Levolor Kirsch

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It's one of the last times employees will punch the clock at Levolor Kirsch in Freeport. One-by-one, they've been let go. And by the end of the month, the 40 who remain will be unemployed. Possibly putting a dent in the Freeport economic system.

"Whether we see the day another Newell type industry with 400-500 or more employees come to Freeport, is a challenge for us," says Kim Grimes, the Executive Director of the Freeport Chamber of Commerce.

Levolor Kirsch is owned by Newell Rubbermaid and is known for its' drapery hardware and rods. The company has about two dozen plants with different products throughout the country and a few worldwide.

Plant leaders say they hope remaining employees will chose to relocate to the other Newell Rubbermaid locations and are working a on a plan to keep them employed.

About 15 other manufacturing plants are in Freeport, so business leaders say they hope Levolor Kirsch employees can find other work in the area. Some say this will help improve "Pretzel City" and not leave them with another empty building.

"It's a sign of the times, but we have a lot of exciting things going on.
Millrose Crossing and a biodiesel plant is coming to Freeport. A new Menard's and Walmart are also in the process of being built. And as for the Newell Rubbermaid corporate headquarters in Freeport, those people will keep their jobs.

The Freeport Chamber of Commerce says most of the work being done at the plant will be moved to a location in Mexico. Where of course, the pay is cheaper. No one at Newell Rubbermaid would comment on the plant closing or tell us why they're leaving town.