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Custom Glass Solutions opens new facility in Fostoria

FOSTORIA — A new manufacturing facility has opened in Fostoria this month.

The new facility at 130 W. Jones Road is the third in the state of Ohio for Custom Glass Solutions, a leading glass fabricator focused on transportation applications, according to a release. CGS has been fabricating windshields in Ohio since 1974 and was recently acquired by Stellex Capital Management, a private equity firm that invests in middle-market companies in North America and Europe, it states.

The release states that Fostoria resident Alex Grine transferred from CGS’s Upper Sandusky plant to be the facility manager of the new facility.

Grine said CGS decided on Fostoria after looking at multiple locations. Its biggest factory is in Upper Sandusky, so when CGS was searching for a place to expand, it was looking for something within reasonable distance, he said. Grine said many of their facilities transfer product with each other, and there is the transportation cost of shipping back and forth, so the goal was to find a place within 50 to 60 miles of Upper Sandusky.

Grine said since he is from Fostoria, though it is not the reason CGS ended up there, he knew the city had been hit hard economically and knew there would be a workforce eager to work for a local company. He also said they were hoping to maybe attract people who had moved away to come back to town.

In a release, Neale Yeomans, Chief Executive Officer at CGS stated, “We are confident we found the right facility in the right location and are looking forward to becoming part of the Fostoria community.”

Grine said he thought they had a lot to offer with their company environment and worker package.

“Between the geographic area location and the folks we could get to come here, we thought it was the right fit and I think that has proven to come true,” he said.

Grine said the company started with using about 50,000 square foot of the building and March 5 was the official start date. A release states the entire facility is about 136,000 square foot and Grine said it will all be utilized when it is completely up and running.

He said CGS specializes in large format windows and they do a lot of work with the RV industry, school busses and fire trucks. They also run a glass replacement industry for Caterpillar.

“That type of industry is kind of our niche,” Grine said.

He said for the Fostoria facility in particular, half of the plant will be distribution where they will buy a product from another company or their own and then distribute it to RV Dealers and other businesses for after-market replacement. Grine said they ship pieces individually to wherever they’re needed.

“This is the portion that is up and running now,” he said.

They are operating with 20 people with a plan to go up to 25 to 30 in this area, Grine said.

He said the other aspect of the facility is lamination. Grine said at Fostoria, they will specialize in flat lamination, which is a lot of side glass or window glass for “school bus windows, heavy machinery, and things like that.” They plan to ramp up their manufacturing production in May, he said.

“That’s the part we will start hiring for an additional 50 people or so in mid- to late-May, with the intention of getting folks trained up so we can get that up and running,” Grine said.

He said by late May, they hope to have a combined number of hourly labor force and office workers of around 90 total associates.

“As we continue to grow our business it’s important that we be a good neighbor,” Yeomans stated in a release. “In addition to providing manufacturing jobs for the people of Fostoria and surrounding communities, we will be actively involved in the community helping push positive initiatives.”

Grine said with a startup there’s going to be some issues, but he said they have “a really great workforce” that has “been successful” so far.

“We definitely have a great talent pool here in Fostoria, and I’ve been impressed and happy with the work ethic and attitude of the associates we’ve hired so far,” Grine said. “We think we’ve chosen the right community and we’re happy to be here.”

CGS has been fabricating windshields in Ohio since 1974 and was recently acquired by Stellex Capital Management, a private equity firm that invests in middle-market companies in North America and Europe, a release states.

A release states CGS plans to operate two shifts at its Fostoria facility. If anybody is interested in applying for jobs at CGS, they should text “Glass” to (614) 452-5472.

For more information about the company, visit its website at https://www.customglasssolutions.com.

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