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Nonprofit weans itself from postal service

DULUTH, Minn. -- An Iron Range nonprofit organization says it's successfully weaned itself from its dependence on the U.S. Postal Service.

Minnesota Diversified Industries employs disabled and disadvantaged workers in Grand Rapids and Hibbing.

MDI vice president Barbara Majerus says diversifying and increasing its customer base, as well as controlling costs has helped reduce its debt by $6 million. Majerus says MDI has nearly tripled its workforce since the end of last year and now employs 425.

Workers make a variety of corrugated plastic containers, kits and other packaging for business, including plastic mail trays and totes for the postal service.

She tells the Duluth News Tribune revenue is projected to double this year, from nearly $13 million in 2011 to $25 million.

Majerys says several new $1 million-plus contracts with new and existing customers have boosted revenue.