Gov. Jay Nixon today joined local leaders and company executives from Ohio-based Owens Corning to announce the company’s plan to open a manufacturing facility in Joplin. The nearly $90 million project is expected to create more than 100 jobs.
Owens Corning, a global manufacturer of insulation, roofing and fiberglass composites, employs 15,000 people in 26 countries and posted net sales of $5.3 billion in 2014. The company has many facilities in the U.S. The new Joplin facility will manufacture Thermafiber® mineral wool insulation for commercial, residential and industrial applications. Thermafiber is a mineral wool that resists fire and temperatures exceeding 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and provides sound control and energy efficiency in commercial, residential, and industrial applications. The Joplin facility will support the company’s growth opportunities in the North American construction markets.
Owens Corning will move into a 303,000 square-foot facility and invest nearly $90 million to purchase and install equipment at the site. The company expects the facility to be fully operational in 2016. In 2014, the majority of the company’s insulation revenue was derived from customers in Canada and the U.S. for new residential construction, residential repair and remodeling, and commercial and industrial buildings.
Over the years, construction in Missouri has been rebounding. Since reaching a low point in 2011, the industry has gained 11,600 jobs, an 11.5 percent increase. Construction employment for May 2015 stood at 112,900. Building permits have also steadily increased since 2011 with 45 percent more housing units authorized in 2014.
Owens Corning adds to Missouri’s growing manufacturing sector, which saw the largest annual increase since 1995 by adding 9,900 jobs in 2014. The Owens Corning project is also the fourth Joplin expansion announced by Gov. Nixon in recent months. In March, EaglePicher, a leading producer of batteries and energy devices, announced its plans to build a new 100,000 square-foot facility and create 171 new jobs. In February, longstanding Missouri-company Leggett & Platt signed a lease on a 42,000 square-foot building, home of its first facility in Joplin that is expected to create 25 new jobs. Cook Portable Warehouses in January announced its decision to open its first Missouri manufacturing plant in Joplin and create 80 new jobs in the area.
To assist Owens Corning with its expansion, DED has offered a strategic economic incentive package that the company can receive if it meets strict job creation and investment criteria. The City of Joplin, the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, Carl Junction School District, Jasper County, and the Missouri Partnership also are assisting with the company’s expansion.