The Glass Co. closes; about 17 jobs lost

At the time of the closing, which was announced during a general employees meeting Jan. 12, the business employed about 17 workers, CEO J.A.

Hires Cadwallader said. That was down from about 30 workers a year ago.

"The marketplace isn't working for us anymore," Cadwallader said.

"We held a meeting and told the employees we would be ceasing operations. Our business model wasn't working. We had to stop the bleeding while we refocused our resources."

He said other Cadwallader-owned businesses - Windshield Installation Network at 1120 Magee St. in Elmira and Latta Brook Mini Storage at the company's Latta Brook property - will not be affected.

Cadwallader said closing The Glass Co. was "one of the toughest things I've ever done. The majority of the people let go were all longtime and loyal workers, and I thanked them for the cooperation and all they contributed to the business."

Jamie Johnston, vice president of Southern Tier Economic Growth, said he was unaware of the closing.

He said the business was one of the first development projects for the industrial park, located off Latta Brook Road behind the Ames Plaza on Lake Road.

STEG was instrumental in putting the project together in 1978, but Johnston did not work for the agency then.

There are no plans for Chapters 7 or 11 bankruptcy filings, Cadwallader said. A Chapter 7 filing seeks to liquidate a business; Chapter 11 protects a business from its creditors while a reorganization plan is developed.

The Glass Co. is owned by John F. Cadwallader Inc. John Cadwallader, father of the company's CEO, is its president.

J.A. Hires Cadwallader, who was named CEO last year after serving a variety of positions in the company for 13 years, said he is advising the glass installer's vendors, contractors and customers of the decision to close.

Pending contracts are being funneled to other commercial installers, he said, and it's likely the business's vehicles and other equipment will not be sold.

The Glass Co. opened in 1977 when the elder Cadwallader bought the assets of Twin Tier Glass of Elmira and Finger Lakes Glass of Corning.

The following year, the Elmira business moved to Latta Brook Park. Finger Lakes Glass, later renamed Twin Tier Glass Co., continued operating until the land on which it stood was bought for the building of the Route 17 bypass project.

The company served customers within a 75-mile radius and was involved in many commercial building projects - including a state-operated residential facility in Lansing, Ceramics Corridor jobs in Alfred and Erwin, and the new Corning Inc. headquarters building.

However, projects in the public sector became harder to come by, and private sector work could not cover the shortfall, Cadwallader said. He said competition cut The Glass Co.'s public sector business by about 70 percent.

"(The company's owners and attorneys) talked about closing a few weeks before announcing it, and we were trying to come up with ways to stay in business," he said.

"But the construction business is cyclical, and it's now in a depression. We couldn't wait for conditions to improve."

600450 The Glass Co. closes; about 17 jobs lost
Date: 23 January 2006

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