Built in the Blue Ridge: Ply Gem Windows

By Patrick McKee - Anchor
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Built in the Blue Ridge

ROCKY MOUNT (WSLS 10) - Franklin County's largest employer brings a view of the outside world into our homes.

Many homes on the east coast have windows made in Rocky Mount.

For over 75 years, Ply Gem Windows keeps the cold out of our homes and the heat in.

“These are insulated glass units.  You have two panes of glass on each side.  You have a spacer system and it does a variety of different things.  It holds the heat in, the cold out and the UV rays, it keeps them from penetrating to the interior of the house,” says Ply Gem Windows President Art Steinhafel.

As the housing market in America continues to expand, so does the company.

“We're continuing to expand this operation,” says Steinhafel.  “It's in a key growth area for us.  It gives us access to the northeast and the southeast for distribution of our products.”

The process of making the windows takes less than a week.  Then they bring them to the warehouse and ship them out.  They will fill up 34 tractor trailers every day with windows to ship to customers.

Products made in a huge one million square foot facility by more than 1,200 employees in a family atmosphere.

“It's fantastic.  The camaraderie of the employees is just fantastic,” says 11 year employee Brute Bernard.  “They take care of the people that work here.”

Company leaders take care of associates by developing their talents, allowing them to take on greater responsibilities.

“I started off on the floor, then I became a coordinator, then shortly I became a lead after that,” says employee Coretta Williams.

It's not just the employees it takes care of.

The company also works to make the community it calls home a better place.

“The community has given to us.  We view it as part of our stewardship to give back,” says Steinhafel.  “We do a bunch of things with habitat for humanity.  We have a new Home for Good program which we're partnering with Allan Jackson and Habitat.  We'll supply product to build over 300 homes over the next two years.”

Ply Gem has partnered with WSLS 10 over the past two years to build homes in our Home for the Holidays project.

Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved