Apex Tool Group, which traces its roots in Cortland back to 1834, will close its manufacturing plant in the city by the end of the year and lay off its 89 employees.
Apex said Friday it will move the work done at the factory to newer plants in York, Pa., and Sumter, S.C. Kelly Blask, a spokeswoman for the company, said the facility at 45 Cleveland St. has been operating below capacity for some time.
The Apex Tool factory has operated at the corner of Cleveland and River streets in Cortland since 1911. The plant is scheduled to close by the end of the year.
“We have made the difficult announcement to our associates,” she said. “The plant will be closing by the end of the year. This has to do with operating capacity.”
Blask said the factory’s employees may apply for any open jobs at the plants in Pennsylvania and South Carolina.
The layoffs will be done in phases beginning Aug. 17, according to a notice filed by Apex with the state Department of Labor under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act,
Representatives from United Auto Workers Local 1774, the union that represents workers at the factory, could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.
The factory makes wire rope, chain fittings and overhead lifting devices. It has operated at the corner of Cleveland and River streets since 1911. But it traces its roots in Cortland to the formation of the Henry B. Brewer Co., a manufacturer of harnesses, in 1834.
It has changed hands a number of times over the decades. Brewer merged with two other companies and became the Brewer-Titchener Corp. in 1918. In 1978, Brewer-Titchener was acquired by Campbell Chain, of York, Pa. In 1985, Campbell was acquired by Cooper Tool, which became part of Apex Tool Group in 2010.
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