Electronics reconditioning-firm Tech Dump expanding in St. Paul Midway

October 1, 2018

Tech Dump, the growing electronics refurbisher and recycler, has acquired a St. Paul Midway building that is twice as large as its combined leased space in Golden Valley and Midway.

The seven-year old nonprofit will pay about $3 million for a 90,000-square foot building at 860 Vandalia St., not far from its 30,000-square feet of leased space on Prior Avenue.

CEO Amanda LaGrange said the new space will allow Tech Dump to double staff to about 100 by 2022 and revenue to about $7 million.

“With increasing use of technology, we see huge potential for growth opportunities,” said LaGrange, a former General Mills accountant. “Continued workforce shortages show work-readiness program can play a crucial role in connecting untapped talent in our communities with local business.”

LaGrange plans to make improvements to the building and occupy it by January.

The acquisition was financed by Sunrise Bank, Propel for Nonprofits, and a $130,000 grant and $170,000 low-interest loan from the City of St. Paul.

Mayor Melvin Carter said the city was pleased to support the expansion of “such a strong leader, committed to responsible e-waste management and helping people overcome employment barriers, grow and share their success in St. Paul.”

Tech Dump Board Chairman Mark Evenson, a managing director at commercial real estate firm, Avison Young, said the Vandalia Street property, “is ideally situated, delivering convenience and accessibility to our customers, clients, and most importantly to our employees.”

Tech Dump, which starts trainees at $11 an hour, has processed more than 25 million pounds of e-waste and provided 300,000 hours of job training for employees who often leave for higher paying jobs with Tech Dump-partner manufacturers or other businesses.

About half of Tech Dump’s employees are enrolled in its “work-readiness” training program.

LaGrange said half of Tech Dump’s revenue of about $3.5 million this year will come from its fast-growing “Tech Discounts” retail operation that refurbishes desktop computers, laptops, tablets and more for sale, with a 30-day money back guarantee and six-month “fix it or replace it” warranty.

That business is generally is more lucrative than recycling, and involves skill-building work and provides audited data destruction.

Neal St. Anthony • 612-673-7144

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