The daunting New York traffic didn’t deter attendees who traveled to Uniondale, New York, March 20-21, 2024, for the bi-annual Glass Expo Northeast™ ’24. The Long Island Marriott is the show’s host.

New York Carved Glass etches and carves glass for customers throughout the tri-state area and beyond. Pictured: owner Scott Tabankin and Nina Iglesias.

The trip to Long Island was short for some exhibitors, including Bronx-based New York Carved Glass (NYCG). The company etches and carves glass for customers throughout the tri-state area and beyond. Some of its projects can be found in New York’s Waldorf Astoria, Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

According to owner Scott Tabankin, hand-carved glass offers a traditional approach to customization, an art often overshadowed by the ease of digital printing. The process is done completely by hand. Tabankin said a typical project can take up to two days, depending on the glass size, varying from small window lites to 5-foot by 8-foot applications.

Tabankin, who also owns Aggressive Shade Glass and Mirror Company, said he fell into the ownership of NYCG after the company’s previous owner retired and reached out. Since then, business has been up and down, he explained.

“The demand for hand-carved glass is hit or miss,” he said. “It’s specialized. We usually work with hotels, restaurants, churches and synagogues. We also do a lot of restoration work.”

Tabankin said no glass is off-limits. They can pretty much work every type of glass, including quarter-inch glass, laminated and tempered. Glass is tough, Tabankin explained. They don’t have issues with cracked or broken glass due to carving. For those concerned about the interlayer being impacted when working on laminated glass, Tabankin said that doesn’t happen.

Middletown-based Upstate Glass Tempering displayed samples of glass partitions and specialty glass at Glass Expo Northeast™ ’24. Pictured: Chris Schagelin (left) and Jamie Shedlin.

NYCG was not the only New York Company that showcased its wares. Middletown-based Upstate Glass Tempering displayed samples of glass partitions and specialty glass. Upstate Glass is a tempered glass manufacturer that specializes in monolithic glass, tempered glass and custom laminated glass.

Company sales specialist Chris Schagelin said glass partitions and specialty glass are in demand as companies throughout New York push return-to-office policies.

“We work with a lot of wall companies,” said Schagelin. “Demountable wall companies are buying hundreds and thousands of sheets of glass from us. It’s the easiest work and the biggest money.”

Schagelin said most of the company’s customers are in New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, Connecticut and Boston. However, work is slow at the moment, he said, adding that it’s currently slow for most glass companies.

“Hopefully, things will pick up in the next couple of months,” he said.

Save Money on Workers’ Compensation

The trade show wasn’t the only highlight of GENE. The event featured many sessions covering the fortification of buildings with impact-resistant glazing, tips on improving cash flow and ways to save money on workers’ compensation expenses.

According to Sandra Porpora, commercial lines manager and property and casualty licensed broker for Aebly & Associates Insurance Services Inc., workers’ compensation expenses are rising, impacting companies throughout the U.S. Industry experts claim that higher expenses are a result of the increasing costs of medical inflation and inflated accident frequency rates.

Fortunately, organizations are available that are designed to save businesses money and decrease liability, such as the Long Island Glass Association, a GENE co-sponsor. Porpora explained that insurance safety groups are a great way for companies to save money and diminish the hassle of filing claims.

She said that, for example, NYS Insurance Fund (NYSIF) Safety Group 547 offers low-cost (as low as $95 a year, depending on company size) fully insured workers’ compensation insurance. Benefits include safety and control analysis, around-the-clock reporting and cash dividends. Porpora said that dividends over the past 10 years have averaged around 21%.

For a glass or glazing company to be eligible, it must fall under the following class codes:

  • 4101 Glass MFG. NOC
  • 4130 Glass Merchant
  • 4133 Stained Glass Window Mfg.
  • 5102 Door, Door Frame of Sash Erection
  • 5462 Glazier (Away from Shop)

Glass Expo Northeast™ is co-sponsored by the Long Island Glass Association, USGNN™, and USGlass and [DWM] magazines.

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