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Venice, Florida -- A new $15 million glass operations plant broke ground in Venice.

PGT Industries is building a 96,000 square foot facility that will allow PGT to expand its current glass cutting, tempering and laminating processes.

While the facility will initially be used for glass processing, PGT anticipates that the additional space may house manufacturing and other operations determined by future market demand.

"This tells such a great story about our region's economic recovery. Seven years ago, we would have never thought this could happen," said Rod Hershberger, president and CEO of PGT Industries. "We were shutting down plants and suffering through the housing recession. Now we are thrilled to be thriving and growing, creating jobs, exporting product, and bringing more jobs to the state of Florida," he said.

The new plant will be located at the corner of Knight's Trail and Triple Diamond Boulevard, a short distance from the company's main campus in Venice.

Venice Mayor John Holic was present for the groundbreaking ceremony. "The city of Venice is proud to have you here," said Holic. "PGT is a company dedicated to this community with a 99% on time delivery record. They not only know about quality and customer service, they live it. We almost lost you once, and we don't want it to happen again; we are here to help in every way possible," said Holic.

The company has already begun hiring for positions at the new facility and estimates that 50 to 60 new jobs will be created by the time operations begin, not to mention construction jobs during the build out process. "This is a wonderful story about economic development and about a great company who made the choice to grow here," said David Sessions, president and CEO of Willis Smith Construction. "There will be 50-60 people working here every day to build the plant plus an additional 50-60 working off site," he said.

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