WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Vitro Architectural Glass, Wichita Falls, and Burkburnett are being recognized for an expansion project that's been years in the works.
A lot has changed at the plant since February when ground was broken on a $55 million project for a large jumbo coater, a machine that makes glass for large buildings.
On Thursday, it was recognized as the best economic expansion in Texas for a city with a population of 100,000 to 250,000.
It has city leaders and the company excited for the future.
"Realize that we're being recognized for something nationally," Wichita Falls Mayor, Stephen Santellana said. "To me that's great. That puts our name Wichita Falls out there just one more time."
"This is a real testament to what it's like to do business in Wichita Falls and Burkburnett," Vitro Plant Manager, Bill Haley said. "And it's a testament to why other companies should be coming to this area."
CEO of the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce, Henry Florsheim, said the expansion won, in large part, because of Wichita Falls and Burkburnett partnering up to help bring it to the community. Why is it important to you?
"These are the types of projects that the citizens of Wichita Falls voted to tax themselves for with the 4A tax in the first place," Florsheim said. "To protect and grow jobs and wealth for our economy."
And that is what will happen with new jobs on the way because of the expansion.
Florsheim and Mayor Santellana said the award will open up, even more, possibilities for Wichita Falls to grow its job base.
"There's been so many negative things in the past in regards to Wichita Falls," Mayor Santellana said. "When it comes to manufacturing, something we are really focused on, this is just something else to hang our hat on."
The project is expected to take six to seven months to complete and will bring 50 new jobs to the company.
Haley said Wichita Falls and Burkburnett leadership made the decision easy to bring the project to Wichita Falls.
He said it could have gone to anywhere in North America, including Mexico, but they decided on Wichita falls because of the community and what it has to offer.