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2016 FIN – Rockford Products Closing, Laying Off 171 Workers

2016 FIN – Rockford Products Closing, Laying Off 171 Workers
September 22
20:12 2016

2016 FIN – Rockford Products is closing, leaving 171 employees without jobs.

“We regret to inform you that circumstances will force Rockford Products LLC to conduct a mass layoff in the coming days,” CEO Dave Richeson wrote in “WARN” letter to the state of Illinois. Rockford Products announced plans to lay off 171 people permanently by the end of September 2016, according to the Rockford Register Star.

The cold-formed fastener manufacturer was acquired in 2007 for $23.2 million in a bankruptcy auction by Michigan-based BlackEagle Partners LLC, a private equity firm.

Subsequently BlackEagle had invested $30 million “without seeing any return on the investment” and the fastener manufacturer has defaulted on payments. The company is seeking potential buyers. states that “Since being acquired by BlackEagle Partners, we have a reinvigorated dedication to continuous improvement, implementing lean manufacturing principles, a broader international distribution network and a firmer commitment to safety, quality and on-time delivery of high-volume, premium cold-headed parts. We like to say that we’re headed in the right direction.”

“I would say their biggest problem was probably mismanagement not having somebody or the right leadership in position to run the company profitably,” Rockford Area Economic Development Council VP of Development Stacy Bernardi told local TV station WREX.

Founded in 1929 as Rockford Screw Products to make fasteners for the then-local furniture industry, today the company manufactures cold-formed components, engineered fasteners, ball joints and custom formed parts for the automotive, agriculture, industrial, off-highway and commercial vehicle customers. The company also provides heat treatment, tool manufacturing and finishing operations. Web:  ©2016 Fastener Industry News.
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For more stories on Rockford Products, click on the Fastener History section of

1985 FIN – Rexnord Selling Rockford Products to 8 Employees
Rauh, Naill, Schaer, Giesen, Chadwick, Johnson, Goff and Baxter expected to be owners in ESOP.

1987 FIN – Rockford Products Back to Being Profitable
A year ago, Rockford left consolidated management of the International and packaged fastener divisions and this year Cold Formed division split between small and large diameter.

1988 & 2008 FIN: Rockford’s Role in the Fastener Industry
The U.S. is quickly becoming a service-oriented nation and little can be done to slow the decline in manufacturing as it moves offshore.

1990 FIN – Rockford, Spirol & Seaway Win Ford Awards
The Precision Forming Division of Elco Industries, Inc. is the first fastener manufacturer to receive GM’s Mark of Excellence award.

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