Valmiera Glass Group, a Latvian-based fiberglass manufacturer, will expand its U.S.-based headquarters operation in Dublin, GA. The project will create 425 jobs and generate an overall investment of $90 million through 2022.
“The expansion of Valmiera Glass Group is a strategic step that will provide customers with a broader range of products and shorter delivery times while creating jobs in Middle Georgia,” said Gov. Nathan Deal. “It further affirms that our thriving automotive and aerospace industries are gaining attention in the international marketplace. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Valmiera as it sets the stage for other companies in that region to locate to Georgia.”
Valmiera Glass Group is a global partner to industry sectors such as aerospace, oil and gas, automotive and a variety of others. The manufacturer offers a range of industry services including the production, processing and coating of textile fiberglass structures.
“The glass fiber industry and its related markets have developed increasingly fast over the last few years,” said Andre Schwiontek, head of Valmiera Glass Group and president of Valmiera Glass USA Corp. “Demand for glass fiber products has increased, while the company’s productive capacity hardly outlasts the required amounts. The expansion in the U.S. is a solution to this problem.”
In July of 2014, Valmiera Glass Group first announced a plan to hire 150 employees and invest $20 million into its first U.S.-based headquarters and manufacturing facility. The second phase of Valmiera Glass’ original growth plan has been accelerated by three years and represents the additional 425 jobs and $90 million investment. As a result of the expansion, Valmiera Glass Group will become the largest private sector employer in Laurens County.
“Valmiera’s Phase II expansion is one of the largest and most exciting economic development wins in the history of Dublin-Laurens County,” said Dr. Fred Williams, Chairman of Dublin-Laurens County Development Authority. “Over 400 families will be positively impacted by this decision, and we are so thankful to the company and all of our local, state, and federal partners for helping us secure these new jobs. This announcement is a wonderful way to kick start 2016 and a great example of the fruit that comes from a commitment to support aggressive economic development in Middle Georgia.”
The new jobs will involve advanced operations and will require highly-skilled technical candidates. To ensure their workforce needs are met, the Oconee Fall Line Technical College will collaborate with Valmiera Glass Group to house a training center for future employees. The board of directors at the Heart of Georgia College and Career Academy, located on the technical colleges’ campus, will provide a customized training space for the ongoing needs of the company. In turn, the company will make a significant investment in the facility which will be used year round for advanced manufacturing training.
Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Director of International Investment Nico Wijnberg and Assistant Director of Entrepreneur & Small Business Development and Project Manager Ryan Waldrep assisted the company on behalf of Georgia in partnership with Electric Cities of Georgia and the Dublin-Laurens County Development Authority.
“This is the type of collaborative effort that makes Georgia the No. 1 state for business,” said Commissioner Chris Carr. “We look forward to continuing our support for Valmiera Glass Group as they deepen their economic footprint in Dublin-Laurens County.”