Armstrong World Industries celebrated the beginning of construction at its Lancaster, Pennsylvania, facility, where it is expanding its manufacturing capability to include luxury vinyl tile (LVT) for commercial and residential use in the U.S. In attendance were the Armstrong management team, U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, Congressman Joe Pitts, Pennsylvania State Senator Lloyd Smucker, Lancaster City Mayor Rick Gray and Lancaster City Councilman James Reichenbach along with representatives from the Pennsylvania and Lancaster Chambers of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Pennsylvania Manufacturer's Association. The decision to make this $41 million investment and onshore its LVT production from China suppliers was previously announced in October 2013. This marks the company's second investment in the Lancaster operation since 2008, when it added fiberglass-backed sheet vinyl manufacturing to that plant's production portfolio.
Armstrong CEO Matt Espe said, "We thank the commonwealth and our employees for their support of this investment. Through application of our extensive manufacturing technology, we will be better able to cost-effectively serve our North American customers with high-quality, in-market production. This investment will create local jobs and allow us to continue to grow share in this exciting product category."
"Central Pennsylvania is a great place to live and work, and I am delighted that Armstrong is expanding here. The people of Lancaster County are dedicated and talented workers who will thrive at this facility. They will prove that Armstrong has made a smart decision. Armstrong is a good neighbor that employs nearly 2,000 people at its Lancaster operations. Bringing this vinyl tile manufacturing expansion to Lancaster is welcome news and a great match for the community," said Senator Pat Toomey.
Congressman Joe Pitts said, "I want to thank Armstrong for investing in our community. It is great to see a local company join the growing trend of American manufacturers who are moving production lines back to the United States. Lancaster is an ideal location for new factories, and I hope we'll see more openings in the near future."
The LVT market is experiencing double-digit growth in North America, largely because of product performance, appearance and ease-of-installation. By on-shoring LVT manufacturing from China, Armstrong expects to realize a more competitive cost structure with shorter lead times and improved customer service.
The company expects to start shipping LVT product from this plant to customers by mid-2015. About 60 new employees will be hired to support plant start-up and continuing operations.
Armstrong World Industries, Inc. is a global leader in the design and manufacture of floors and ceilings. In 2013, Armstrong's consolidated net sales from continuing operations totaled approximately $2.7 billion. Based in Lancaster, Pa., Armstrong operates 35 plants in eight countries and has approximately 8,700 employees worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.armstrong.com/.