HAMMOND - Hammond-based Specialty Steel Works Inc. has announced plans for a multi-million-dollar investment in its LaSalle Corp. Cold Finish Steel Bar facility in the Lake County city. Terms of the investment are not being disclosed, however the company says the new equipment will make the facility the most modern bar-to-bar operation in North America.

The facility processes cold finished steel bars for various industries, including transportation, industrial equipment, and agriculture. SSWI Chief Executive Officer Joel Hawthorne calls the investment "transformative" and says it is part of the company's strategy to build a sustainable portfolio of assets.

A spokesman for SSWI tells Inside INside Indiana Business the investment is part of an effort to be proactive to changes in the needs of the company's customers. He it is uncertain whether the investment will result in any new jobs, however it does help retain the 180 employees currently working at the Hammond facility.

SSWI says the new equipment will be installed over the next year and will enhance the long-term viability of the facility. The Hammond location is the largest single site of its kind in North America.