Charleroi glass factory to see $16 million in upgrades

Scott Beveridge
Observer Reporter

An Illinois-based kitchenware manufacturer will make a huge investment to upgrade its Charleroi glass factory that has been in operation for more than a century.

Corelle Brands of Rosemont will spend $16 million over the next few years in the factory that was founded in 1893 by George MacBeth and has operated under other names, including Corning and World Kitchen.

“We see an opportunity,” said Ken Wilkes, president and chief executive officer of the company that is the home of Pyrex manufacturing.

The company, which employs 350 people, changed its name earlier this year to Corelle Brands as it saw a chance to expand the Pyrex line, Wilkes said.

The investment was announced Thursday at the glass factory at 100 Eighth St., where the state confirmed it was giving Corelle a $2.5 million grant to help rebuild its glassmaking tank.

“This project will bring new and impactful technologies to Corelle’s manufacturing facility,” said Brent Vernon, director of Gov. Tom Wolf’s action team.

Vernon said the investments will help to ensure “that glassware will continue to be produced here for decades to come.”

“This is another page in Charleroi’s long history of glass manufacturing,” he said.

Washington County Commissioner Harlan Shober said the glass factory investments are “critical” to maintaining jobs in the Mon Valley.

“The Mon Valley needs so much,” Shober said.

The celebration Thursday coincided with the announcement that the factory is among three workplaces in Pennsylvania to receive the Governor’s Award for Safety Excellence for 2018. It recognized the company for working with its union employees to achieve safety excellence.