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Viracon Sees Utah’s Business Environment as a Window of Opportunity for Growth

September 11 2014 - 1:35 pm

News Release
For Immediate Release

September 11, 2014

Contact:
Michael Sullivan, GOED Communications Director
801-538-8811
mgsullivan@utah.gov

Kevin Anez, Director of Marketing and Product Management
Viracon
507-444-3490
kanez@viracon.com

Viracon Sees Utah’s Business Environment as a Window of Opportunity for Growth
The largest producer of architectural glass for high-rise buildings reinvests in Utah

Salt Lake City, UTAH — Viracon, along with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), announced plans today to reopen and invest in an existing facility in Washington County.

Viracon manufactures and sells high performance architectural glass. Operating since 1970, Viracon’s target market is buildings with 10 or more stories. The company currently maintains an estimated market share greater than two thirds for the tallest buildings in North America.

“Utah’s manufacturing industry is growing every day, which is evident by Viracon coming to Utah,” said Val Hale, executive director of GOED. “We look forward to building upon our existing relationship with a company that provides architectural glass to many of the iconic buildings that cover America’s cityscapes.”

As demand has increased for Viracon’s product, the company has identified Utah as the place it would like to grow. The company has chosen to reopen a facility in St. George that was a casualty of the construction industry’s severe recession. Viracon will invest an estimated $2.2 million in the existing facility for improved equipment and coating capabilities.

“Demand for commercial architectural glass has risen sharply in the last six months,” says Viracon President Kelly Schuller. “We are excited to welcome back the St. George team and look forward to strengthening customer service by taking this major step to increase our capacity.  The reopening of St. George allows us to better align our overall capacity with levels of demand that are higher than we have seen in several years.”

The growth of Viracon in one of Utah’s rural communities will bring a vibrant economic opportunity to Washington County.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to have Viracon return to our community,” said Mayor Jon Pike.  “Viracon was an employer of choice and a solid corporate citizen prior to shutting their St. George facility due to the national recession. I am sure the company will quickly resume their reputation in Washington County. The reopening of the plant will provide many needed and appreciated jobs. The City Council and I are excited to welcome Viracon back to Utah’s Dixie.”

Viracon has indicated that they will be creating 300 new jobs over the next 10 years. The total wages, including medical benefits, in aggregate are expected to exceed 100 percent of the county average wage. The projected new state wages over the life of the agreement are expected to be approximately $118,628,714. Projected new state tax revenues, as a result of corporate, payroll and sales taxes, are estimated to be $7,091,966 over 10 years. The updated Viracon facility has the potential to result in an expected capital investment of $2.2 million.

“Viracon’s decision to re-open their plant in St. George sooner than anticipated is great news for southern Utah,” said Jeff Edwards, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah. “We look forward to their continued success in the state.”

As part of a contract with Viracon, the GOED Board of Directors has approved up to a maximum tax credit of $1,418,393 in the form of a post-performance Economic Development Tax Increment Finance (EDTIF) incentive, which is 20 percent of the new state taxes Viracon will pay over the 10-year life of the agreement. Each year as Viracon meets the criteria in its contract with the state, it will earn a portion of the total tax credit incentive.

Viracon is an affirmative action employer and thus actively recruits disabled persons and veterans. All recruiting, hiring, training, promotion, compensation and other employment-related programs are provided to all qualified people who meet valid job requirements on an equal opportunity basis without regard to disabilities. Those interested in applying to work at Viracon should go to http://www.viracon.com/page/employees.

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About the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED)
Web: business.utah.gov

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) charter is based on Governor Gary Herbert’s commitment to economic development statewide. Utah’s economic development vision is that Utah will lead the nation as the best performing economy and be recognized as a premier global business destination. The mandate for this office is to provide rich business resources for the creation, growth and recruitment of companies to Utah and to increase tourism and film production in the state. GOED accomplishes this mission through the administration of programs that are based around targeted industries or “economic clusters” that demonstrate the best potential for development. GOED utilizes state resources and private sector contracts to fulfill its mission.  For more information please contact:  Michael Sullivan, 801-538-8811 or mgsullivan@utah.gov

About Viracon, Inc.
Viracon, the nation’s leading single-source architectural glass fabricator, is based in Owatonna, Minnesota, and has facilities in Statesboro, Georgia, St. George, Utah and Nazaré Paulista, Brazil. Viracon produces high-performance glass products, including tempered, laminated, insulating, silk-screened, digital printing, and high-performance coatings, for North American and international markets. The company is a subsidiary of Apogee Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: APOG). Apogee, headquartered in Minneapolis, isa leader in technologies involving the design and development of value-added glass products and services. For more information, visit www.viracon.com.

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