Changing Workforce

When suddenly the kids are in charge of dad's factory

By Crain's Chicago Business via Plastics News

Nov 28, 2016

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Less than a week after their father died during a 2009 business trip, Stacey and Sara Bales met with the banker who had lent money to their family's Downers Grove, IL, industrial plating company. The banker demanded to know how they planned to liquidate.

The business, the 20-something sisters learned, had taken out a loan to ride out the recession. Now the bank wanted its money back. “We had to fight for the company,” says Stacey, now 34 and president. Since that day, Bales Metal Surface Solutions has more than doubled revenue to $7.5 million and added 13 employees.

For the manufacturing industry, with factory owners aging and fewer younger workers stepping up, succession planning has become crucial.

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