Amerock Closing

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Four-hundred-fifty Amerock employees will be fazed out of their jobs over the next two years. The layoffs will start this spring.

The manufacturing department will be shut down first. The other departments will follow suit until the plan is completely phased out by 2005. The reason: we've heard it before, outsourcing for cheaper labor overseas.

Amerock started in 1929, and up until now the Rockford facility was still known as the largest die casting and stamping operation in the country. The Auburn Street location is a cabinet and window operations.

Amerock is subsidiary of Newell Rubbermaid. It was in the 1980's, that Newell doubled the size of Amerock from the downtown Rockford locations and purchased the Auburn Street location.

At one point, the Auburn plant had over 1,000 employees. At the beginning of last year though the company started laying off workers. Amerock designs, manufactures and delivers products to cabinetmakers and homeowners.

Currently Amerock makes window hardware, which will stay for now. Already most knobs and window handle assembly lines have moved to China and Taiwan. The hinges line had already begun moving to Mexico. That line is still being phased out.