Saint-Gobain Vetrotex to close, cuts 742 jobs

Date: 12 April 2008
Source: Dallas Business Journal
Dallas Business Journal, Friday, April 4, 2008 Fiberglass reinforcements maker Saint-Gobain Vetrotex America Inc. will close its operations on June 2, including its main plant in Wichita Falls, eliminating 742 jobs in the process.

The Valley Forge, Pa.-based company will permanently close all facilities, including its 787,00 square-foot Wichita Falls plant, all warehousing facilities and all sales and marketing operations.

Saint-Gobain Vetrotex told the Texas Workforce Commission the layoffs will occur in phases from June 2 through the end of the year.

In November, Saint-Gobain Vetrotex's parent company, Saint-Gobain Group, sold its reinforcements and composites businesses to Toledo, Ohio-based Owens Corning (NYSE: OC), but excluded Saint-Gobain Vetrotex America from the sale for antitrust considerations.

Because Saint-Gobain is no longer in the reinforcements and composites business, the company said it was not economically feasible to keep the Wichita Falls plant running as a stand-alone operation.

Saint-Gobain has been trying to find a buyer for the 330-acre plant since July 2006.

"However, despite many months of effort and negotiations with several prospective purchasers, the company has been unable to reach an economically viable agreement which would assure the future of the plant," Saint-Gobain said.

The company said it would provide severance pay and provide training to employees for job searches and interviews.

In 1977, Saint-Gobain Vetrotex America, then known as CertainTeed's fiber glass reinforcements branch, began manufacturing fiberglass reinforcements at its plant in Wichita Falls.

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