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One of the companies that helped win Meadville its Tool City nickname is expanding both its facilities and its product line.

Channellock Inc. today announced a 35,000-square-foot expansion of its finished goods warehouse and distribution facilities as well as the launch of SpeedGrip pliers, a new addition to its line of hand tools.

“We remain committed to making our pliers here in Meadville and firmly believe made-in-the-USA products stand for quality, tradition and reliability,” said Jon DeArment, president and chief operating officer at Channellock. "This expansion will allow us to increase our production capacity to better serve our customers by getting them the tools they need. As we bring the new equipment online, including our largest forging hammer yet, it’s clear that the increased capacity will help better position Channellock to support the recent growth and increased demand for American-made hand tools.”

The project will bring the company’s total presence in Meadville to more than 260,000 square feet of production and distribution space. Channellock’s 370 full-time employees make it one of the largest employers in Crawford County.

“The expansion is allowing us to add a brand new product —  SpeedGrip pliers — to our family of more than 130 different sizes and types of pliers and hand tools,” DeArment added. “These all new American-made tongue-and-groove pliers include a fast-adjusting feature and patent-pending crosshatch teeth.”

The expansion announcement comes at the same time as CEO and board chairman Bill DeArment’s 50th anniversary with the company.

A block party celebration will honor both the Meadville plant expansion and DeArment’s half-century tenure on Friday from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Channellock’s Plant 1, 1306 S. Main St.

“Our vision is to continue to grow as a family-owned business,” Jon DeArment said. “Expanding our Channellock manufacturing capabilities highlights our commitment to fueling that vision.”

Founded by George B. DeArment in 1886, the company is now in its fifth generation of family ownership and operation.

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