Wed., November 11, 2009 1:34pm (EST)

Columbus Plant Saved In Eleventh Hour
By Melissa Stiers
Updated: 5 years ago

COLUMBUS, Ga.  —  
Columbus Foundry, formerly Columbus Ironworks, survives the recession.  (photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
Columbus Foundry, formerly Columbus Ironworks, survives the recession. (photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
An auto parts plant in Columbus poised to close in December and lay off about 170 people was saved in the eleventh hour.

Columbus Foundry has been working iron since the 1850’s when it was Columbus Ironworks. Back then it made parts for the agriculture industry, now it’s automotive supplies. The automotive slowdown has forced it to trim its staff over the years from 1000 to just 169 today.

And it looked like Columbus Foundry wasn’t going to survive this recession last month. Its bankrupt parent company issued a shut down notice to the Department of Labor saying it would lay off all employees come December.

But just last week, Diversified Machine Incorporated of Michigan bought it, so now it’s business as usual says the general manager at the plant, Lee Fortney. "With that acquisition we’re expecting a bright future," says Fortney. "It's a new day we’re seeing at the plant."

Fortney says all employees have already switched payroll over to the new company, and he anticipates under the new ownership, the company will be able to hire back some people it’s had to lay-off over the years.