James Hardie Industries, a world-leading manufacturer of fiber cement siding and trim products for residential homes, multifamily dwellings and commercial buildings, together with Washington Governor Jay Inslee, U.S. Representative Denny Heck, and Pierce County officials, celebrated the company's expanded manufacturing operation near Tacoma and its many contributions to the residential construction industry in the state of Washington over the last two decades.
The $187 million expansion will increase James Hardie's manufacturing capacity and capability in the Pacific Northwest to keep pace with continued growth. The 400,000-square-foot facility will help the company meet the demands of both today and the future through increased production and efficiency improvements. Up to 240 jobs will be added in time to the region. To get the project off the ground, the Department of Commerce provided a $100,000 Working Washington grant to the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County to reimburse some of the company's pre-construction costs.
"Today we're celebrating new high-skill job opportunities, thanks to an outstanding partnership between James Hardie and Pierce County," said Inslee. "This is especially valuable as many veterans remain in the area and transition to civilian life after serving at nearby Joint Base Lewis-McChord. We know that veterans bring a range of skills and talent to any enterprise, and I am pleased there will be advanced manufacturing jobs available to them and others in Pierce County."
"It's wonderful to see James Hardie contributing to the success of Tacoma and Pierce County, both in the addition of good-paying jobs to our community and in the production of materials that can help address the housing shortage," said Heck. "I look forward to their continued growth in our region."
"James Hardie exemplifies the innovative, committed companies that make Washington state's diverse economy strong," said Washington Commerce Director Lisa Brown. "A robust, advanced manufacturing sector supports the kind of solid, family-wage jobs that strengthen communities all over the state."
Over the last five years, James Hardie has demonstrated its commitment to growing in Tacoma by investing more than $187 million in capital improvements at the site. The project, which is one of the largest capital improvement investments in Pierce County, received executive priority status from Pierce County to streamline permitting. Additionally, James Hardie was the first-ever company to enter into an amortization agreement with the county to spread out the cost of sewer connection charges.
The company, which is the No. 1 brand of siding in North America, also strives to contribute to the communities it calls home. Beyond purchasing more than $30 million annually in local materials and services, James Hardie has supported local charities, such as the Tacoma Rescue Mission and Habitat for Humanity.
"We congratulate James Hardie on the opening of their second manufacturing facility in Frederickson," said Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier. "As Pierce County welcomes companies to locate and grow their businesses here, we're proud to have supported James Hardie's growth for over 20 years. This new investment will have a positive impact on our local economy, creating jobs for our residents and more business for contractors and suppliers in the county."
"James Hardie's decision to expand in Pierce County is a testament to the cooperation between state and local partners to provide businesses with resources they need to grow and thrive," said Bruce Kendall, president of the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County.
"We're excited to celebrate with the community and to recognize the employees, and state and local officials who have helped along the way," said James Hardie Industries CEO Dr. Jack Truong. "This additional capacity, with the know-how in this facility, will enable us to meet our customers' needs via high-quality products and consistently good service. We are proud to call Tacoma home, and we are pleased with the investment we are making in a community that shares our commitment to environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and a safe and healthy work environment."
The Tacoma operations will make a wide range of products, from James Hardie's flagship HardiePlank lap siding to HardieBacker cement boards for interior spaces. With its products installed on more than 8 million homes in North America, James Hardie has earned a favorable reputation within the industry and has been specified in some of the country's most prestigious projects. The new facility—one of nine around the country—is located at 4617 192nd St. and is situated on the same campus as the original manufacturing operation built in 1998. It is a showcase of the company's lean manufacturing operating system and will feature manufacturing capabilities for James Hardie's ColorPlus Technology, a proprietary finish applied to siding and trim that provides long-lasting color.