Home Products International shutters Seymour operations

The company that has been making ironing boards in Seymour since 1998 announced Tuesday it is ceasing operations.

Home Products International-North America Inc. intends to pursue an exit of its Seymour-based garment care and home organization businesses to focus on its core plastics business, according to a news release from the Chicago-based company.

HPI owns and operates several metal stamping plants and distribution centers in Seymour, where it produces ironing boards. It employed approximately 130 employees here as of Tuesday’s announcement.

“This difficult decision is in no way a reflection on our exceptional workforce in Seymour,” Chief Executive Officer George Hamilton said. “Market conditions over the past two years driven largely by the COVID-19 pandemic combined with unprecedented inflation in steel costs and global supply chain challenges have made it impossible for us to continue to operate profitably. The company is exploring various alternatives, including a possible sale to an interested party in Indiana.”

The company has notified its employees and will be working with closely with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and local government officials to help its employees with re-employment assistance.

Seymour Mayor Matt Nicholson said he is saddened by the closure and its employees being displaced.

The city will assist with re-employment efforts through job fairs and workforce training with HPI, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and Jackson County Industrial Development Corp.

With Seymour’s low unemployment rate and many local employers hiring, Nicholson said he hopes workers can transition to new jobs quickly.

“As a city, we hate to lose any business, especially one that has been in the community as long as HPI,” Nicholson said.

JCIDC Executive Director Jim Plump said he was very sad to hear about the planned closure.

“HPI has many good, dedicated employees, and we have spoken with their management about JCIDC offering assistance at the appropriate time to help workers find new employment,” he said. “With an unemployment rate under 2% and many companies hiring, we believe there will be good opportunities for their workforce.”

HPI is a privately held consumer products company specializing in the design, marketing and manufacturing of housewares products. The company is a supplier to mass merchandise, home improvement and specialty retail channels of value-priced houseware items across three primary product categories: Storage, garment care and home organization.