Fiberglass plant's closing will cost 725 jobs

March 4, 2008 2:49:37 PM PST
A fiberglass plant that employs about 725 people and has operated for three decades will close later this year, officials said. The Saint-Gobain Vetrotex America plant, the 11th-largest civilian employer in Wichita Falls, will start phasing out operations in June with a planned closing for the third quarter, plant president Ron Lane said Monday.

Saint-Gobain sold its reinforcement and composites businesses to Owens-Corning late last year, but the Wichita Falls plant was excluded for anti-trust considerations, said Olivier Duval, the company's director of strategy.

Duval said it was "not economically feasible" to keep the 787,000-square-foot plant running as a standalone operation.

"We made the decision reluctantly," Duval said. "We did not have an alternative."

Lane said the plant's employees would get a severance package.

The Wichita Falls plant began production of fiberglass reinforcements in 1977.

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