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Made in the Midwest: Enderes Tool Co. Back in Business

Posted at: 01/14/2013 4:04 AM
Updated at: 01/14/2013 7:18 AM
By: Ellery McCardle

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- The new year is looking better for one local manufacturer.

Last spring after  more than 100 years in business, Enderes Tool Company had to lay off its workers and stop production.

But now, several months later, employees are back at work and, needless to say, happy to be there.

Under a dim light, there's a familiar glow back inside the Enderes building. The usual noises resonate back into these workers' ears.

"We're really happy to be back at work...it couldn't happen soon enough," said Tim DeRusha, a machinist at Enderes Tool. Co.

Tim was one of several laid off last year before operations stopped at the plant.

"Competition from overseas tools was a contributing factor. The economy, the recession I know they were hit hard and they just weren't able to recover," said Steven Overgaard, the new owner of Enderes Tool Co.

He's worked with the company for years and didn't want to see the Enderes name vanish from the community.

"I saw it as a good company. I felt their tools were the best quality," said Overgaard.

It's a reputation that's been around for more than 100 years.

About 180 different tools are made at the plant. From a tiny pry-bay to what they call a "monster bar." You'll likely find the tools at your local hardware stores such as Ace Hardware and Fleet Farm.

Trying to re-establish a reputation when clients lost money is difficult, Overgaard knows that first hand. But he finds that most clients and the Albert Lea community are supportive of a restart. Moreso than he thought.

That means its back to work for almost all of Enderes' former employees. For Tim DeRusha, back to those familiar sights and sounds.

Overgaard says his goal is to be in business a year from now and he's confident that will happen. As of last week there were 12 employees and Overgaard was interviewing for two more positions.