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Guardian booming, looking for workers

December 1st, 2013

News Coverage:

Guardian booming, looking for workers

Ligonier factory produces ‘smart’ windshields

Posted: Sunday, December 1, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 1:03 am, Sun Dec 1, 2013.

By Bob Buttgen
bbuttgen@kpcmedia.com

LIGONIER — They can’t build autos, trucks and sport-utililty vehicles without using windshields, and no one knows that better than the 460 employees at the Guardian Industries factory just west of Ligonier on U.S. 6.

Guardian is believed to be Ligonier’s second-largest employer. The sprawling plant produces tens of thousands of pieces of custom glass each year for a variety of manufacturers, including General Motors, BMW and Volkswagen.

Business is so good these days that the company, which has been in Ligonier for nearly 20 years, is in need of bodies to fill job openings, according to Kathy Davis, human relations manager for the Ligonier factory.

“We currently employ roughly 360 full-time employees, five part-time employees and more than 100 temporary employees, many of whom will be offered full-time employment at the end of their contracts,” said Davis.

“We currently have around 60 full-time production and maintenance positions available,” she added.

The company is looking for skilled workers with experience in manufacturing maintenance and automation technology.

“While on-the-job experience is preferred, it is not required, as we provide a week-long orientation process and are developing a comprehensive training program for all new hires,” she said.

Guardian runs four 12-hour shifts at its Ligonier facility and has openings on all shifts.

Those workers stay busy making not just windshields, but side windows and other pieces of specialized glass for their customers. Products made in Ligonier are shipped across the world to fill orders.

New changes in technology helped increase the demand for Guardian’s products. Windshields produced in Ligonier are much more sophisticated than they were just a couple of decades ago.

These new “smart” windshields can sense rain and light and automatically turn on and adjust wipers and headlights, allowing the driver to keep eyes where they belong — on the road.

Another new feature — solar management — focuses on handling the sun’s rays that beat down on a windshield.

Guardian has developed silver guard infrared reflective solar control glass that reflects the sun’s heat while also adding tinting to the window. This allows for a cooler car or SUV, better fuel economy and lower emissions, according to Guardian officials.

Last year the company expanded its physical presence in Ligonier, building a 30,000-square-foot addition on its west side. The addition helped the company secure new customers.

Davis said anyone interested in applying for job has several options. Interested applicants can apply online at ligonierjobs.guardian.com or can fill out a hard-copy application in the lobby of the Ligonier factory. People can also apply through local temporary agencies.