Guardian’s $40M plan adds 50 jobs

Guardian Industries, already the largest employer in DeWitt, Iowa, plans to add as many as 50 new jobs in a $40 million project to design and manufacture coated glass products.

Guardian will receive federal tax incentives for the research and development aspect of the project and state incentives by being located in an Iowa enterprise zone.The enterprise zone designation requires the employer to create jobs that pay well above the minimum wage level.
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Banes said Guardian will work with Eastern Iowa Community College to develop potential employees with technical backgrounds to fill the new positions.
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“We would hope the new jobs would create new DeWitt homeowners, but we already have a lot of employees from Maquoketa, Clinton and Davenport who commute to work,’’ Banes explained.
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Banes said new employees will be working on research and development of new glass-coating processes, including those aiming to reduce the “R value,’’ or energy-saving efficiency, of the glass.
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Guardian’s investment at the DeWitt facility will provide the company with a venue to develop and test new products, according to a news release. Currently, the DeWitt plant employs 325.
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DeWitt plant manager Pat Tuttle said the project will allow the facility to manufacture products while researching and designing others.
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“By creating dialogue or synergy between development, production and end-user personnel, we are letting the scientists out of the lab and into a fully functioning manufacturing environment.’’
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Among the coated-glass products developed by Guardian in recent years are energy-efficient residential glass, scratch-resistant glass, glass with ultraviolet ray blocking, automotive glass that blocks infrared rays and leads to less air conditioning use and a glass that helps drivers see better in stormy weather.
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“Guardian is committed to making products for independent fabricators that will strengthen their market presence,’’ said Russ Ebeid, Guardian glass group president. “We are doing that through innovation and growth.

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