Owatonna, Minn.-based Viracon Inc plans to cease operations in St. George, Utah, the smallest of its three U.S. manufacturing locations, in March 2018. The closure follows several years of productivity improvement and new equipment and infrastructure investment at its Owatonna and Statesboro, Ga., facilities.

“Viracon has invested over $100 million in its Minnesota and Georgia facilities over the past five years to improve productivity and introduce new capabilities, the most significant of which is the ability to fabricate glass sizes up to 130 inches by 236 inches,” says Kelly Schuller, president of Viracon. “These investments have also resulted in substantial additions to the capacity of these locations with the expectation of further improvements still to come. As a result, it is possible for us to close our Utah plant to reduce our overall cost structure without impacting customer service or our six- to eight-week lead times.”

Schuller also notes, “The decision to close this location is not at all a reflection on the team or their performance, which has been very strong.  It is a difficult but necessary step to maximize Viracon’s competitive position and realize the full potential benefits for the significant investments that we have made.”

Viracon will discuss relocation opportunities on a case-by-case basis, and work with the Utah Department of Workforce Services to assist its displaced workforce in finding new opportunities as it winds down operations in Utah over the next two to three months. The St. George closure will affect just under 200 of Viracon’s 2,300 employees.