Progress Casting to Close Minnesota Foundry

Two plants are enough to meet demand

January 25, 2007 — According to the Albert Lea Tribune in Minnesota, Progress Casting Corp. plans to close its aluminum foundry in that town by the end of the third quarter of this year, following a decision by the company to consolidate capacity in anticipation of future demand. The plant has operated for about 60 years, according to the newspaper, but Progress acquired it in 1986.

Progress Casting produces aluminum castings for a range of industries, including defense, transportation, RVs, and aerospace manufacturers.

“We don’t have the demand of product and business to keep the Albert Lea facility open,” according to Progress Casting president Bob Silhacek.

Progress Casting operates two other foundries, in Plymouth, MN, where it is headquartered, and a new foundry started up last spring in New Hampton, IA. That plant is a lower-cost operation, and Iowa is more economical place to business — which was among the factors the company cited when it announced its expansion there.

Employees of the plant may be eligible for open positions at the other two foundries, and some of the management staff may be reassigned to those operations, but most of the 70 workers will be laid off, Silhacek told the newpaper.

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