New industry promises job growth
By LPR Staff
Leading the way in what City officials hope will be a development boom for the western portions of Lockhart, Dallas-based Fashion Glass and Mirror hosted an official groundbreaking at their construction location near the corner of SH130 and Highway 142 on Friday morning.
Months of negotiation and p
lanning came to fruition as Fashion Glass and Mirror (FGM) poured the slab for their 25,000 square foot facility, focusing on the use of local contractors and local development resources to bring more than 70 jobs to Lockhart by the time they open the doors on the new facility.
“When it came time to build a Central Texas location, Lockhart was ideal because of its infrastructure’s access to our other facilities,” said FGM president Larry Jaynes at Friday’s ceremony. “SH 130 provides us swift, direct routes that will allow us to continue to grow and be Texas’ leading provider of glass and mirrors.”
Currently the state’s leader in glass and mirror products, FGM supplies construction materials, including mirrors, shower doors and decorative glass products, to most of the state’s high-volume homebuilders, as well as to custom homebuilders throughout the region.
“If you’re in a new home and you see the shower doors and the mirrors, it’s likely that we produced them,” said Mike Poe, the Executive Vice President of FGM. “ As our business is growing as the housing market improves, we were hoping originally to have around 50 jobs at this facility, but now it looks like we will open our doors with 77 new jobs, or more.”
After starting production in 1973 with three employees, FGM has grown throughout the state, and hopes to top 350 employees with the completion of the Central Texas facility.
Somewhat unique to the Central Texas project, FGM leadership chose, as construction began, to work exclusively with local contractors wherever possible, something that local construction companies have taken great pride in.
“Normally, when facilities like this come in, it’s hard for [local contractors] to even get the chance to bid,” said Brian Alvey of A&S Construction, who has done the concrete work on the massive facility. “Most of the time, the guys out of Austin get on these projects, but it was important to Fashion Glass to give locals the chance to get the work. “
In addition to A&S Construction, Countywide Builders has signed on to manage the project, and is likely to pass yet more of the work on to local contractors, as Jim Smith is historically known for his dedication to keeping jobs local.
Alvey also noted the City of Lockhart’s development services department has been instrumental in smoothing the way for the project, ensuring that permits are available and inspections are performed on a short time table, to allow the project to move forward at a nearly unprecedented rate.
According to their website, FGM plans to open the Central Texas facility in early 2015.