Officials from Owens-Corning joined local and state leaders to announce a $90 million investment with more than 100 new jobs coming to Joplin. As reported in the Joplin Regional Business Journal, President of Owens Corning Insulation Julian Francis said the company became interested in locating in the area based on Jasper County’s status as an ACT Certified Work Ready Community.
“The equipment we can get anywhere, but the equipment doesn’t operate without people,” Francis said. “It’s really the people that make the difference. Location in terms of distribution is important to us, but that becomes irrelevant if we don’t have the skilled workforce that can work in the way we want and produce the products we want to produce.”
Local leaders and Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon echoed Joplin Chamber of Commerce President Rob O’Brian in the acknowledgments of the community and regional partnerships that helped bring Owens Corning to Joplin. The Business Journal’s article noted efforts made by the Missouri Partnership, state career centers, the Workforce Investment Board (WIB), City and County officials, Empire District Electric Co., the Joplin Business and Industrial Development Corporation, and Nixon’s leadership in getting Missouri involved with ACT Work Ready Communities.
The WIB provided extensive research on the labor market dynamics helpful to Owens Corning in the review phase. The workforce team’s efforts over the next several months include cataloging skills and credentialing job candidates in the advanced manufacturing pipeline to be ready for Owens Corning’s opening slated for mid-2016. The WIB will also assist in recruitment of candidates through such features as job fairs, interview space, and the On-the-Job Training (OJT) program. Owens Corning plans to use education resources, such as Crowder College and Franklin Technology Center, as part of the Joplin launch as well.
“This announcement is terrific news for families in the region that will benefit from these new jobs,” Gov. Nixon said. “Owens Corning’s decision is a testament to our strong manufacturing sector, which has seen tremendous growth over the past few years. While some states are losing manufacturers to other countries, we are attracting new companies and selling more Missouri-made products around the globe.”
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.