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Siding company to move distribution center to W.Va.

February 17, 2005|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Variform, a company that produces vinyl siding, plans to move its Williamsport distribution center to the old Corning/World Kitchen plant in Martinsburg, a few miles from its existing production plant, a Variform official said.

A press release issued Wednesday from Gov. Joe Manchin's office said 50 jobs will be created as a result of the expansion.

Jeff Kratzer, manager of Variform's existing Martinsburg plant, declined to say whether the jobs held by Williamsport workers will be moved, or whether the expansion involves creating new jobs. He referred questions to a company spokesman in Missouri, who did not return a message.

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The 122,000-square-foot expansion will provide additional warehouse space for Variform's vinyl siding operation, as well as a distribution center for Napco brand retail and wholesale siding and accessories, the release from Manchin's office said.

Variform employs about 250 people at its plant on W.Va. 9, east of Martinsburg. That plant will remain in operation, Kratzer said.

Variform first opened a plant in Berkeley County in 1987 and purchased its existing W.Va. 9 plant 10 years later.

According to its Web site, Variform also operates plants in Jasper, Tenn., and Kearney, Mo.

"This announcement is evidence that West Virginia is building the right climate for businesses to expand," Manchin said in the release.

"The strength of the state's existing companies is critical as we continue to develop the quality of our workforce and enhance our business infrastructure," Manchin said.

Variform is the second company to lease space in the former Corning plant on U.S. 11, south of Martinsburg.

"This adds another fine activity in the former World Kitchen building and we are so grateful for Variform's added confidence in Berkeley County and West Virginia," Bob Crawford, executive director of the Berkeley County Development Authority, said in the release. "Variform has been a good corporate citizen and we welcome this new activity."

Variform Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ply Gem Industries Inc., based in Kearney, Mo.

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