It was a surprise ribbon-cutting ceremony at PGT Innovations North Venice headquarters this week commemorating the completion of the plant connector building. In welcoming guests Jeff Jackson PGT CEO and President said for the first time everyone was going to see a little symbolic thing where the executives would be putting their handprints in cement.

“It comes from the time when I was a kid and did that,” he said. “It is your roots where you came from and what made you what you are today. That is what PGT is about, we are always going to remember this day when we opened this connector building by putting our hands in cement.”

The traditional ribbon cutting by Jackson accompanied by Venice Mayor John Holic and Bob Keller, president of PGT Southeast Business Unit launched the celebrations. With PGT colleagues Jackson moved to boxes of wet cement and they somewhat hesitantly removed jewelry from their hands.

Kneeling on special comfort pads they leaned forward placing their palms into the cement and stayed patiently until the molding was formed. Then with sticks they wrote their initials under their prints.

Jackson earlier referring to the 28,000-square-foot connector building said it was a vision they had for several years, but a new trend for the first time was to put their own manufactured impact glass windows into the building.

Mayor John Holic recalled PGT came into fruition in 1980 and went public in 2006. With 2,700 employees PGT is equivalent to almost a 13 percent of the population of the entire city of Venice. With sales revenues approaching $700,000 million those are equivalent to almost 17 percent of the appraised property values of the city.

“The leaders of PGT continue to make this company a jewel in the crown of this community and the city is here to work with you in any way we can,” Holic said. “We know you have a choice for locating and we thank you for choosing Venice.”

The handprint cement blocks will be laid in front of the PGT sign outside the new connector building. Two of PGT’s existing glass processing plants are connected creating a large continuous, climate-controlled space for operations. Enhancing safety, quality, and productivity as glass moves through the processing stations to produce impact-resistant and energy-efficient glass.

Thanking Jeff Charlotte of J.E. Charlotte Construction Corp. in Venice who built the connector Jackson said they are now starting on the design stage for their new corporate headquarters and innovation building.

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