Glass-making Company Picks St. George Over Tucson reported that Minnesota-based Viracon, eligible for a $750,000 cash incentive from Utah, has picked St. George over Tucson, Ariz., for a $25 million architectural-glass fabrication plant.

It will be built at the Fort Pierce Industrial Park.

Bill Wright, vice president of manufacturing for the new facility, said ground will be broken for the 225,000-square-foot plant in May, with construction expected to be completed by April of next year.

It will employ at least 150 local workers to begin with and more than 250 within three years, he said Wednesday.

He said base pay for entry-level positions will begin around $12 an hour.

"We will begin the hiring process late fall of this year," Wright said. "Not a lot of our current staff will be imported here. We hope to hire everyone we can locally."

Wright said the facility will be built by Watts Construction.

"Our search focused first on the best southwest location to meet the needs of our customers in the West. Then we looked at quality of life, work force and economics. As we talked with officials from St. George and Utah, we realized that from all perspectives, St. George would meet our needs and theirs," Wright said.

The Governor's Office of Economic Development Board agreed in February to pay the company $3,000 per job for each worker it adds, up to 250 workers.

The company must hire workers before receiving any of the cash incentive under the state's Industrial Assistance Fund, said Michael Sullivan, spokesman for the GOED board.

Company officials said they wouldn't have any problems meeting the terms of the incentive offer.

The company said it had narrowed in candidates for the site to St. George and Tucson, both of which offered incentive packages.

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600450 Glass-making Company Picks St. George Over Tucson
Date: 24 March 2006

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