Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that Valmiera Glass, a Latvia-based manufacturer of fiberglass products, will locate to Dublin, creating 150 jobs and investing $20 million within five years into its first U.S.-based headquarters and manufacturing facility.
"It is no surprise that Valmiera Glass would select Georgia for its first U.S. headquarters," said Deal. "This project represents the first substantial investment from the former Soviet Union, which underscores the fact that Georgia's thriving automotive and aerospace industries are gaining attention in the international marketplace. Valmiera Glass will set the stage for other companies in that region to locate to Georgia."
Valmiera Glass will locate on 40 acres in an industrial park on I-16 in Dublin. The approximately 80,000-square-foot facility will manufacture fiberglass products for the North American market, heavily utilizing the Port of Savannah. Because its manufacturing process is highly automated, the newly created jobs will be well paid and will require well-trained candidates. Valmiera Glass will also take advantage of QuickStart, Georgia's top-ranked workforce training program.
"The new manufacturing facility in the United States is a customer-oriented business development step," said Andre Heinz Schwiontek, board member and vice president of Valmiera Glass Group Joint-Stock company Valmieras stikla ķiedra. "Valmiera Glass Group sales increase in North America every year with 14 percent of the total turnover of the company exported directly to the United States and Canada. Now we will have the ability to efficiently reach our current customers and grow our customer base. This manufacturing facility will provide new opportunities and strengthen Valmiera Glass Group's position in the global marketplace."
As a global partner to industries such as aerospace, oil and gas, automotive and others, Valmiera Glass offers a range of products including fiber production, processing and the coating of textile fiberglass structures.
Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Project Manager Nico Wijnberg assisted the company on behalf of Georgia, along with GDEcD European Office Managing Director Antje Abshoff and Lonnie Smallwood, project manager at Electric Cities of Georgia (ECG).
"The Dublin-Laurens County Development Authority is extremely happy to have Valmiera Glass join our community," said Scott Beasley, chairman of the Dublin-Laurens County Development Authority. "They are very strong financially and will be manufacturing products that will be used in the automotive industry. We appreciate their investment into Laurens County and the jobs that will follow."
"A highly educated workforce is critical for high-tech companies such as Valmiera Glass," said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. "Without question, Georgia's advanced labor pool, combined with an interconnected transportation infrastructure and one of the fastest growing container ports in North America, the Port of Savannah, will provide the support that Valmiera Glass needs in order to better reach the North American market."
About Valmiera Glass
As a major international producer of glass fiber fabrics for many technical applications, Valmiera Glass Group operates a quality control system that fulfills strict international requirements for a variety of industrial markets including composites, thermal and technical insulation and construction industries. Valmiera Glass Group products benefit from innovative production and application technology, plus the most up-to-date manufacturing facilities.
Valmiera Glass Group consists of two companies, Valmiera Glass UK Ltd, located in the United Kingdom and Joint-Stock company Valmieras stikla ķiedra located in the city of Valmiera in Latvia. JSC Valmieras stikla ķiedra and the city of Valmiera are the origins of the company's brand name and the location of the group's head office.