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Dakota Case of Philip to close this fall

After over 16 years as a growing part of Philip, the Dakota Case Company will be closing this fall.

The remaining ten full-time employees have been offered incentives to remain until the existing orders are filled and close-down is completed.

Black Hills Gold Manufacturing businesses have felt a lessening of market demand. These businesses include companies such as Landstroms, Stampers, F.L. Thorpe, Gold Diggers, and Coleman. The market for metal jewelry boxes has also changed. Now the boxes are considered throw-away items after the jewelry is purchased. Plastic and cardboard boxes, sometimes even plastic bags, are replacing the metal boxes made by Dakota Case. Jerry Kroetch states that far lower Chinese labor costs have taken much of the market to that part of the world.

Krofam Inc. is the parent company of Dakota Case. Krofam representatives and Dakota Case President Gerry Rislov have already been looking for alternative products and new niches in the industry to keep the business and its employees going.

In 1988, Jerry Carley, who still lives in the Philip area, challenged the local economic development leadership to take on the mostly New England market of metal jewelry boxes. Carley and then Scotchman President Art Kroetch created the Dakota Case Company.

It began growing with eventual production in the year 2000 of over two million boxes per year and 33 full-time employees. It supplied much of the local market. The employee base was solid, with minimal turnover and with many employees on board for over ten years.

Jerry Kroetch is definitely not pleased that Dakota Case must close. Kroetch and the rest of Krofam Inc. are searching with a determined optimism for alternatives for the business and the employees .