FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 20, 2004

Ellen Qualls
www.governor.state.va.us
(804) 786-2211, x2379


Gayle Joseph
Guardian Industries Corp.
(248) 340-2109
Jill Vaughan
VEDP
(804) 371-0049
GALAX MANUFACTURER TO EXPAND
-Governor Warner announces Guardian Industries to create 54 new jobs in Southwest Virginia-


RICHMOND - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced that Guardian Industries Corp., a manufacturer of glass products, will expand its operations in the City of Galax. Through a $2.5-million investment in building improvements and equipment, the company will add an additional product line called laminated glass which is mainly used in window applications for safety, sound control, and ultraviolet protection products. Guardian’s expansion will create 54 new jobs over the next 30 months. Virginia successfully competed with Florida, South Carolina and other Guardian locations worldwide for the project.

“This expansion ensures the future of Guardian Industries in the City of Galax,” said Governor Warner. “The company’s decision to expand in Virginia over numerous other locations is a testament to the strong relationship between the Commonwealth and its existing industries. The company knew they had a great workforce and pro-business climate, but we worked hard to keep Guardian in Galax, and it will remain a key to the region’s economic vitality.”

Guardian Industries Corp., based in Auburn Hills, Michigan, is a leading worldwide manufacturer of float glass and fabricated glass products for the commercial and residential construction industries. Guardian Automotive provides complete exterior systems to the global automotive industry and is a Tier 1, top-100 global automotive supplier. Guardian’s Building Products Group includes one of the largest manufacturers of fiberglass in the world and occupies a significant and growing position in the building materials distribution business.

In 1980, Consolidated Glass and Mirror began operations in the City of Galax. Guardian Industries Corp. acquired Consolidated Glass in 1992. The Galax facility currently has 343 full-time employees and 10 part-time employees.

“Guardian is pleased to expand our operations in Galax and to be a contributor to the economic growth in this region,” said Russell Ebeid, president of Guardian’s glass group. “Officials in Virginia have worked hard for this expansion and welcomed us warmly. We look forward to continued success here.”

Governor Warner approved a $75,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to support the City of Galax with this project. The city also obtained $75,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Virginia’s aCorridor and the City of Galax assisted Guardian with its decision. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services.

“Guardian-Consolidated represents a start-up industry here in Galax and during its 23 years of operation has provided our citizens with challenging, as well as prosperous employment opportunities,” said City of Galax Mayor C. M. Mitchell. “The current expansion will diversify operations at the Galax location and, thus, facilitate a bright future for both company and community. It is particularly pleasing during these tough economic times to realize investment and job growth from one of our existing industries.”

VIRGINIA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP

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