JS Print Group, Inc. is moving to a new larger location in the former Udac building in the Hillside neighborhood of Duluth, Minnesota. JS provides commercial printing across a wide-range of mediums, including brochures, packaging, books, flyers, mailers, magazines, and newspapers. The move will allow the business to continue to expand.
“We’re adding seven new huge pieces of machinery into the shop so the space will need to power 40 to 60 machines,” explains Tobbi Stager, owner of JS Print Group, Inc.
The new space needs a lot of updating to accommodate the printing shop. Stager chose Power North partner Duluth Electrical Contracting for the job.
“We like the ease of working with them and the quality workmanship. The staff and the people are very friendly,” shares Stager. “And when we have problems, they always come up with a good solution that’s affordable, on time, and on budget.”
Duluth Electrical not only has to make sure the space can power scores of machines and convert it to LED lighting, but they need to ensure that this old building is up to code and safe.
The new building has come with plenty of challenges.
“It didn’t have a sprinkler system, so we’ve added that and had to piecemeal the electrical around that,” states Stager. “There was a lot of electrical with no covers on it and no wire nuts. That’s a fire hazard and I’m surprised the place didn’t burn down before we rebuilt it.”
Wayne Stephenson, a Duluth Electrical journeyman who has been in the industry for 32 years, added “We’ve been doing a lot of demos and adding new lighting. It’s been a lot of figuring out where the old wiring is and what it did. We’re also starting to get the space ready for the new equipment.”
Another team member of Duluth Electrical is a new apprentice, Reid Colley. He has been assisting Stephenson and other electricians with bending pipes to cover electrical wires and tearing out unneeded old lines.
“The biggest challenge is working around the other teams on the project, like the cement pourers and sprinkler system installers,” explains Colley.
Powered by Union Workers
Duluth Electrical is a union shop, a fact that is a selling point for Stager and his company.
“We fully believe in supporting union workers; we’re a union ship ourselves,” Stager states. “Unions benefit the communities in so many ways. First, the employees are usually the top experts you can find and have a great quality of life so they improve the areas they live and serve in.”
Stephenson agrees. “I think it’s so much better for someone to just need one job to provide for their family versus having to work two or three jobs to get by. Union workers make enough to support their family and are able to spend their off time with them instead of finding more ways to make money.”
Old Building. New Life.
Thanks to JS Print, Duluth Electrical, and several other teams, the former Udac building is starting a new chapter. Not only will it help businesses and organizations provide important messages out to their communities, it may also print the packaging on your favorite local brew. The most important aspect of this project is safety. Thanks to the update, the space isn’t a fire hazard anymore and everything follows modern standards.
“The nice thing is we are bringing this building up to be the code and making it safer for the neighborhood and the community,” says Stager.