McCrory cuts ribbon at Elkin plant opening

By Anthony Gonzalez

May 10, 2014

Gov. Pat McCrory attended a ribbon cutting ceremony at Pittsburgh Glass Works on Friday.

The Elkin plant is located at 300 PGW Drive. The 400,000 square-foot facility, which was formally a candle factory, was redeveloped by the firm, an international auto glass manufacturer. The company has hired more than 100 full-time employees in the Elkin plant and is expected to grow to approximately 300 once the plant operates at full capacity, according to PGW management. The plant produces auto glass for Honda, Ford, and other automakers.

On Friday, the governor was greeted by Jim Wiggins, company CEO; COO Joe Stas; Eddie Harris, chairman of the Surry County commissioners; Elkin Mayor Lestine Hutchens;, and Dan Dufresne, Elkin plant manager.

After a private plant tour, McCrory was introduced to more than 100 area dignitaries and staff at the faclility. In his speech, McCrory said, “We have to continue to be a state that makes things, that builds things, that produces things, and that grows things. That’s what made North Carolina and our country great. We can never give up on manufacturing and agriculture…It’s leading the state on helping get us out of a recession.”

“The Carolina comeback continues, and Surry County and Elkin are leading the way,” continued McCrory. “By having this great company choose Elkin and Surry County, it’s a compliment to the talent that’s available here.”

According to McCrory, driving an automobile will never be the same for him after visiting Elkin.

“On the window of some great automobiles is an inserted code that really means M=made in Elkin, North Carolina,” said McCrory. “From now on I’ll never be able to look at glass the same way. When I look at a Honda Pilot on the road anywhere in the world, I see Surry County.”

Wiggins said, “We are just getting going with a $90 million investment, plus what the state, town, and county have helped us with. We visited 34 sites in several states,” before choosing Elkin, he said.

Wiggins said in 2010, he was seeking a location that had human resources, a strong work ethic and values, talent, ability, a state that was pro-business, and a right-to-work state.

“We wanted a facility that allows us to grow…We have an ability to build on land adjoining this property. Our plans are to double,” said Wiggins. “We made our decision.”

Wiggins turned to Hutchens and said, “We thank you. We have been made to feel so much at home here.”

Upon conclusion of the presentation, invited dignitaries were provided lunch and allowed to tour the plant. Photographs were prohibited by the firm except in designated areas.

Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 336-835-1513 or follow on Twitter @newsgonz