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SCHOTT North America shows off new reconstruction at open house

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DURYEA, LUZERNE COUNTY (WOLF) -- Its been 2 years since a fire caused $50 million worth of damage at the SCHOTT North America glass plant in Duryea, devastating both the company and its employees.

Now, they get to celebrate the plant’s new growth.

Schott invited its employees and their families to the facility to tour the newly-reconstructed sections affected by the fire and give family members a chance to see the glass the company produces.

A bright future that many initially thought was in jeopardy.

“About two years ago there was a lot of concern of what was going to be the future of this site. Was the company going to reinvest after many, many millions of dollars in damage. And what the employees have been able to see over the last couple of years – not only did they all pull together to get the plant back up and running, was to now see all the new investment happening,” Plant Manager Michael Platt said.

James Carroll has worked at SCHOTT for nearly 19 years.

He says he felt unsettled after the fire, but Schott never let him or his fellow employees down.

“I do have to give SCHOTT a lot of credit. Because from the whole time, from the day that it happened, we were in communication with them. And they assured us that we were still going to be here and still continue,” Carroll said.

And he’s proud of how the company is handling things now.

“I am impressed with the direction that we’re heading as far as with the new products that we’re working on, trying to be innovators, trying to expand our product line, and again, we just want to continue to keep SCHOTT growing.”

But the day wasn’t all business.

SCHOTT's plant manager says that this is the first time many employees’ families have the chance to see where their loved ones work and they definitely went all out.

Food, pony rides, and a petting zoo.

Little ones and adults alike got to enjoy the entertainment before and after they toured the plant.

Sean Dinkel has worked at Schott for five years. He’s grateful for the opportunity to show his family where he makes a living.

“For me it’s really important, I’m not from here, I’m from New Mexico. So I moved up here, so they’ve never been in the building. So its really important for me to say hey this is where I work, this is what we do here, it gives them a better understanding of some of those processes, so I’m really excited and I know they are also.”

Platt says that the new investments into the building and equipment totals well over $20 million.

And they are currently hiring with about 14 openings still available.

The plant currently employs about 140 people.

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