LEETONIA - A longtime manufacturing company in the village could be seen last week making a commitment to remaining in the area.
The Leetonia Tool Co., a division of the Lansing (Mich.) Forge Inc., installed a rebuilt upsetting machine on Friday. The 156,000-pound machine was delivered Thursday on a 133-foot, 13-axle rig that had to travel in reverse four blocks along Front Street from Village Hall to the forge at 142 Main St.
Purchased by Lansing Forge in July 2011, the more than 100-year-old company produces forged handtools such as hammers, crowbars, picks and sockets for the hardware, industrial and marine industries. It has grown from four-full time employees working three days a week prior to the ownership change to its current staff of six full-time and two part-time working overtime, and currently produces approximately 3,000 to 4,000 pieces each week, according to General Manager Bill Evans.
Staff is expected doubled and production more than double within the next year, he said.
Since last year's transaction the Lansing Forge has invested between $120,000 and $150,000 in the Leetonia Tool Co., updating and adding to old and antiquated machinery, including the nation's second-oldest running National upsetter, with more equipment yet to to installed, Evans said.
"Lansing has made a commitment to Leetonia," Evans said.
"[The company] chose this operation, this area...sees it as an opportunity to grow and progress. It's definitely a good thing for Ohio, a good thing for Leetonia."
Evans acknowledged Village Administrator Gary Phillips, Police Chief John Soldano and other village employees for their assistance and cooperation during the delivery, which took place sooner than anticipated.
For information about the company visit www.lfitools.com.
Kevin Howell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org