See more of the story

Electronics manufacturer Nortech Systems Inc. plans to close its Blue Earth facility resulting in 74 layoffs.

Maple Grove-based Nortech released its first quarter financial results on Thursday and disclosed plans to lower its facility costs. The company makes wire and cable products for the aerospace and defense industries at its Blue Earth plant. Nortech said it will move that production its plant in Bemidji.

Layoffs will begin Aug. 1 and be completed by Dec. 31, at which point the company will close the Blue Earth facility. Miller told the Star Tribune employees can relocate to other Minnesota facilities and that remote work may also be an option.

"We are offering jobs there to everyone in other plants. If we can keep them all, we will," said Jay Miller, CEO of Nortech.

Nortech also has production facilities in Mankato and Milaca, as well as operations in Mexico and China.

The company closed a plant in Merrifield in 2020, which affected 60 to 70 jobs.

Nortech makes wire and cable assemblies, printed circuit boards and ready-to-use box build assemblies, which are also used by medical device and industrial customers.

Miller said the decision to consolidate production at its Bemidji facility follows recent upgrades there, where it is investing in R&D.

Nortech is also reducing the size of its Maple Grove headquarters by 30%. It is trimming its 15,000 square feet of space there by a third, Miller said.

At the end of 2023, Nortech had 733 fulltime employees and 42 part-time or temporary workers, according to its most recent annual financial filing.

The publicly traded Nortech reported first quarter sales of $34.2 million, a 1.9% decline from a year ago. It posted a net profit of $765,000, rising 12.3% compared to 2023.

Nortech plans to sell the 140,000 square feet of manufacturing and office space in Blue Earth after it ends operations.