OLEAN - In 2009, one of Olean's biggest businesses - Alcas Cutlery Corp. - will no longer exist.
Don't worry, though. It's just because the company is changing its name.
Alcas will take on the name of its most successful product, changing its name to CUTCO Corp., according to a press release from the company. It will continue to be the parent company of CUTCO Cutlery Corp., Vector Marketing Corp., KA-BAR Knives Inc. and Schilling Forge Inc. The new sign is already in place outside the company's Olean headquarters.
The change comes just in time for the company's 60th anniversary year.
"CUTCO is the name that has been with us since 1949," CUTCO Corp. Chairman, President and CEO Jim Stitt said in the release. "Alcas will always be an important part of our history. If not for the ingenuity and leadership of our early company leaders, we wouldn't be where we are today."
The Alcas name was formed as a compound word when two companies combined their resources in 1949. Wear-Ever Aluminum, a company owned by the Aluminum Co. of America (Alcoa), and Case Cutlery of Bradford, Pa., begin producing CUTCO knives as a joint venture.
"The Alcas name is an important element of our history, especially here in the Olean area where the Alcas name is best known," Mr. Stitt said in The Alcas Communicator, a quarterly magazine for employees of the company. "The driver of our business is the CUTCO brand."
In the Communicator, Mr. Stitt also noted that sales and profits grew in 2008 for the third straight year.
CUTCO products have been made at the company's East State Street location in Olean for all 60 years of production, the press release noted.
"We're proud to say that we've been able to keep our knives made in America," Mr. Stitt said in the release. "When so many other companies are outsourcing their manufacturing, we've dedicated ourselves to keeping our manufacturing here in Olean. In fact, we are the largest manufacturer of kitchen cutlery in the United States and Canada."
CUTCO Corp. and its subsidiaries employ more than 800 people at its factory and administrative offices in Olean. Its product line includes more than 100 kitchen cutlery products, as well as a variety of kitchen gadgets, utensils and flatware.
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