ST. CLOUD - A St. Cloud auto parts maker is stronger than ever after the Great Recession nearly took them down. MPG Casting Technologies - formerly known as Grede Foundries - has been making automotive parts since 1995.

General Manager John Haas says you'll find their components on many well known brands.

The back end of the rear differential for the heavy duty GM trucks. We have knuckles go on Ford heavy duty trucks. We have engine components go in GM, Ford, Chrysler.

MPG also makes parts for Bobcat, Caterpillar, John Deere, and more. They make 100 to 120 different products here in St. Cloud.

They added on 32,000 square feet to their building last year, which Haas describes as phase 1 of a multi-part expansion. He says the St. Cloud plant is one of the most modern facilities of its kind in the world.

Grede Foundries, photo by's Jim Maurice

Human Resources Manager Bruce Cunningham says they added about 20 employees last year, bringing their staff up to about 320. It's anticipated that they'll need to hire about 30 more people next year. But, he says 12 to 15 jobs go unfilled every week. Cunningham says they do provide on the job training.

We're not looking for foundry men to walk through the door. It would be nice to have some, but there's not many foundries in the area. We have a real robust training system, and they can be ready in 30 days.

Starting salaries are $14 to $15 an hour.

Haas says they've come a long way since the days of the Great Recession when the bankruptcies of the big automakers almost took Grede down with them.

GM and Chrysler went into bankruptcies within a week of each other. Six weeks later we went into bankruptcy. That's because the cash flow just dried up, we had nothing coming in, we weren't selling anything.  We went from roughly 400 people to 120 within two months.

Haas says they've rehired about 95 percent of the people who were laid off.

MPG Casting Technologies will be a part of the "Tour of Manufacturing" on Saturday, October 8th. You'll be able to tour the plant for yourself, and learn more about the jobs that they have available.