Stetler and Evelyn Young founded and operated Forest City Gear with an emphasis on developing close relationships with customers, vendors and employees. Our machinery has evolved to the point that it would be nearly unrecognizable to our founders, but our way of doing business has not. Forest City Gear, led by the Young family, operates a world-class business while maintaining those personal relationships with our customers, vendors and employees. The timeline highlights some of our milestones.
Stetler Young born in Montoursville, PA.
Evelyn Joelson born in Russia.
Stetler and Evelyn marry
Fred Young born in Chicago.
Stetler enters the gear industry, joining Rynel Gear Corp. in Sterling, IL.
Stetler works his way up to president of Rynel Gear.
Forest City Gear founded in Rockford, IL — nicknamed “the Forest City” — in the downtown plant formerly occupied by Skandia Furniture. The first products are spur gears used to operate the crankshaft in home ice cream makers, and worm gear hoists and electric winch winders for raising and lowering gymnasium basketball hoops; all are manufactured by J.E. Porter.
Forest City Gear buys its first brand-new machine, a Barber-Colman Type Q precision hobber. All previous machines were bought used and refurbished. Stetler’s focus on quality, paired with the capabilities of this new machine, lead to a growing business, counting Woodward Governor, Slick Electrode and Sall Brothers among its customers.
Fred graduates from Rockford College (now Rockford University) with a BA in English literature.
Fred returns from two years of active duty in the U.S. Navy and starts working full time at Forest City Gear.
Stetler and Evelyn gradually step away from the business as Fred takes on more responsibility.
Fred Young and Wendy Nutter wed on the banks of the Wolf River in Wisconsin. They honeymoon in Europe, including an extended visit to the Koepfer plant in Germany, where lifelong friendships are made and additional machinery and tooling are acquired.
Forest City Gear buys a Hofler EFRS630 gear checker. All of the new precision equipment lures customers who have more precise demands. To prove the superior quality of Forest City Gear parts, investment in gear-inspection equipment ramps up quickly.
Forest City Gear enters the American Gear Manufacturers Association.
Fred serves as chairman of AGMA.
Forest City Gear expands to 12,000 square feet, a 60% increase in floor space.
Gears manufactured for Spirit and Opportunity, NASA’s first Mars Exploration Rovers.
Forest City Gear becomes AS 9100 certified.
Gears manufactured for another Mars rover, Curiosity.
On-campus facility, Roscoe Works, built to better accommodate high-volume customers.
The Senior Leadership Team forms: Fred and Wendy Young, Jared Lyford, Jeff Mains and Kika Young.
Gears manufactured for the fourth Mars rover, which is set to launch in 2020.
Forest City Gear obtains