St. Paul-based Ecolab, Inc., pulled back the curtains on its new, 51,000-square-foot training facility in Eagan during a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday.
The $10 million building, constructed adjacent to Ecolab's existing Schuman campus off Lone Oak Drive, will serve as an education center for as many as 2,000 Institutional Division trainees each year. The company's Institutional Division provides cleaning and sanitation products, programs and services to customers in the food service, hospitality and healthcare industries.
The facility includes wet labs and five classrooms equipped with dishwashers, laundry machines and other machinery designed to give sales and service trainees hands-on experience with the products they'll later pitch to Ecolab customers. As many as 130 training sessions spanning a length of three to five days each will likely be held at the center.
The building also includes a conference room and offices for training staff and three research and development labs for the company. In addition to the trainees, the facility will house approximately 100 full-time employees.
But not all of the space in the new building will immediately be occupied, Ecolab officials said at the ribbon cutting. The company has plenty of elbow room in the facility and has the capacity to train as many as 4,000 personnel annually at the center.
"We're excited. This is a big deal for us, a big investment. It's an investment in the community, an investment in our people, and quite frankly, and investment for our customers," Ecolab Vice President and Institutional Division General Manager Rick Johns said at the ribbon cutting.
Ecolab announced the construction of the building in February. Much of the company's training previously occurred in Ecolab's downtown St. Paul headquarters.
Late last year, Ecolab merged with Naperville, Ill.-based Nalco, and now employs more than 40,000 employees. The expansion took the company from $6 billion in annual sales to more $11 billion in annual sales so far this year. in October, Ecolab announced the $2.2 billion purchase of Champion Technologies, a Texas-based chemical company.
Ecolab employs roughly 1,200 at its Schuman campus in Eagan.
"This is tangible evidence that we've put our money where our mouth is," Ecolab CEO Doug Baker said at the event.