Polyguard President Shawn Eastham and Director of Marketing Tre Bischof, invited the Corsicana Daily Sun inside its Corsicana plant recently for an exclusive update on the companies’ progress.
While Eastham admits plans have been hindered because of the rain, much work has been done inside and outside the building and the warehouse area is already in use.
Last year Polyguard Products, Inc. out of Ennis purchased the 380,000 square foot former Chattanooga glass plant on Highway 287 in Corsicana with plans to expand its manufacturing capacity.
The expansion is expected to bring a $10 million investment to the community and create an additional 80 jobs over the next few years.
Polyguard specializes in products which protect surfaces and structures from moisture, water, or other undesired substances. The company exports to over 30 countries and its products have been used in projects as big as Disney World, The Texas Rangers’ Globe Life Park in Arlington and the Perot Museum.
It plans to increase its production capabilities, and its research and development capacity, and the new building more than doubles the company’s current building assets.
“We had outgrown our Ennis facility,” Eastham said. “The expansion of our manufacturing capacity and addition of new technology will help us maintain our leadership position of providing the highest quality products to the industries we serve.”
In addition to expanding its manufacturing and warehouse space, Polyguard also needed more space to create new products.
“All of our research and development will be done in Corsicana,” Bischof said. “We needed to expand our lab as well.”
Eastham said the company invented 60 percent of the products it makes.
A two-story glass office is planned for completion by next year. The finished grounds will include an eight-foot fence with three controlled access gates. The entire area will be landscaped with a pond and pavilion to provide an appealing “gateway to Corsicana” for drivers exiting from Highway 45.
Interior amenities include a huge employee lounge area which will have vending machines and a big-screen television with an Xbox. Tile floors and wood ceilings give the break room a “lodge” feel and should be a welcome change from the otherwise industrial surroundings.
Polyguard tries to use local materials and contractors when possible.
“Watkins Development has been fabulous,” Eastham said.
“We use a lot of Corsicana labor,” Bischof said. “We use local hardware stores and lumber yards.”
Polyguard is a 100 percent employee-owned Employee Stock Ownership Plan and currently has two ESOP millionaires working with the company, and that number is expected to grow in the coming years.
An ESOP is a retirement plan which is in addition to the 401(k) and matching contribution already offered by the company. Its value is based on the stock price of the company.
Juan Alvarado, who has been an employee with the company for 30 years, has over half-a-million dollars in his ESOP and owns more than one percent of the company.
“Polyguard’s ESOP allows us to create a culture based on teamwork and pride,” Eastham said. “All the employees get a chance to share in the success of the company. Our employees act like owners because they are owners. They don’t have to contribute anything but work.”
Most operations will be moved to Corsicana by the end of June, with everything but the office moved by the end of 2017.
The company plans to show off its finished plant with an open house toward the end of this year or the beginning of 2018.
“Our financial performance has been really good the last few years, but I believe it will be even better in the years to come,” Eastham said. “Our strategic goal is to double the size of the company again by 2020 through acquisitions and organic growth, and we’re well on the way to making that goal a reality.”
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