BEATRICE, Neb. (AP) _ American Tool Co. said Wednesday it will close two hand tool plants by the end of the year to help control costs, cutting up to 200 jobs.

The plants, located in Beatrice, produced Quick-Grip locking clamps and a metal cutting tool.

``You can't really plan for this,'' said Jessie Oden, who worked at American Tool along with her husband, Gary. Oden said she was concerned about her family losing its health insurance.

About 30 positions at the plants were eliminated earlier this year as the company discontinued its Chesco and Record brand lines.

About 19 workers are being given the opportunity to apply for positions at a nearby manufacturing plant, employees said. Located 13 miles northwest of Beatrice, the Dewitt plant employs 500 people making Vise-Grip locking pliers.

``The company expects to continue investing in the growth of the DeWitt facility,'' American Tool said. ``As job opportunities become available, Beatrice employees will be given priority wherever possible.''

American Tool, based in Huntersville, N.C., was acquired last year by Newell Rubbermaid Inc.

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On the Net:

American Tool Co.: http://www.americantool.com