Duluth where strong start-up companies grow and get noticed by larger firms, which purchase them and promptly close, move or reduce operations.

Dave Schauer

Duluth, MN