COLORADO SPRINGS — A long time tool manufacturer in Colorado Springs is planning to shut its doors sometime this spring.
Western Forge, on Garden of the Gods Rd., announced they will close upon the completion of existing orders.
Michael Gross, with Ideal Industries Inc, said in a statement "the company says the major reason for the closure is the Western Forge facility made tools for other companies as well, including Craftsman brand tools, until Sears sold that division almost four years ago and its manufacturing was moved offshore."
164 employees will receive severance packages including salary, health care and outplacement benefits provided they do not leave for another job before their separation date.
Western Forge, which has been in Colorado Springs for 54 years, is part of the ideal industries, which is consolidating its operations in the U.S.
Here is the full statement:
IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. is planning to close its Western Forge hand tool manufacturing facility and will be winding down production after they have fulfilled all current customer orders. Western Forge’s 164 employees will receive severance packages including salary, health care and outplacement benefits provided they do not leave for another job before their separation date. IDEAL will also provide access to job fairs to help employees find their next opportunity.
The company remains committed to its “Made in America” position for SK Professional Tools, IDEAL Electrical tools and the other tool brands in its portfolio. The company will consolidate manufacturing for some of its brands (e.g. SK Professional Tools) to its Sycamore, Illinois community, where they plan to add manufacturing positions. There will be opportunities for relocation to other IDEAL facilities for Western Forge talent as part of the transition; those who qualify for positions will be given priority consideration.
The Western Forge facility made tools for other companies as well, including Craftsman brand tools, until Sears sold that division almost four years ago and its manufacturing was moved offshore. IDEAL and its Western Forge employees tried to streamline operations and offset the loss of the Craftsman volume for years but were not able to offset the loss enough to sustain the plant. The U.S. hand tool business overall has continued to shift largely to offshore manufacturing. IDEAL remains one of only three companies to manufacture the majority of its tools in the United States.
“This was a long and carefully considered decision,” said IDEAL’s CEO Steve Henn. “Our Western Forge employees delivered high quality product and did everything we asked of them to help us maintain the business. We just couldn’t survive the impact from the Craftsman move.” Attempts by IDEAL to sell the facility were unsuccessful