Cornerstone Products To Close

11-7-05 - Cornerstone Products, a long time employer in Durant, is going out of business.

Now down to 150 employees, Cornerstone Products once employeed over 400 people, making it one of the largest employers in Durant, but the price of raw materials is high enough to cause the manufacturer to have to shut down by January.

For over 20 years, the Cornerstone Products facilities have produced custom molding, plastics for trash cans and storage containers. This final stage of a phase out process began Friday, and the company blames it on high petroleum prices. When crude oil climbed over $60 a barrel, the company simply couldn't afford their basic ingredient, plastic resin, which is a petreleum based by-product.

"You don't want to see any business close, that's always a heartbreaker," Tommy Kramer of the Durant Industrial Authority said. "We worked very close with owners of cornerstone and they're great people. They've been a great corporate citizen in Durant. My job is not to find a company somewhere to move into this facility."

Company representatives were unable for comment, but the Durant Economic Development Corporation says employees shouldn't be left without a job for too long.

Several new companies are opening their doors in and around Durant and will absorb those workers. Those new companies include Lowe's Home Improvement, Earth Bio-Diesel and the Choctaw Casino.