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CertainTeed employees to celebrate the company's 100-year anniversary

May 12, 2004|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

WILLIAMSPORT - In just over a month, the employees and staff at the CertainTeed plant will join approximately 7,000 colleagues nationwide in celebrating the 100th anniversary of the parent corporation.

"The plans are to have an open house and picnic on site here in Williamsport for our 377 employees and their families on June 13," said Teresa Gregory, purchasing agent.

Gregory, along with Judi Waters, the plant administrator, and Sally Rice, payroll representative, are working on plans for the event.

There will be some vendors on hand that day to add to the festive atmosphere, Gregory said.

In Washington County since 1971, CertainTeed operates a production facility at 10131 Governor Lane Blvd., in Williamsport for the manufacture of vinyl siding, accessories and window trim.

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Corporate executives are expected to be on hand for the festivities in Williamsport, even though the 40-plus CertainTeed plants in the United States are probably all having some kind of celebration on reaching the century mark, Gregory said.

Waters, who has been with the company since 1996, said there are many employees at the local plant who have worked there 25 years or more. That, she said, speaks to the good working environment at the plant.

"We don't have a lot of turnover here," Gregory added.

CertainTeed's focus on innovation has allowed the company to weather a multitude of political and economic climates to become one of the nation's largest manufacturers of roofing, siding, windows, insulation, fencing, decking, railing, foundations and PVC pipe products.

Founded by George Brown in 1904, CertainTeed got its start in East St. Louis, Ill., as the General Roofing Manufacturing Co. A decade later, the company slogan "Quality Made Certain, Satisfaction Guaranteed" became the inspiration for the CertainTeed name.

In a press release marking the 100th anniversary, Jean-Franois Phelizon, president and chief executive officer for CertainTeed, said the company's history is testament to an understanding of the building industry, smart business decisions and employee dedication.

At the Williamsport plant's open house on June 13, visitors will be able to view a large porcelain sign harkening to the corporation's early days.

"One of our employees, Scott Cushwa, is an antiques collector who spotted the sign on the Internet about 10 years ago," Gregory said.

Cushwa relayed the information about the opportunity to get the sign to company officials. He bid on the sign and got it for $525, Gregory said.

Employees raised money to pay for the sign, with corporate officials agreeing to make up any difference if necessary.

Measuring 4 feet wide and about 21/2 feet high, the bright yellow sign had been in Georgia. It will be displayed in the main lobby at the local plant in time for the centennial celebration, Gregory said.

CertainTeed's headquarters is in Valley Forge, Pa. The company has approximately 7,000 employees and more than 40 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States. It had sales of approximately $2.3 billion in 2003.

To learn more about building products and CertainTeed, go to www.certainteed.com on the Web.

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