Feb 10, 2013 9:52 AM by Dennis Bragg - KPAX News
LIBBY - It looks like Libby's brief hope of well-paying jobs at Stinger Welding is vanishing in a cloud of financial problems and management uncertainty.
The Western News is reporting that Stinger employees have already been told their jobs will end soon, perhaps in as little as two-to-three weeks as the company moves to shut down its short-lived effort to move some operations to Northwest Montana.
Stinger Welding had first launched its plans to move a portion of its business of fabricating steel bridge components four-years ago, sparking renewed optimism for family wage jobs in Lincoln County. Flathead Valley Community College expanded its programs to train new welders to meet the expected demand for workers.
But last fall lawsuits developed between the company, the Port Authority and the Kootenai River Development Council as financial problems mounted. Another major setback happened in December when Stinger CEO Carl Douglas was killed when his plane crashed on a flight to Libby.
The Western News reports the MCA Financial Group of Phoenix is reviewing the company's assets, just a few weeks after the firm went into receivership. The paper also reports the company's vice president has been relieved of his duties, just after meeting with employees and telling them of the pending shutdown.