Viracon announces return to St. George

ST. GEORGE – Viracon, along with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, announced plans Thursday to reopen and invest in an existing facility in Washington County.

Viracon manufactures and sells high performance architectural glass. Operating since 1970, Viracon has a target market of 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,” Val Hale, executive director of GOED, said. “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 products, 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,” Viracon President Kelly Schuller said. “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,” St. George Mayor Jon Pike said.  “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 it 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.

“Viracon’s decision to reopen their plant in St. George sooner than anticipated is great news for Southern Utah,” Jeff Edwards, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah, said. “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 can do so here.

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Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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  • Betty September 11, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    Alright Mori, here’s your opportunity to do some digging. They came, took advantage of the tax breaks, left town and left their staff unemployed and Scott Hurschi laughing all the way to the bank. Now, they are offered “tax incentives” to return and I’m pretty sure Scott will be paid a “reward” for recruiting them back. This seems like déjà vue. Didn’t we learn the first time? Something sure stinks! Seems a little odd.

    Maybe they can put the resumes of those recently kicked to the curb by Blue Bunny to the top of the pile.

    • Dana September 12, 2014 at 5:40 am

      Or, the resumes of the people they kicked to the curb in the last go around.

  • nancy glose and mike turner September 12, 2014 at 8:03 am

    Looking for employment within the next year or so. We plan on relocating to the St. George area from Pa. Thanks for any input you can offer. Sincerely Nancy

    • Joyce Kuzmanic September 12, 2014 at 8:25 am

      We will welcome you to St. George, Nancy and Mike – In order to give you suggestions, it will help to know what kind of jobs you will be seeking. Feel free to email us at [email protected]. And again, welcome. 😀
      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

    • Betty September 12, 2014 at 9:36 am

      Nancy, St. George is a great place to live. Just be very careful when seeking employment. St. George recruits business to come; offers incredible tax incentives (like not having to pay them) and even helps pay for the buildings/equipment. After a few years (when the incentives expire), they leave town. Which leaves the staff with mortgages and other financial obligations that cannot be met.

  • Koolaid September 12, 2014 at 8:34 am

    Does this company practice Equal Employment Opportunity?

    • Koolaid the Bigot September 12, 2014 at 10:57 am

      I’m really easy to get along with once you people learn to worship me.

      • Joyce Kuzmanic September 12, 2014 at 12:44 pm

        Koolaid and Koolaid the B, and maybe Bobber too – The time has come for you to tone down your rhetoric playing on this playground. What may be fun for you is not enjoyable to others, and I have to balance the many. Govern yourselves accordingly. I don’t want to disapprove your comments, but tone matters; I’m thinking you can bring it down a notch or two and still enjoy your banter? Please. Thank you,

        • Frank September 12, 2014 at 1:04 pm

          Thank you,
          Those two make me want to just change to the Spectrum. Maybe that is who hired them.

  • sagemoon September 12, 2014 at 8:50 am

    My husband was one who lost his job when Viracon closed. I have to wonder if the tactic they are using to save money is to get rid of existing employees, start over again at lower wages, and provide insurance at a lower cost to the company. Too many people had been working there for too long and getting raises. Gotta clean out the ones cutting into the company’s profit.

    • bobber September 12, 2014 at 11:27 am

      As a proud Mormon Republican business owner myself, I can tell you that that’s exactly how we like to do it. Usually on the second go around we try to hire a lot of illegals though, because they work harder and their expectations are much lower. We don’t want anyone developing an entitlement complex do we???
      … also we try and get rid of employees over 40, because they start to slow down and become needy.

      • Farmer Brown September 12, 2014 at 3:29 pm

        I’ll try being nicer if your’ll try being smarter.

  • Trucker September 12, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Well, I sure do hope they hire different people for receiving! What a bunch of jerks they had working there. I flatly refused to deliver there, as I would NOT put up with their BS.

  • Eduardo September 12, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Eduardo from Saint George, I’m wondering if I can be re hire, I have to leave because I broke my leg (in my other job, not Viracon) 5 years ago, now i’m doing great

  • Eduardo September 12, 2014 at 11:39 am

    forget about my commente was a mistake, i thhough i was on viracon’s page, sorry

  • TJ September 12, 2014 at 11:44 am

    I was working for Viracon when they closed. We were told then, they intended to come back in 2 years when economic factors improved. The plant also had issues with somewhat outdated equipment that needed to be refurbished/improved. Apparently demand is back and the equipment has been improved. Viracon proved me wrong by actually coming back… The fact that previous employees are coming back shows that it is not about starting over with lower wages or lower insurance costs. Viracon wants the “good” employees back to continue the excellent production we had. The St. George plant was more profitable with less rejected glass than the other plants. Welcome back, Viracon!

  • proudtobeamerican September 12, 2014 at 11:53 am

    They will stay open for a min…give their employees a raise and then shut the plant down again.

  • Koolaid September 12, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Great news! Area construction and building is up! You would think the local market would have a high demand for high performance architectural glass to build glass houses, making it easier for your neighbor to watch you or vice versa. Maybe this should be a city code requirement.

  • minnesota boy September 20, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Thinking about relocating to St George. Can you tell me about your area? I currently work for Viracon in owatonna, mn

    • Eric September 23, 2014 at 10:13 pm

      I suggest skimming through numerous articles in the local St George news sites to get a feel for what the local people are talking about or dealing with. Also look at costs of living. Maybe even take a trip/short vacation to check out the area and it’s culture if you’re on the fence to relocate. If you do visit, make sure to look for the type of places you’d expect to find ideal to your lifestyle. For example, Utah has different rules with alcohol and there’s not really any legit bars in St George other than the Elks club. There’s some beer bars or you have to order food anywhere else if you want a drink, out. I moved to St George, UT from MI and it’s not bad. The weather is hard to beat and it’s pretty safe other than traffic incidents left and right. St George is supposedly the 3rd highest ratio of police officers to city population in the nation. As for activities besides movies, bowling, and shopping, there’s lots of good golf courses, state parks all around, art and theater, outdoor fitness/marathons/triathlons, hiking, and mountain biking. It’s also a big retirement and new family area. There’s just lack of places open after 9pm any day of the week and you’re not going to find too many “ma & pa” restaurants, this town loves franchises. Besides, Vegas isn’t far if you need a weekend away and if you can refrain from staying on the strip, it can be inexpensive to visit some bars and try different places to grab some grub. I hope this helps you get some idea.

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