Manufacturer Now Employs 49 Workers and Plans Hundreds More-
BENTON TOWNSHIP, PA, October 6, 2016 – Coinciding with National Manufacturing Week, Crystal Window & Door Systems PA celebrated its first full year in Northeast Pennsylvania with an Anniversary Open House on October 5, 2016. During the past year, the company has renovated a significant portion of the building, started producing windows and hired almost 50 employees. Over 75 guests including members of the local business community, government officials, suppliers and trade customers gathered at the large 336,000-ft2 facility in Lackawanna County to learn of the manufacturer’s plans for future expansion and to tour the facility. The Crystal event was covered by local TV news.
“Since acquiring the property a year ago, we have accomplished so much and we wanted to share this with the community that has welcomed us to the area,” said Steve Chen, Crystal COO. “This facility is Crystal’s largest expansion yet, and it has been a resounding success.”
Crystal purchased the former Owens Corning building, the interior of which was less than half completed, and surrounding 226-acre property on October 1, 2015. Since then, 70,000-ft2 of factory space has been renovated, equipment purchased and installed, and three of Crystal’s aluminum window and patio door product lines are now manufactured there. Crystal PA has hired 49 employees, all from the local area, and engages local vendors and contractors for its operations. To date, almost 12,000 windows and doors have been made at the location since production began in February. Crystal also reported that in the first nine months since the property was purchased, the company has expended over $1 million on renovation construction, new production equipment, materials, services, employee labor, and other items. This has been a huge regional economic stimulus since the company estimates that over 50% was expended locally (within 50 miles of the factory) and another ⅓ in other areas of Pennsylvania.
Guests at the Open House listened as Steve Chen and company executives presented plans for further renovation and fit-out of the rest of the building. “Over the next five years, all of Crystal’s 20 product lines will be made at this plant, from start to finish,” said Chen. “This includes extruding the aluminum and vinyl profiles, painting and finishing them, and fabricating the insulated glass units for the windows and doors. A significant investment in equipment is planned, and of course hiring and training the employees for the operation. We expect as many as 350 to 400 employees when everything is fully up and running.”
Robert Durkin, President of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, in his address to the Open House guests said, “We are pleased to see the progress made by the Crystal team in establishing their base operations here at the Benton facility. We look forward to working with all parties as further capital investments allow the company and our community to realize the full job creating potential of this project.”
The Chairman of the Benton Township Board of Supervisors, Larry Seymour, also spoke, commending Crystal’s plans to grow carefully, with investments and hiring determined by sales and demand.
Final speaker Pennsylvania Senator John Blake congratulated Crystal founder Thomas Chen and COO Steve Chen on the vision and entrepreneurial spirit that has made Crystal a national manufacturer from a small start-up company over 25 years ago. The Senator expressed gratitude for Crystal locating in northeastern Pennsylvania and he looked forward to continued expansion, investment and hiring.
After a ceremonial ribbon-cutting, guests toured the factory floor to see windows and doors being assembled, and then got a sneak peak at the expansive unfinished space that will house the future operations.
Throughout the day, many of Crystal’s window dealer, installer and building products trade customers from the region continued to visit and tour the factory. “This is a great opportunity for our customers to see how committed we are to providing quality energy efficient products and keeping order lead times to a minimum. With the huge additional production capacity this facility has added and will continue to add to our national manufacturing capabilities, and the investments we are making for the long term, we will be able to serve our growing customer base well into the future,” said Chen.