ALIQUIPPA, Pa., May 25 : In a "Jobs That Pay" tour visit to Versatex Building Products, LLC, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf today praised the dedication, enthusiasm, and care that the company puts into its products. "Versatex has shown great leadership in building its manufacturing operations through innovation," Governor Wolf said. "This has allowed them to create new, good-paying jobs and contribute to Pennsylvania's economy. My administration continues to invest in initiatives that help companies like Versatex build their workforce."
According to John Pace, Versatex president and CEO, the governor concluded his plant walk-through by saying that he finally understands why Versatex is such a strong competitor in the building-products arena. "That means a lot, coming from Gov. Wolf," Mr. Pace said. Because of his many years of experience as a former business owner, Gov. Wolf Home Products, Gov. Wolf has long been familiar with the manufacture and distribution of building materials.
Rick Kapres, vice president of sales at Versatex, reported a free-flowing discussion on the factory floor, in which the governor interacted with managers and hourly employees alike. "We talked about the challenges of manufacturing in this state, and the conditions necessary to allow manufacturers to stay open here—and to be profitable. He's aware that Versatex was able to get established in a distressed community like Aliquippa because tax incentives allowed us to acquire the property our plant stands on," Mr. Kapres said.
Mr. Pace noted that the governor showed concern for the challenges of maintaining business momentum in a time of recovery. "He lent a sympathetic ear to our discussion of the need for balanced policies that enable companies - manufacturers, home builders and contractors alike - to keep moving forward without unnecessarily onerous regulations."
"The market we serve, new construction and remodeling, has faced some challenges in the past decade, but through it all we've been able to remain stable, invest in our future, and build a solid relationship with our community," said John Pace.
"We understood that Versatex was the latest stop on the statewide 'Jobs That Pay' tour because it demonstrates how an American manufacturer can succeed in the 21st century. Our company opened in 2004 and has seen significant profit growth ever since," stated Rick Kapres.
Versatex, which employs almost 100 people at its Aliquippa plant and about 125 nationwide, manufactures premium PVC trim, fascia and decorative exterior moldings for home construction throughout the U.S. Since 2008 the plant has occupied the site of a long-gone LTV Steel plant. Versatex last year completed a $1.3 million expansion that was funded partially through enterprise zone tax credits from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development's Neighborhood Assistance Program.
Rick Kapres added, "We serve customers all over the USA, and they keep coming back to us because our people care about quality, service and innovation. That's the mindset that's bringing success back to Pennsylvania's manufacturing sector."