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Published October 25, 2011, 11:39 AM

SD equipment maker shutting down

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A longstanding manufacturing company in Sioux Falls said it will close by early next year, putting nearly 80 people out of work.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A longstanding manufacturing company in Sioux Falls said it will close by early next year, putting nearly 80 people out of work.

Texas-based Alamo Group Inc. said in a statement Friday that it will close the SMC plant in Sioux Falls and consolidate operations with the company’s facility in Gibson City, Ill. SMC makes agricultural equipment such as front-end loaders and backhoes.

“We’ve lost business that we’ve not been able to recapture,” Cleary said. “The economic downturn of 2008 was really the start of our issues.”

The SMC plant has operated in Sioux Falls under various owners since 1972, according to Mary Medema, director of workforce development for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. It became SMC in 1989, and the Alamo Group bought the plant in 2001. Employment peaked a year later at about 200 employees.

The company said it will provide job skills training and severance packages for the workers losing their jobs, and will work with local and state agencies to get help for the workers.

South Dakota Department of Labor statistics show there were 2,641 job openings in the Sioux Falls region in mid-October.

“As the job listings that we have across the state continue to slowly increase month after month, we’re looking forward to skilled workers having more opportunity,” said Greg Johnson, manager of the Labor Department office in Sioux Falls.

The closure does not affect Tiger Corp., an Alamo Group facility in Sioux Falls that makes mowing equipment.

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