Company will increase local workforce by 22

L&M Radiator Inc. will invest $17.6 million and hire 22 new workers in an expansion of its facilities in Hibbing, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development announced Wednesday. 

The company, which designs, manufactures and distributes cooling products for heavy equipment, plans to add 100,000 square feet of manufacturing and office space to its existing Hibbing facility. The new entry-level jobs will pay wages averaging $15.86 an hour, DEED said in the announcement. 

DEED is providing the project with a $354,000 grant from the Job Creation Fund. The company will receive the funding after it has met its hiring and investment commitments. 

“I thank L&M Radiator for their continued commitment to the Iron Range and the state of Minnesota. This expansion will create good jobs for Minnesota workers and support efforts to diversify the Range economy,” Lt. Governor Tina Smith said in a news release. “Expansions like this one highlight the benefits of public-private collaborations to grow jobs and create opportunity for workers and families in every corner of Minnesota.” 

“L&M Radiator is a rapidly growing company that employs 450 people worldwide, including 215 design, engineering, sales, customer service and administrative professionals at its Hibbing headquarters,” said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. “We’re happy to see this family-owned business bringing additional jobs and investment to the community.” 

Founded in Hibbing in 1957, L&M produces radiators and other heat exchangers under the Mesabi brand for heavy mobile equipment in the mining and oil and gas industries worldwide. The business has plants in Hibbing and Yankton, S.D., as well as facilities in Perth, Australia; Antofagasta, Chile; and Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. The company has added 100 U.S. jobs so far this year and has an annual payroll of more than $8.5 million in Hibbing. Dan Chisholm, president of L&M Radiator, is the third generation of the family to run the company. 

The design concept of the Mesabi radiator originated during WW II desert tank warfare when it was discovered British tanks could be disabled with a single bullet hole through the radiator. In response, the British developed a radiator that featured individual cooling tubes held in radiator headers by individual rubber seals. The seals allowed damaged tubes to be replaced in the field and often without removing radiators from the tanks. After the war, L&M Radiator acquired the rights to the concept and began making the radiators in Minnesota.