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Manufacturing Mojo Stanley Black & Decker adding new Fort Worth plant, 500 area jobs

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

Stanley Black & Decker Inc.

A Fortune 500 American manufacturer of industrial tools and household hardware and provider of security products and locks.

2018 Revenues: $14 billion

Headquarters: New Britain, Connecticut

NYSE symbol: SWK

Employees: 61,000 employees in more than 60 countries. Brands: Black & Decker, Bostitch, Craftsman, Dewalt, Facom, Irwin, Lenon, Porter Cable and Stanley.

CEO: James M. Loree

www.CRAFTSMAN.com/whereitsmade.

Iconic American brand Stanley Black & Decker announced on May 15 it will add to its U.S. manufacturing operations with a new 425,000-square-foot plant with about 500 full-time jobs at AllianceTexas in North Fort Worth.

The new facility is expected to be completed in late 2020, with groundbreaking in fall 2019. The plant will manufacture a range of Craftsman mechanics tools including sockets, ratchets, wrenches and general sets. It will incorporate the latest manufacturing technologies to optimize productivity and sustainability, including pre-flattening steel technologies to improve material yield by almost 25 percent, as well as water and energy management technologies to reduce resource consumption, according to the company. The investment in the area is expected to be about $90 million.

“When we purchased Craftsman in 2017 we were determined to revitalize this iconic U.S. brand and bring back its American manufacturing heritage,” said Stanley Black & Decker President and CEO Jim Loree. “From the launch of Craftsman’s refreshed brand identity last year to our announcement of the first new manufacturing facility in many years, we’re demonstrating our continued commitment to grow the brand and bring even more production of these great products back to the United States.”

Stanley Black & Decker purchased Craftsman from Sears Holdings in a deal valued at $900 million in 2017 and the following year, Craftsman launched a refreshed brand identity in August 2018, unveiling more than 1,200 new products. At the time of the purchase, much of Craftsman’s product line was being manufactured overseas. The brand is now on pace for an accelerated growth trajectory to reach $1 billion in incremental revenues by 2021.

According to the Wall Street Journal, some Craftsman tools are already assembled at eight Stanley plants in the U.S. and the company wants 50% of Craftsman tools to be made in the U.S. in a few years, up from 30% now.

“The addition of Stanley Black & Decker’s manufacturing operations at AllianceTexas reinforces the importance of retaining and creating new job opportunities in the United States,” said Ross Perot Jr., chairman of The Perot Group and Hillwood, developer of AllianceTexas. “Stanley Black & Decker is the world’s largest supplier of tools and storage products and its commitment to bringing jobs stateside will help set a precedent for other manufacturing companies. The state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at AllianceTexas will help generate hundreds of jobs in Fort Worth and North Texas, which will have a lasting impact on the region.”

“This new plant will also be the latest in our network of manufacturing facilities – one that uses state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies and demonstrates our commitment to becoming one of the world’s leaders in advanced manufacturing,” Loree said.

Earlier this year, Stanley Black & Decker announced it would expand its operations in Texas with a new 1.2-million-square-foot regional distribution center with 300 jobs at Alliance Northport in AllianceTexas.

“Stanley Black & Decker is making a big footprint in the Fort Worth area with manufacturing and distribution facilities bringing 800 jobs,” said Chris Strayer, senior vice president of Business Attraction, Retention and Expansion for the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce. “They started the process with a nationwide search to reshore manufacturing jobs. Our central U.S. location, affordable land with room to grow, and skilled manufacturing workforce will be an excellent home for one of the most respected and well known global brands.”

Stanley Black & Decker currently operates approximately 30 manufacturing facilities in the United States, with more than 100 manufacturing facilities globally. The company has five locations that have started implementing advanced Industry 4.0 technologies across their facilities, from manufacturing execution systems (MES), to 3-D printing, virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

“Stanley Black & Decker’s expansion within AllianceTexas significantly enhances the company’s ability to concurrently distribute and now manufacture its world-renowned tools from a centralized location in the United States,” said Tony Creme, senior vice president of Hillwood. “Their confidence in the workforce and supply chain infrastructure available at AllianceTexas were key drivers in this strategic expansion of their operations.”

At its May 14 meeting, the Fort Worth City Council amended an earlier tax abatement with Stanley Black & Decker USA Inc. to add Wachovia Service Corporation as a party.

“When we made the original agreement, we assumed they (Stanley Black & Decker) would be the owner of the property,” District 7 Councilman and Mayor Pro-Tem Dennis Shingleton said. “This doesn’t change anything within the agreement, except we’re adding Wachovia.”

In February, the council approved a tax agreement with Stanley Black & Decker for the construction of a manufacturing facility on property in the vicinity of the intersection of North Beach Street and Eagle Parkway, east of Interstate 35W. Under the agreement, the company must invest at least $80 million in real and business personal property improvements (exclusive of land costs) and have at least 500 full-time jobs filled on the property by Dec. 31, 2020.

In return, the City will grant a 40 percent tax abatement on the incremental increase in value of real and business personal property improvements for a period of five years.

During contracting, Stanley Black & Decker disclosed that they will be leasing the property from Wachovia. According to the Texas tax code, the City can only enter into an agreement for tax abatement with the owner of the real property in which incentivized improvements will be constructed. Therefore, because Wachovia will be the record owner of the property, they must also be a party to the agreement.

In the midst of celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the AllianceTexas development is home to over 500 companies and 61,000 jobs. – Rick Mauch contributed to this report

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