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3M names Neitzel manager of Red Wing plant

Janice Neitzel

Janice Neitzel's career journey has come full circle. Neitzel, who was named on July 1 as the manager of the 3M manufacturing facility in Red Wing, started her career in the oil industry as a design engineer climbing distillation towers. She wore the fall protection equipment that is made at the manufacturing facility she now leads.

Neitzel oversees a seven-member staff and approximately 400 manufacturing employees at the facility on Sala Way of Highway 61. 3M Red Wing employs more than 500 individuals on-site and is a global leader in fall protection, confined space and rescue equipment. She succeeds Brian Knapp, who is now the 3M Global Fall Protection Manufacturing operations manager, the company said in a news statement.

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Neitzel is a Milwaukee native and attended school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, graduating with a chemical engineering degree.

"I started my 3M career just down the road at the 3M Cottage Grove plant as an optimized operations (O2) engineer," Neitzel said. "I enjoy being in the factory where our products are produced."

Neitzel, has worked in management at several 3M locations. After the O2 program, she worked in Hutchinson, then took a position in Menomonie, Wis., before moving to Decatur, Ala., where she was the operations manager for three years.

"I have worked at several 3M plants. Living in Alabama was a great experience, but it is great to be back in the Midwest," she said. "One thing that is clear in the 3M Red Wing facility is the collaboration among employees. There is a tremendous can-do attitude. It is great to work in an atmosphere with that attitude and mentality."

3M Red Wing is an ISO 90001-certified site and houses a global R&D team dedicated to fall protection. An on-site certified lab with exceptional technical staff provides the ability to assist in getting the newest solutions to the market faster than the competition. The on-site truck shop is responsible for building demonstration vehicles that sales representatives use all over the country to educate customers on the hazards of working at height and the use of 3M Fall Protection products.

One block away on Pepin Avenue is the 3M Training Center, where fall protection courses are provided to customers on industry standards and proper use of equipment.

In the news statement, the 3M said it is proud of its investment in the community through its corporate programs such as 3Mgives grants, Supplies4Schools, Supplies4Nonprofits and partnerships with programs such as, Mathcounts, and Junior Achievement. Locally, 3M is engaged with events such as River City Days and Holiday Stroll and organizations such as United Way, Girls on the Run, Red Wing Environmental Learning Center and local robotics teams.