Altec, Inc facilities expanding in Duluth

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Photo courtesy of Altec, Inc

We’ve all seen the big, typically beige trucks power companies use to reach the tops of power poles. You know, those childhood awe-inspiring trucks with the long cherry picker arm extending from the cab.

Who runs those?

Altec Inc, for one: The leading provider of not only specialized aerial lift trucks, but other products and services related to telecommunications, tree care, lights and signs, and contractor markets.

And now they’re expanding.

Altec, based in Birmingham, Alabama, will be investing $8.45 million into its manufacturing facilities located in Duluth. This investment will create 100 new jobs in Duluth, raising its total employee count at the facilities to 230.

Altec has six other manufacturing plants, and over 20 service centers that cross the United States and Canada. They provide their products and services internationally to over 100 countries as well.

The company not only manufactures aerial trucks, but also other aerial devices, cable handlers, chippers, cranes, and digger derricks. Along with building equipment, Altec also offers equipment financing, rentals, used equipment sales, tools and supplies.

And it’s a family affair: Back in 1929, the company was founded as Alabama Truck Equipment Co by Lee Stylinger. His grandson, Lee Styslinger II, is the current CEO and chairman of the company.

This expansion is being made possible by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s (DEED) Minnesota Investment Fund. This fund gives Altec a loan of $550,000, to be forgiven when/if the company reaches its hiring and investment goals.  Another partner in this expansion project, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, which owns the building where Altec is located, contributed $3.5 million in building upgrades to the project as well.

The commissioner of DEED, Shawntera Hardy touted the role of the Minnesota Investment Fund in pushing the project forward: “The Minnesota Investment Fund is one of the state’s most successful economic development tools. Since the fund was created in 1985, Minnesota companies like Altec have created thousands of jobs and invested millions of dollars in expansion projects.

The Minnesota Investment Fund awards loans that businesses can use for improving their operations and hiring additional workers. Last year, the program awarded $16.5 million in financial support to 19 businesses. Those loans resulted in more than 1,500 jobs and attracted $500 million in private funding. More information about the fund can be found here.