Glass firm expands Fremont plant

Cardinal Glass Industry’s increasing growth in the glass market for residential windows triggered a need to expand its Fremont plant and add 75 new jobs over the next three years, company representatives said Tuesday.

The Minnesota-based company is now adding to the east 91,000 square feet to its Cardinal IG space for a fourth insulated-glass production line, said plant Manager Jim DeVaney.It is spending nearly $5 million on the building and $2 million in equipment, the value of which received 10- and seven-year tax abatements, respectively, from the town of Fremont.

New production workers will earn an average of $11.93 per hour.

“It’s an exciting day,” DeVaney said.

Both he and operations Manager Steve Marti led local government and economic development officials on a tour of the plant in the Crossroads Industrial Park after a brief news conference Tuesday.

“We think the strength of our product and the longevity of our product is allowing us to earn more market share,” Marti said. “Our philosophy is to be better and different.”

The company’s next plan is to add 45,000 square feet to the west, he said as he surveyed the level dirt ground that should be part of the plant by October.

“We can always buy more land,” he said to the officials. “We’re just a babe in the woods.”

That babe expects to do about $42 million in sales this year, up from $35 million in 2003, according to a company fact sheet.

“We are a constantly moving and expanding business,” Marti said.

The business makes windows – both standard sizes and custom orders – for companies such as Pella, Andersen and Jeld-Wen. It tempers the glass to strengthen it, builds stainless steel frames and window grills and presses the pieces of glass together, with a layer of argon gas between them.

DeVaney referred to the process as making a glass “sandwich.”

The Fremont plant is one of Cardinal’s 22 factories, which are strategically placed nationwide to serve window manufacturers. Many of the plants are expanding, Marti said.

Steuben County officials are simply glad the Fremont factory is growing.

“I’m just very pleased we’ve been able to assist,” said Gary Nielander, executive director of the Steuben County Economic Development Corp.

Commissioner Ron Smith was also excited. “This is why we created the EDC, to partner in this type of operation,” he said.

600450 Glass firm expands Fremont plant
Date: 28 April 2005

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