Vitro Expansion Means 50 More Jobs for the Area

 

The future of the Vitro glass manufacturing plant in Wichita Falls, formerly PPG is now looking even more stable. 
The company is officially expanding and more jobs are coming with that expansion and Kenzie Meek-Beck joins us from the plant with more on what this will mean for the community. 
 
That's right. The expansion is to hold a new piece of equipment a jumbo coater, which puts a layer on the glass to make it more energy efficient.
 
It's also massive and requires a building with around 200 thousand square feet which will soon be constructed right here on the plant grounds.
 
55 million dollars worth of equipment and expansion is coming to Vitro.  That also means more jobs for a plant that already has a huge impact on the local economy.
 
Wichita Falls city leaders say it also speaks to the company's stability and future plans to remain in Texoma.
 
"Instead of a potential downsizing, what we've done is increased our workforce and increase the longevity of this plant and the strength of it inside of the entire corporate structure," Henry Florsheim, Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce CEO.
 
"When this branch merged from PPG into vitro in October this project was one of the first things discussed."
 
The addition is estimated to also bring about 50 new jobs to the plant.
 
"It keeps us diversified, you know, we also have some focus in aerospace manufacturing but this is a totally different direction in construction so it's very exciting in this community," Dick Bundy, 4A Board President.
 
Officials with the company say the $3 million dollar incentive from the city's 4A board was instrumental in bringing in this equipment.
 
"But pretty much they've told us that they had to have a very good incentive package to come here. It's a very productive plant but we want them to be here for a long time. So it just behooves us and this community to incentivize them to be here."
 
This coater which coats glass and makes it more energy efficient is anticipated to be the largest of its kind in North America and construction should begin in April.
 
"But these new generation of coaters that are coming out.... they are going to surpass this one so if we want to stay on the leading edge, we've got to have this equipment to be able to expand," Bill Haley, Vitro Plant Manager.
 
The project is expected to be complete by April of 2018. The plant has had a coater since 2006 but the one on site now can deal with 12 feet of glass whereas the new coater which will be in addition to the one they already have can handle 20 feet of glass. Which will increase the productivity of the plant quite a bit.
 
 

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