A company that was once one of St. Joseph's largest employers is closing most of its manufacturing operations and will eliminate all but 14 jobs.

WireCo WorldGroup announced Thursday that it is eliminating 49 jobs as it winds down a company that has been in business in St. Joseph for nearly 70 years and once employed 1,500 people.

WireCo President and CEO Chris Ayers said the 14 employees will remain at a fabricated products division.

The St. Joseph News-Press reports the company moved to St. Joseph in 1948. Its wire rope products are used in energy exploration, bridge construction and other industries.

Its headquarters are now in Prairie Village, Kansas. It has operations in Chillicothe or other Missouri cities, which will not be effected the changes in St. Joseph.

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