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Glassautomatic in Mt. Pleasant area extends lease

| Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, 12:02 a.m.

The Mt. Pleasant area's glass industry tradition got a shot in the arm on Thursday when Glassautomatic Inc. reached a 10-year lease extension agreement with the Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corp.

The lease is in the Mt. Pleasant Glass Center, the former Lenox glass plant along Route 31 in Mt. Pleasant Township. Total lease payments will be $715,000.

The glass etching and polishing company was founded by Rolf Poeting in 1981. After emigrating from Germany as the third generation of his family to sell glass manufacturing equipment, he started his own company, Rolf Glass, which later became Glassautomatic.

In 2003, the company moved from a smaller location in Latrobe to the present site.

“We pride ourselves on exceptional customer service and the ability as a domestic manufacturer to respond quickly and flexibility to each customer's unique needs,” Poeting said.

The company started with 18 employees, now has 50 employees “and we're still looking to grow,” Poeting said.

In addition to original designs — among them is a line of glassware etched with dragonflies, deer or peacocks — the company provides custom monogramming, glass cutting, and custom engraving and etching.

“They are a great little company and have been around for a long, long time. The owner has been through ups and downs in the industry and stuck it out, but it looks like the market is ready for some significant growth,” said James L. Smith, CEO of the Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland, a private, nonprofit economic development corporation.

“This company is really poised and in a position to benefit from it,” Smith said.

Lenox closed its crystal stemware manufacturing operation at the plant in 2002.

Glassautomatic occupies space in the building along with Lenox Outlet, Pittsburgh Electric Engines, Crystal Concepts, O'Rourke Cut Glass and Catch-Up Logistics.

“It's traditional companies like this that can utilize the skills of workers known to the Westmoreland County region,” said Commissioner Charles W. Anderson.

Paul Peirce is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

He can be reached at 724-850-2860 or ppeirce@tribweb.com.

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