Welcome to 3M Cottage Grove!

For more than 120 years, 3M has worked to improve the lives of millions of people across the globe. We have made driving at night easier, made buildings safer, and made consumer electronics lighter and less energy intensive. We even helped put a man on the moon.

Spread over more than 1,750 acres, the 3M facility in Cottage Grove supplies nearly every one of 3M’s businesses and divisions around the world, making it one of the most product-diverse manufacturers in the company. Today, Post-it Notes and Scotch Magic tape, your car's clear coat finish, reflective road signs, the finish on your golf clubs, sportfishing gear, and the materials that go into the computer or cell phone screen on which you are reading this all have their origins in Cottage Grove.

History of 3M in Cottage Grove

Since 1948, 3M’s Cottage Grove site has played a major role in many of the company’s achievements and is positioned to continue that success into the future.

Decades of product innovation at 3M have their design and manufacturing origins at the Cottage Grove site. In the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s with the genesis of products like Aggrecoat, Scotchtint window film, and Scotchlight reflective technologies, the site has grown significantly to support nearly every one of 3M’s businesses and divisions. 

Production Lines & Technology

Thousands of 3M products have their roots in Cottage Grove. 3M has manufacturing facilities around the world, and many of those sites rely on products, components, or processes that originated at 3M Cottage Grove. Learn more about the products we make. Some of those products and technologies include:

  • Chemicals and Specialty Materials
  • Cubitron™ II Abrasives
  • Glass Bubbles
  • Automotive
  • Industrial Tapes
  • Sintered Abrasives
  • Specialty Films

At 3M we apply our science in ways that make a positive impact on people’s lives around the globe. That work is accomplished through close collaboration with smart, curious and motivated 3Mers in 87 countries, and driven by 3M’s Purpose: Unlocking the power of people, ideas, and science to reimagine what’s possible. 

3M’s facility in Cottage Grove site employs more than 650 employees, making it one of the largest workforce locations in the company and one of the largest employers in the Washington County business community. The high-tech manufacturing site features a diverse collection of hourly and salaried positions: production and maintenance team members, engineers, supply chain analysts, chemists, and management and administrative leaders. Not only does 3M recruit the best and brightest for our workforce, but we also provide training, development, and certification programs to keep our team on the leading edge of innovation.

To join 3M and learn more about careers opportunities in Cottage Grove, click here and enter in the search “Cottage Grove” to learn what your future could hold. 

Environmental Stewardship

3M is taking action to manage legacy materials at our sites with a commitment to our communities and environmental stewardship. 

3M continues to lead through innovative solutions to meet our global environmental goals, including investments of $1 billion to achieve carbon neutrality, reduce water use, and improve the quality of water associated with our operations. Environmental stewardship at our manufacturing sites like Cottage Grove support the company’s goal of reducing water usage across the company by 25 percent by 2030. Through these efforts, 3M expects to reduce its overall water usage globally by 2.5 billion gallons per year.

3M will invest more than $200 million at the 3M Cottage Grove facility by 2025 to improve water quality and reduce water usage sitewide. The investment – underway since 2021 – focuses on updates to existing infrastructure, decreasing the water needed in our manufacturing, and supplementing existing systems onsite. The largest part of the investment is in the new Water Quality Building (WQB), engineered specifically to capture a range of PFAS from plant discharges by leveraging a combination of state-of-the-art technologies to return higher quality water to the environment after use in manufacturing operations. The project is scheduled to be online in mid 2024.

In the Community

Founded in 1843, the City of Cottage Grove, Minn., is a vibrant community of more than 39,000 residents and features a strong manufacturing and retail economy. The city is located approximately eight miles southeast of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area on U.S. Highway 61 and is one of the fastest-growing communities in the state. 

3M Cottage Grove Community Involvement
In order to strengthen our community and help our employees give back, 3M makes contributions to non-profit organizations, educational, and environmental institutions throughout Minnesota. 3M strives to maximize our social impact within our communities and support a culture of service among our people – which includes members of the Cottage Grove workforce volunteering time among a diverse list of area non-profits. To do this, 3Mgives – the non-profit 3M foundation – empowers sites to partner with leading organizations that are aligned to our global footprint and have a proven track record of making a difference in our three areas of focus:


3M supports initiatives that increase student interest and achievement in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), resulting in a robust and diverse pipeline of global talent.

Learn more about our education programs and partners.


3M enhances community vibrancy by assuring access to basic needs, preparing youth for life-long success, increasing access to quality and diverse arts opportunities, and contributing to global humanitarian relief efforts.

Read about our community investments.


3M invests in environmental initiatives that promote sustainability and environmental stewardship in the communities where we operate. We are committed to supporting organizations focused on conservation and improving air and water quality, as well as environmental learning activities for students.

Find out more about our support of environmental initiatives.

Sharing Our Success with the Community
3M Cottage Grove’s prosperity and success have translated into support for many community causes and organizations – support that includes financial contributions as well as volunteer efforts by many 3M employees and retirees. As Cottage Grove’s largest private employer, 3M has been a good neighbor in the city for over 60 years.

Through 3MGives, each 3M site focuses on meeting needs specific to the communities where they operate.

  • 3M Visiting Wizards
  • Adopt-a-Highway
  • Basic Needs, Inc.
  • Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center
  • Cottage Grove Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Cottage Grove Strawberry Fest
  • Friends In Need Food Shelf
  • Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR)
  • Hastings Family Services
  • Junior Achievement
  • Paint-A-Thon 
  • Prescott Food Shelf
  • SoWashCo Cares / Education Foundation of South Washington Co. Schools
  • Stuff for Schools Program
  • United Way of Hastings
  • Wildlife Habitat Council
  • Yellow Ribbon of Cottage Grove
  • Youth Service Bureau (YSB)