LITCHFIELD, Minn. — The Bobcat manufacturing facility in Litchfield is getting a $26 million expansion that will triple the physical size of the facility and triple the workforce.

“It’s very exciting news for us,” Litchfield Mayor Johnson said in a telephone interview. “It will change the dynamics of our town.”

City officials have been aware of the project for a couple months and construction has already started, but company officials were in Litchfield on Thursday, Nov. 14, to make the announcement official to employees and the community.

The investment will modernize the existing production facility by adding new paint lines, a climate-controlled environment and assembly line upgrades.

The Litchfield plant, about 65 miles west of Minneapolis, has been a part of Doosan Bobcat since 2004 and currently manufactures attachments for Doosan Bobcat loaders and excavators for the North American market, according to a news release.

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When completed next fall, the facility will be expanded to nearly 200,000 square feet, which will more than triple the size of the current footprint.

Once fully operational, the expanded facility is also expected to triple its workforce, from the current 100 employees to an expected 300 full-time employees.

Johnson said the expansion means the town could expect an influx of new employees who may want to move there or commute to town, which he said will bring new economic, social and community service opportunities to Litchfield.

The Litchfield announcement coincides with the official opening this week of Doosan Bobcat’s nearly $2 million investment in a new Global Collaboration Center in downtown Minneapolis.

“These investments demonstrate our commitment to our presence in Minnesota, which is a major manufacturing hub and now a center for our global operations,” said Scott Park, chief executive officer and president of Doosan Bobcat.

“We are proud to continually expand our compact equipment line to help empower our customers to accomplish more,” Park said in the news release.

Construction is underway at the Litchfield facility with full completion expected by September 2020.

“We have enjoyed a longstanding relationship with the Litchfield community and appreciate the continued support of the folks there," said Mike Ballweber, president of Doosan Bobcat North America, which is based in West Fargo, N.D.

“Our company will continue to expand our facilities and manufacturing capabilities to allow us to meet the future needs of Bobcat dealers and customers, while continually enhancing excellence across our business,” he said in the release.

Recently, the company announced a $17 million investment in Gwinner, N.D., and an $11 million investment in Statesville, N.C.

These efforts are part of Doosan Bobcat’s long-term strategic growth initiatives as a global leader in the compact equipment industry, in addition to demonstrating its long-term commitment to employees and communities.