Hand tools will be made here again, though by significantly fewer people than before.
Malco Products of Annandale, Minnesota, a company specializing in tools used in making HVAC systems, roofing and siding, plans to reopen the shuttered factory where Vise-Grip tools once were made. Plans call for hiring up to 20 people in DeWitt by the end of 2018, said Mardon Quandt, president and CEO of Malco.
Quandt declined to say what the jobs would pay but said they would be full time, with benefits, including an employee stock option. The company is 75 percent employee-owned.
Quandt said he planned to “take it slow” with the DeWitt plant and “ramp it up as things go and where it makes sense.”
Malco purchased the Vise-Grip campus on Jan. 10, with the $500,000 purchase price split by the company and the State of Nebraska through a business incentive program.
Quandt said his 150-employee company needed skilled help for its expansion and found a good fit in the skilled workforce and work ethic of DeWitt.
Malco typically sells to wholesalers, he said, but the average person could find the company’s tools at Home Depot.