Biden Visits Serious in Chicago to Talk Up Green Jobs

April 27, 2009

Vice President Joe Biden, along with U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Roland Burris and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, visited the former Republic Windows & Doors facility, now owned by Serious Materials, on Monday.  Biden came to the plant, which attracted national attention when it was shut down by the previous owners last December, to demonstrate his support for the creation of new green jobs.

“This is a story about how we inspire a better tomorrow. You're making some of the most energy-efficient windows in the world, I would argue, the most energy-efficient windows in the world,” said Biden, speaking to Serious Materials’ employees.  “And you're not just providing for your family with the income you're making here; but by lowering energy bills, you're saving the families in Delaware, California, Mississippi, Maine—you're saving all of them. You're saving people in public housing which are investing in weatherization. You're saving people on the bottom line of how much money they will have to care for their families.”


Video from Vice President Biden's visit to the Serious Materials plant in Chicago.


"Today, because of the hard work and determination of many people, this factory is once again providing jobs for people at the very time jobs are most needed in our country,” said Mayor Richard Daley. “And, in part because of new federal tax credits for buyers of energy-efficient products such as the ones Serious makes, the future looks bright for the company, its employees and this community."

Serious Materials acquired the assets of the former Republic plant in February, and now intends to formally re-open the facility within the next 60 days. The company has started to rehire former-Republic union workers and is now installing new equipment for the manufacturing of its SeriousWindows products and commercial glass, SeriousGlass.  With the new plant, Serious Materials will be able to meet the increased demand for its windows accelerated by funding made available through the ARRA for energy-efficient building projects, officials point out. 

“It is a great honor to host Vice President Biden at our Serious Materials Chicago factory. Vice President Biden understands how devastating it can be to a community when factories close and jobs leave,” said Kevin Surace, Serious CEO, during the visit. “That is why I’m so proud to lead Serious Materials—a company that is re-opening factories, and creating the green-collar jobs that are the key to our economic future.”

Last month, Serious hosted the reopening of the former Kensington Windows plant in Vandergrift, Penn., which also attracted White House attention. On March 23, President Obama commented, “Serious Materials just reopened a manufacturing plant outside of Pittsburgh. Last year, that factory was shuttered and more than one hundred jobs were lost. The town was devastated. Today, that factory is whirring back to life, and Serious Materials is rehiring the folks who lost their jobs. And these workers will now have a new mission: producing some of the most energy efficient windows in the world.”