Two Companies Celebrate Milestone Anniversaries

October 13th, 2022 by Editor

It’s not easy to start a company and even harder to establish one that lasts the tests of time—and economy—so celebrating milestone anniversaries like 50 and 75 years in business is reason to celebrate. A Quanex location and all of Associated Materials are celebrating in 2022.

On Oct. 5, Quanex’s Rice Lake Plant celebrated 50 years of operation.

Jeffery Sieg, Bob Daniels, George Wilson, and Daniel Welch at the 50th anniversary of Quanex’s Rice Lake, Wis., facility.

“We opened the Rice Lake facility in 1972, partly because we wanted to be closer to one of our largest customers as their growth accelerated,” said Jeff Sieg, plant manager. “That proximity helped us better service their needs with quick delivery of our screens, and it positioned us well to have a major manufacturing presence closer to several strategic partners in the Upper Midwest. It was hugely beneficial for our customers’ and our own growth throughout the next several decades.”

Today, Quanex reports that the plant produces anywhere from 18,000-25,000 window and patio door screens every day. It has undergone four major expansions that have brought its manufacturing footprint to 300,000 square feet.

“We know there are options for window screens, but once a company works with us, they come to realize our outstanding quality, service and delivery.” said Sieg.

It’s a commitment that Quanex says its Rice Lake facility has mirrored in how it treats its roughly 400 employees. The facility is home to the longest-tenured employee throughout all of Quanex; eight of the company’s 10 longest-serving employees work at the Rice Lake plant. The plant has more than 50 employees with more than 20 years of service.

Some of the Quanex team at the Rice Lake, Wis., facility, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

The plant is also committed to diversity, equity and inclusion; and the company reports that roughly 60% of the total workforce in Rice Lake are women.

“I attribute that longevity and diversity to something very simple: We take care of our people, first and foremost,” said Sieg. “No one is just another number here. Everyone gets treated with dignity and respect. I think it’s a great example of how manufacturing can be a great career for anyone, no matter who you are.”
The company says it’s those people who have enabled its Rice Lake facility to innovate and lead within a dramatically evolving market.

“For the first few decades of the Rice Lake facility’s operation, screens were fundamentally all the same,” said Daniel Welch, vice president of operations, Quanex. “But sometime around the turn of the century, consumer preferences changed. Homeowners wanted custom colors, new sizes, easier operability. We not only responded to those needs, but helped our customers differentiate with custom configurations.”

“The Rice Lake facility has been a critically important part of our North American Fenestration division,” said Bob Daniels, president, North American Fenestration, Quanex. “Their quality, innovation and customer commitment have helped us truly offer the total package to our customers throughout the continent.”
The Rice Lake team is also very active throughout the local community. Regular community outreach activities include volunteering at local schools; holding blood drives inside the plant with the American Red Cross; and buying Christmas gifts for families in need.

“Our Rice Lake team truly exemplifies Quanex’s mission and values, and our commitment to being A Part of Something Bigger, in every way possible,” said George Wilson, president and CEO, Quanex. “It’s a great honor to recognize their achievements across these 50 years, and we’re looking forward to what they’ll accomplish in the next 50.”

Associated Materials® is also marking a big anniversary this year, celebrating 75 years since the founding of Alside.

Since its inception in 1947, Alside® — now part of Associated Materials —has been committed to innovating, including creating siding and window products such as ASCEND® Composite Cladding and the Mezzo® Full-Frame Window Replacement System with Trimworks®.

James Drexinger

“As Associated Materials marks its 75th year of operation, we have a unique opportunity to reflect on our achievements while making significant investments and renewing key elements of our business and organization to position it for even greater success for years to come,” said James Drexinger, CEO of Associated Materials.

The company says it is using the milestone as momentum to continue its focus on developing innovative products for homes across North America and improving customer experiences. Associated Materials has more than 4,700 employees and operates 128 Alside and Gentek Supply Centers and 11 manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and Canada. In the next few years, the company plans to add new supply centers to its U.S. distribution network and invest in improvements and innovations to build upon the company’s legacy.

“We are proud of what our team has been able to accomplish in the past 75 years and look forward to the next chapter,” said Drexinger.

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