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Andersen Corp. creating 40 new jobs with window factory expansion

ST. PAUL—Boosted by strong sales and customer demand, Andersen Corp. officials on Thursday morning, May 24, broke ground on a $40 million window extrusion factory on the northern end of their Bayport campus.

Forty new full-time production jobs are being created as a result of the expansion, said Andersen CEO Jay Lund.

"This is a big day for Andersen, but it's also a big day for Bayport," Lund told spectators and officials who gathered for the ceremony.

The new factory, which will open in 2019, will make Andersen's extruded Fibrex composite window materials used in the company's 100 Series. The factory is being created by adding 60,000 square feet to an existing warehouse.

"This brings the supply chain in closer alignment with our assembling operations, which will improve the efficiencies of everything we do here in Bayport," Lund said. "One of the reasons we selected Bayport is we'll be able to draw on the expertise and experience of the thousands of employees that we have working just to the south of here. Lots of those employees will help us get running."

Creating an extrusion factory in Bayport will free up capacity at the company's factory in North Branch, Minn., Lund said. "That will allow us to repurpose (the North Branch) capacity to support Renewal by Andersen, which is one of the other real growth engines for our company and has been an exciting investment for us," he said.

Fibrex is a blend of wood fiber, mostly reclaimed from Andersen's manufacturing processes, and thermoplastic polymer, some of which is also reclaimed. "We're recapturing that material and using it in a productive way," Lund said.

The expansion plans include a number of environmental initiatives, including native plantings and an infiltration basin for stormwater management, said Chris Galvin, senior vice president of manufacturing and logistics. A metal Quonset hut, built during World War II, is being removed as part of the project.

In addition, company officials on Thursday presented a $10,000 check to the St. Croix River Association.

The donation marks the first large gift to the association's new St. Croix Watershed Protection Fund, which is intended to address emergency needs, said Deb Ryun, the association's executive director.

"For instance, if Asian carp were to come up, and we needed to do remedial action very quickly, or if a piece of land needs to be protected immediately," she said. "We're working toward a $1 million fund to address those sorts of things."