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Frontier Foundries Inc. announced Monday it will permanently close its manufacturing operations and corporate offices in late August, idling 97 employees.

The company said its manufacturing operations will close on Aug. 25, while its corporate offices at 4873 Packard Road will be closed by the end of August.

William Gephardt, company president, said Frontier Foundries decided to close its Niagara Falls facility as part of a move to consolidate its operations at other plants the firm owns in Northwest Pennsylvania.

Frontier Foundries' Supreme Machine Division, a precision machining and assembly facility, will remain in Cheektowaga, while its corporate sales group also will stay in Western New York, the company said. In all, those operations employ about 45 people.

Gephardt said the closing is in the company's long-term interests. "The market out there is fierce, cut-throat . . . especially in light of the drastic and sudden withdrawal of the defense business, which has been a considerable part of our production," he said in a prepared statement.

"I have spent over 40 years with Frontier Foundries," Gephardt said. "Closing this plant will be one of the saddest days of my life. But I am hopeful that whoever takes this plant over in the future will bring even more jobs to the area."

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