What’s News March/April 2022

March 8th, 2022 by Nathan Hobbs

Leading News

Door and Window Companies Make Strong Showing as Employers—and Investments

At a time when workers are scarce and companies strive to distinguish themselves as premier landing spots for long-term employment and investment opportunities, several door and window companies achieved high marks in recent weeks. Andersen Corp. was designated one of the “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality,” having earned a score of 100% on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2022 Corporate Equality Index (CEI). Meanwhile, PGT Innovations was named to Forbes’ most recent list of Best Small-Cap Companies, and Window World showed its continued strength as a franchise option by remaining on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list for the third year in a row.

As an annual rating system, CEI is a national benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and queer (LGBTQ) employees. This is Andersen’s second year participating in the rating program and the first year the company earned a score of 100%, making it one of over 840 major U.S. businesses with the designation. “We are committed to fostering a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace to ensure every employee feels respected, valued and able to live their truth openly,” said Tracey Gibson, vice president and chief diversity officer. “In 2021, for the first time, we joined the annual Human Rights Campaign foundation rating.” Starting January 2022, Andersen expanded benefits eligibility to same- and different-gender domestic partners and their children. In March, Andersen was also named a Forbes Best Large Employer for 2022, a ranking the company has been awarded consecutively since 2019.

Meanwhile, despite challenging circumstances for door and window companies over the past couple of years, Window World and PGT Innovations managed to grab the attention of two leading business and financial publications.

Window World landed at 385 on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list. To qualify, franchisors must actively seek new franchisees in the U.S. or Canada and have a minimum of 10 units open and operating as of July 31, with at least one located in North America. The North Wilkesboro, N.C.-based company expanded by 10 locations over the past three years, now consisting of more than 200 operations. The list is compiled using five factors: costs and fees, size and growth, support, brand strength, and financial strength and stability.

Two years in a row now, PGT Innovations was named to Forbes’ list of Best Small-Cap Companies, this year landing at 79th, rising eight spots from last year. Forbes used data from FactSet to screen more than 1,000 companies with a market value between $300 million and $2 billion, finding 509 companies that had positive sales growth over the past year and a share price of at least $5. The top 100 ranking was based on earnings growth, sales growth, return on equity, and total stock return for the latest 12 months available and over the last five years.

Expansions

Jeld-Wen Opens VPI Windows Plant

Jeld-Wen held a grand opening for its new VPI Quality Windows manufacturing plant in January, at the same time adding a second shift. Officials say the move came ahead of schedule, creating approximately 20 new jobs. The company had announced in quarter two of last year that it would invest $8 million in Statesville, N.C., to establish the new production facility, with an annual payroll impact of more than $12.1 million. The facility will add another 235 new jobs over the next five years.

The company’s expansion was facilitated in part by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) of up to $2.2 million over 12 years.

Marvin Expanding Operations in Fargo

Marvin will expand its operations in Fargo, N.D., with the addition of two new facilities, including 127,000 square feet for manufacturing and another 148,000-square-foot distribution center.

The company currently operates six facilities with more than 1,700 employees in Fargo and West Fargo. The new facilities will bring approximately 150 new jobs for Fargo-area residents.

Steves and Sons to Open NewDoor Assembly Plant

Steves and Sons Inc. announced it will expand its door manufacturing operations with a new location in Utah, adding more than 200 jobs over the next five years.

“Brigham City was selected due to the availability of a quality workforce and its geographic location to better service our customers,” said Tres Steves, the company’s vice president.

The door manufacturer operates multiple interior and exterior door manufacturing plants in four other states.

M&A

Great Day Improvements Acquires Champion Windows

In a quick succession of acquisitions, in January Great Day Improvements (GDI) added Champion Windows to its ranks. Just a month earlier, the company acquired Universal Windows Direct. Champion Windows is a direct-to-consumer company headquartered in Sharonville, Ohio.

“So much has happened in the last two months and we are thrilled that both Champion Windows and Universal Windows Direct could be added to our company,” said Michael Hoy, GDI’s CEO.

Officials said the acquisitions represent a coordinated effort to transform its business.

“We believe the moves we’ve made in the last few months will enable us to create a home improvement company with the scale and scope to successfully serve the direct-to-consumer business model on a national basis,” said Ed Weinfurtner, executive chairperson. “We’ve taken a giant step forward on this vision by joining forces with Champion and Universal and declaring our intentions to invest in building our business.”

Cook & Boardman Acquires National Millwork

The Cook & Boardman Group LLC (C&B), a distributor of commercial door entry solutions and security integration services, has acquired Riviera Beach, Fla.-based National Millwork Inc. (NMI). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

National Millwork was founded in 1998 by Otto Nonnenmann and Michael Bosco.

In 2015, NMI acquired Elite Door & Trim in Denton, Texas, which is included in the transaction. The company will continue to operate under the National Millwork name.

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