Business: Buying Jobs

To survive in Youngstown

Last year the Aeroquip Corp., a subsidiary of Toledo-based Libbey-Owens-Ford, announced that it was closing its hydraulic hose plant in Youngstown, Ohio. The city was already strug- gling to absorb the layoffs of more than 4,000 steelworkers, and new job prospects in the area seemed slim. So some of the 375 employees decided to buy the 48-acre facility and run it themselves.

Now, nine months after the new employee-owned company, Republic Hose Manufacturing Corp., took over the one-story plant, productivity is up 40%, and the rate of rejected products has...

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