Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
P. O. Box 3711
204 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virginia 24115
Toll Free: 800-234-6575
Ply Gem Windows adding 200 jobs
Half of those already on staff
Thursday, October 11, 2012
By CHARLES BOOTHE - Franklin New-Post
ROCKY MOUNT — Ply Gem Windows is adding at least 200 jobs as part of a $9.1 million expansion to meet demands of a market that is “warming up,” according to the company’s president.
One-hundred of these jobs already have been added, and at least 100 more will be on the horizon as demand for products increases, according to Lynn Morstad, president of the Rocky Mount facility.
Ply Gem, which has manufacturing facilities in eight states, specializes in housing exteriors, with the largest window fabrication plant located in Rocky Mount.
The $9.1 million investment in the facility, he said, is part of the company’s Enterprise Lean initiative, which includes new equipment, products and information technology.
New hires will include such jobs as unit assemblers, coordinators, value stream leaders, process owners, process engineers, technicians and information technology support.
“The investment in the Rocky Mount facility will ensure the local community will benefit from our growth initiatives,” he said. “Through these initiatives, we are looking to bring our job count at the Rocky Mount facility to 1,100 associates by the end of next year.”
That number could be higher, he added, and the expansion should be completed by the end of 2014.
Morstad said the past four or five years “have been tough,” at the plant. At one time it employed about 1,300 people, but it was forced to lay off some as the demand for products decreased.
“We’ve not only survived, we’ve strengthened our position,” he said. “The (housing) market will come back, and the demand will then come back quickly.”
Morstad said the demand already has risen, and he anticipates that will continue.
“We do have the demand to support the (100) hires,” he said. “The market is warming up.”
The company wants to be in a position to meet that demand, he said, and having a “flexible capacity” is crucial to fill orders.
“We are focused on enhancing Ply Gem’s product offering and customer experience to support planned growth from the housing market recovering,” Morstad said. “This expansion demonstrates the confidence we have in associates at the Rocky Mount facility to deliver superior products and service to customers throughout North America.”
Matt Hankins, assistant Rocky Mount town manager, said he learned the recession was coming from Ply Gem, which saw a slowdown in housing starts before 2008.
The fact that the company now is making the commitment to expand is good news, he said.
The expansion and job creation was a “team effort” involving the company, county, town, The Franklin Center and other partners, Franklin County Supervisors Chairman David Cundiff said.
Those partners included the Virginia Tobacco Commission, Virginia Jobs Investment Program and the Roanoke Valley Regional Partnership.
The current manufacturing facility was established in 1939 and operated as MW Windows until it was purchased by Ply Gem in 2004.
The plant has manufactured many products since it was founded, including storm windows, aluminum windows, and window and door frames.
In recent years, the facility has made vinyl, vinyl-clad, aluminum-clad and wood windows as well as patio doors for residential and light commercial construction.
Ply Gem is headquartered in Cary, N.C.