Heathkit Educational Systems Closes Up Shop
For the second time since 1992, Heathkit Educational Services (HES) has shuttered its doors. Rumors of the legendary kit-building company’s demise were posted on QRZ.com, with several readers bringing the news to the attention of the ARRL. In August 2011, Heathkit announced it was returning to the kit building business, and in September, that it would once again be manufacturing Amateur Radio kits.
The ARRL tried to reach Heathkit to confirm that the company is still in business, but their phone and fax numbers have a continuous busy signal, and e-mails to the company have gone unanswered.
On LinkedIn, a popular networking site, HES Chief Executive Officer Lori Marciniak listed her employment ending at Heathkit as of March 2012. Likewise, Heathkit’s Marketing and Sales Director Ernie Wake listed his employment ending in April 2012. An unsubstantiated report on Wikipedia states that “[in] December 2011, Heathkit Educational Systems laid off most employees and in March 2012, the company indefinitely suspended operations.”
Tom Ferriter, of Technical Education Products, is an outside sales representative for HES, based in Hampden, Massachusetts. “Heathkit is telling us that they have temporarily closed, but that they are hopeful that they will be able to reorganize,” he told the ARRL. “While they’re not telling us too much, they did say that they were having poor sales for a myriad of reasons and are hopeful that they will be able to refinance the company and negotiate with the bank to refinance some of the debt.”