Peek into the Future as Dependable Glass Celebrates 40 Years
Dependable Glass Works in Covington, La., is celebrating on the
job today. The glass fabricator is commemorating its 40th anniversary
today and tomorrow with an open house, bringing the community together
to mark the milestone in style.
"We made a decision to celebrate with the community," says Norman
Foxworth, president. "We sent out invitations to the [local] architects,
designers and businesspeople, and we're inviting them to bring any
of their employees that they would like to our shop and we will
give them guided walking tours."
Along the way, the visitors will pass through the company's showroom
and into the facility-through its laminating department, edging
machinery and water jet cutting-learning all the while about the
company's varied products. Projectors will loop images of the company's
glass products, as well as images of how glass is made. Food and
door prizes will add to the festivities.
"Not only do we want it to be entertaining and fun, but we also
want them to leave here with a new perspective on what the glass
business is all about," Foxworth says. "Our whole theme is: 'Peek
into the Future with Dependable Glass.'"
Guests also will be treated to demonstrations of the fabrication
process. In addition to areas roped off for breaking hurricane-
and impact-resistant glass, visitors can view the process for creating
its "iced glass."
"In the first phase of manufacturing it just looks like regular
glass," Foxworth says, "but just before you start doing the edgework
on it … a 'bolt of lightning' shoots through the glass. That seems
to be very exciting for someone who hasn't seen it."
Foxworth attributes the special two-day event to a very special
group. "This is all possible as a lot of our vendors have stepped
up and been a part of helping us put this together," he notes.
There's another group to which Foxworth attributes the company'
s long-term success. "If you were to ask what our biggest asset
is, I'd say it is our employees. We have people who have been with
us 35 years. I would say that 60 percent of our employees have been
with us 10 years or more."
As he notes, the vast majority of employees are local people that
the company trained, making the community connection that much more
important. In addition, he says, "Covington is a small country town
but we've been right downtown for 40 years in the same location."
Certainly the location has stayed the same, but the business has
changed a great deal in 40 years.
"About every 10 years I see there's been a change," Foxworth says.
The company began with a focus on the auto glass industry and the
residential housing market. That eventually moved toward the commercial
market. In the mid-1980s, Foxworth says, the company worked on glass
furniture. The 1990s saw a shift to security glass, and then the
hurricane- and impact-resistant products it offers today.
"Out of that hurricane-resistant business we have developed a tremendous
architectural market where we create specialty colored glass, glass
floors, thick pieces of glass … really on the architectural design
side of the business we spend a lot of energy working with architects
developing new products," Foxworth says. He notes, "I guess one
of the newer products that we feel like has tremendous potential
for us is glass floors."
The industry won't have to wait another 40 years to see changes
from this company. While Dependable currently occupies about 40,000
square feet of space, it is making big plans for the next year.
"I see that we have to modernize," Foxworth says. "The machinery
that we have has served its purpose and served us well, but for
us to move on into the future we have to modernize our machinery
where we can be more efficient in what we're doing.
And to do that we're looking to build a new plant-we hope to do
that in the next year or year and a half."
The company currently is in the process of acquiring property to
make that addition.
But that's for the future. Today and tomorrow is for fun.
"You can tell we're excited about it," Foxworth says.
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