NICHOLAS SAKELARIS, Mansfield News Mirror

 

Just seven years after opening its first Mansfield location, Klein Tools has become one of the top small businesses in the state, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.

The tool manufacturer took home the Texas Small Employer of the Year award at the Texas Workforce Commission’s annual conference in December.

Klein Tools partners with Workforce Solutions of Tarrant County to help people find jobs at their Mansfield plant, where they already already have about 500 employees.

Klein Tools also partners with the Mansfield school district to offer internships and training to high school students. Illinois-based Klein moved its manufacturing headquarters to Mansfield in 2011. The company dates back 160 years.The efforts with the Workforce Commission and area students contributed to Klein winning the award. The company conducts a State of the Industry Survey every year. It revealed that 78 percent of electricians surveyed believe there’s a shortage in the field and 69 percent are concerned about a skills gap.

“This program has had a significant impact on all parties involved,” said Scott Welmaker, director of economic development for the city. “Klein is ensuring a skilled workforce is available for its industry and young workers in our community are receiving training that will provide jobs for them in the future.”

The company has expanded the Mansfield facility several times since then, adding a heat treatment facility to forge new tools. They make pliers, screwdrivers and fish tapes.

Klein has invested $200 million in manufacturing and research and development since 2010.