N ortheastern P ennsylvania

Real Estate Journal — Northeastern Pennsylvania — July 13 - 26, 2018 — 7C


M id A tlantic

By Pamela Shupp, AICP, CEcD, EVP, Greater Reading Chamber Alliance Why is it important to make Global Connections?


recently traveled to Chi- na representing Greater Reading, Berks County.

U.S. investment. With a population of 16 mil- lion people and growth projec- tions up to 25 million people in the next few years, Chengdu City has an aggressive stra- tegic growth plan through 2035 and will soon be home to two international airports. Chengdu’s One Belt-One Road strategy and commitment will result in it being the transpor- tation, logistic and cultural gateway to Asia, Africa and Europe. Though several Berks Coun- ty companies have locations in China, none have locations in the Chengdu region. It is clear that the fast-paced growth of this region can provide oppor- tunities for Berks companies to further expand their global markets. While there, we had sev- eral meetings with chief of- ficials from Districts within Chengdu City. We spent time

discussing ways in which we can best work together to es- tablish a mutual relationship and reciprocity for Investment and Trade. Berks’s message was very well-received, and we noted that we shared similarities in targeted indus- tries – including an extensive agribusiness and food cluster industry. In the Pidu District alone, there are over 93 com- panies producing food prod- ucts specifically related to the Sichuan cuisine. Officials said that with these meetings “the cornerstone (of our relation- ship) has been laid.” As the population contin- ues to grow and attract more international residents with a hunger for western cuisine, there is clear opportunity for American food and beverage producers to market products to this rapidly growing popu- lation. We also discovered a district

that is fully committed to preserving its ecosystem, for- est reclamation and environ- mental responsibility while balancing a hot construction market Commissioner Barnhardt said “This trip awakened my understanding of Chinese economy and culture. And as our relationship continues to build, there will be a lot of potential for business con- nections.” In addition to similarities in targeted industries, there was also a familiar concern with the need to expand the workforce and talent devel- opment pipeline. As we wit- nessed, their strategy involves a massive building boom in the construction of residen- tial towers married with a rent program that incentiv- izes talent to locate and live in Chengdu. This region has learned from other cities how

to make their communities a work/life center and amenities are an integral part of all the planned residential and office developments. A strategy that we should quickly embrace. A successful relationship with China will take time, ef- fort and strong commitment on both parts, but we realize that it will bring lasting and long-term benefit to county residents and businesses. Building relationships is just as important now as it has been in the past and Greater Reading, Berks County is com- mitted to a long-term strategy of relationship building to fuel the economic growth of our community and region. Pamela Shupp, AICP, CEcD, EVP is responsible for managing the econom- ic development strategy for the Greater Reading Economic Partnership (GREP). 

What? Why now? What on earth did I hope to ac- complish? In June, Berks County Com- m i s s i o n e r Kevin Barn- hardt and I

Pamela Shupp

traveled to Chengdu City, Sichuan Province, China. We were invited to make a pre- sentation to the 2018 Chengdu Cross-Strait New Economic Innovation and Entrepreneur- ship Development Conference. The purpose of the presenta- tion was twofold: 1. Introduce Berks County companies and products to the Chengdu region government officials and companies, 2. Promote our community as a cost-effective location for NEPA — National manu- facturer Crystal Window & Door Systems has expanded production at its newest fac- tory in Northeast Pennsylva- nia (NEPA) with the recent addition of the Crystal Series 100 vinyl window line. The addition provides the company with greater production capac- ity and affords the company greater flexibility in production scheduling. In late 2015, Crystal ac- quired the PA factory, which required significant renova- tions and reconfigurations to accommodate window manu- facturing operations. Since production start up in 2016, Crystal has been assembling three of the company’s 20 prod- uct lines there, and the Series 100 vinyl line is now the fourth. “We’ve spent time and effort renovating and preparing our facility for new production lines and now we are ready to utilize the space,” said Craig Calderone, General Manager for Crystal’s PA operation. “Crystal is currently fabricat-

Crystal Window&Door Systems continues production expansion at Northeast PA facility, adding vinyl window line to newest factory

Crystal Windows recently added its Series 100 vinyl window line to the growing list of products being made at the company’s newest facility in Northeast Pennsylvania.

ing three aluminum products here and now that we’ve added the appropriate saws and as- sembly equipment, the Series 100 will be the first of many more Crystal vinyl products to come. Further into the future we even have plans to add vinyl extrusion capabilities at this facility.” Presently Crystal extrudes vinyl window profiles only at its New York factory. The Crystal Series 100 vinyl window line is the company’s longstanding and popular basic

vinyl model, offering good val- ue and easy installation. The 3-¼” frame depth double-hung window has tilt-sashes, full width lift rails, constant force balances, dual vent locks, and half-screens. For enhanced energy efficiency, the product’s ⅞” insulating glass unit comes standard with low-E coating and Argon gas filling. Options include triple IGUs, between- the-glass grids, and spiral balances. The Series 100 vinyl window

is the first of several vinyl prod- uct lines slated to be fabricated at the Crystal NEPA factory. New vinyl welding and corner cleaning equipment is sched- uled for delivery and installa- tion later this year, allowing many more of Crystal’s vinyl window and door lines to be manufactured there. Crystal Window & Door Sys- tems is one of the top 30 manu- facturers in North America of replacement and new con- struction vinyl and aluminum

window and door products and high-end fenestration systems. Crystal offers a full product line, rapid order-to-delivery times, quality workmanship, innovative product features, outstanding value, and an ex- perienced and knowledgeable staff. Headquartered in New York, the company operates a national network of factories, branches, subsidiaries and af- filiates in California, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, and Pennsyl- vania. 

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