The Polish company, DA Glass, has been in business in Europe since 1989 but has most recently made the move to the Keweenaw.
DA Glass America President and CEO, Steve Williams, said the company will be ready to open its doors for business by the end of the year at its Copper Country location by the Houghton County Airport.
??We want to see this company continue to grow and be a part of the Copper Country,?? said Williams. ??We want to be a part of the community. We want to be able to contribute to the community. But by the same token, we also want to be a profitable, long-term investor in the Keweenaw.??
Williams said a common misconception is that the company makes glass, when in fact, the raw glass is processed with a classified concoction of chemicals for things like greenhouses and solar panels.
The company plans to hire at least 30 employees by January and hopes to have over 100 employees in the next three years, accounting for an estimated payroll investment of about $7 million per year.
??Already this year, there??s been several million dollars spent with local contractors, with local suppliers,?? he added. ??Virtually, everything that??s been done to bring this facility up to date was done by local people.??
The cost of settling in the Keweenaw was less than 25 percent of the cost of other places in consideration, though a majority of the company??s customers are in the Southwest where there is a vibrant greenhouse industry.
??We also were very pleased with the work ethic of the population up here,?? Williams said. ??The overall quality of life was impressive.??
Williams said the company plans to keep expanding and has already made plans to construct another building in the coming year, meaning even more jobs.
??So, we keep seeing the expansion, and that could bring us as high as two or three hundred, perhaps as high as 500 in five or six years,?? he said.