Williamsport, Pa. – A new company is taking over Shop-Vac Corporation and plans to hire employees at the Williamsport location, which abruptly closed in September 2020.
Hangzhou Equipment Holdings, LLC, a subsidiary of Hangzhou GreatStar Industrial Co., Ltd., and GreatStar Tools USA, the leading manufacturer of hand tools in Asia, serving DIY, professional and industrial markets worldwide, announced today it has acquired substantially all of the assets of Shop-Vac Corporation.
As part of the acquisition, GreatStar will take ownership of all of Shop-Vac’s company assets, open the Williamsport, Pa., factory, and hire a number of employees who were separated after the factory’s abrupt closure in September 2020.
Shop-Vac is known as the brand leader in wet/dry vacuum systems for consumer and commercial applications.
“We are thrilled to add another iconic American brand to GreatStar’s portfolio of brands – alongside Arrow Fastener, Pony, Jorgensen, Goldblatt, and Prime-Line Products – particularly one that gives us the opportunity to bring manufacturing and jobs back to the US,” says Gary DuBoff, Group President, GreatStar Tools USA. “Shop-Vac products are ‘must-have’ items for many retailers and consumers in North America and around the world, and we look forward to restoring this brand’s loyal following and distribution.”
After the acquisition, GreatStar plans to reestablish and expand Shop-Vac’s industry leadership built on best-in-class innovation, features, value and manufacturing ability, utilizing a mix of both Asian and U.S.-based manufacturing. The company will retain manufacturing in its Williamsport, Pa., factory, and will also prioritize restoring Shop-Vac’s distribution in the U.S., including big-box retailers, major home centers and hardware stores, according to a press release.
Local leaders reacted to the news today that local jobs and manufacturing is coming back to Williamsport.
“We are thrilled to learn that Shop-Vac has been bought by GreatStar Tools USA. This is tremendous news for the employees, the workforce, and our community as a whole. We look forward to working with the new ownership in the years ahead,” said Williamsport Mayor, Derek Slaughter.
Scott Metzger, chair of the Board of the Lycoming County Commissioners said they are, “Ecstatic to learn of GreatStar Tools USA acquisition of Shop-Vac. This is wonderful news as Shop-Vac has been a leading employer in our area for generations. The news that their intention is to continue operations locally is a major boost to our spirits and economy during these difficult times. We encourage any previous employees who have not found other employment to apply. We are sure their expertise and experience would be valuable to the new owners.”
“The Chamber is very excited to see GreatStar Tools USA step in and acquire the Shop-Vac assets," said Jason Fink, President/CEO of the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce. "It’s great to see that they will be adding to their core competencies through this purchase with injection molding, tool and die making, and electrical, industrial and polymer engineering capabilities. This enhances the value of those people here in the market performing the work at Shop-Vac because it can’t be replicated elsewhere in their holdings. Given what we have in our backyard with Penn College, there is the opportunity to see further production growth in the coming years. We look forward to working with Gary and the team at GreatStar in achieving the success they envision through this purchase and will be there to assist them in whatever manner necessary."
Employees at Shop-Vac found out about the company’s closing on September 15. Most of the 400 employees at the facility on Reach Road were laid off that day. The company cited financial troubles due to the pandemic as the reason for the abrupt closure. At the time, Shop-Vac employed 1,700 people worldwide. Shop-Vac had served customers for more than 55 years.
Related Reading: SHOP-VAC is closing, hundreds of employees to lose jobs
GreatStar Tools USA is part of Hangzhou GreatStar Industrial Co., Ltd., one of the largest hand tool manufacturers in Asia, specializing in designing and manufacturing high-quality products for DIY, professional and industrial markets globally.
With this acquisition, GreatStar adds the Shop-Vac brand to its growing portfolio of U.S. tool brands, including Pony and Jorgensen woodworking clamps; Goldblatt concrete, drywall, masonry and tile tools; Arrow Fastener stapling tools, glue guns and rivet tools; and Prime-Line Products replacement and security hardware