GARY - A sheet metal manufacturer in Gary is shutting down. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report ATCO-Gary Metal Technologies plans to close its Gary plant by the end of the month and lay off nearly 70 employees.

The plant makes heating and air conditioning ducts and related products. The publication reports employees were told earlier this month that the plant would be shutting down and they would be losing their jobs.

Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson tells The Times of Northwest Indiana the company faced "challenges in the competitive environment." Jeff Hamilton, who is a business representative with Sheet Metal Workers Local 20, tells the publication the owner cited a "mature market with a lot of push-down on pricing." He says ATCO is selling its equipment to a company in Nebraska.

Co-owner Frank "Bobo" Zudock passed away in November.