US manufacturer INTUS Windows has announced plans to open a production hub in Šiauliai, northern Lithuania, employing up to 600 workers. Construction of the 50,000m2 plant, which will be rolled out in phases over the next few years, will begin in late 2018.
INTUS’ new facility, based in the Šiauliai Free Economic Zone (FEZ), will manufacture products for export to USA. The new plant is designed by Lithuanian architecture firm 2L Architektai.
More than 100 skilled specialists in estimating, drafting, IT and 3D modelling are currently being recruited to begin work at the facility in 2019. A further 500 jobs will be created as the plant rolls out.
While INTUS’ existing workforce consists predominantly of engineering graduates and those with a background in economics, math, or other sciences, the company is interested in hiring educated and highly motivated individuals from different backgrounds.
“We chose Šiauliai Free Economic Zone for two main reasons: first of all, the zone’s infrastructure is prepared for quick start of works, and secondly, the team of zone’s operator is very competent and customer-oriented. We will be reaching out to local educational institutions to develop specialized programs for local employment,” explains Karolis Dieliautas, CEO of Lithuania’s operations at INTUS Windows. “As we are poised to become one of the bigger employers in the Šiauliai region, and the largest uPVC window producer in Baltics, I hope universities and higher education institutions will be very excited to work with us.”
INTUS is a leading supplier of energy-efficient polymer windows and doors whose clients include local and international real-estate developers. The company’s products can be seen in large-scale commercial building projects across the US, including apartments, school and other structures. An environmentally conscious company, INTUS pledges to plant one tree for each window produced through its “One Window One Tree” program.
Established in 2008 by Lithuanian expatriates, INTUS credits the positive economic environment in Lithuania for the company’s decision to invest.
„Lithuania must actively cooperate with its diaspora and the decision of INTUS to set up in Šiauliai is a prime example of this. It is the good relations with Lithuanian Americans that allowed to attract this company to Lithuania at the last moment. The project itself is immensely important for the region, as it will disrupt the region’s labour market which has not yet seen such major investments. The fact that the company plans to source around 90% of the needed services and materials from local suppliers will serve as an impetus for Lithuanian business. This shows that cooperation with the diaspora can greatly benefit the country’s economy and thus should be prioritized,” states Virginijus Sinkevičius, Lithuania’s Minister of Economy.
“The manufacturing potential of our regions stems from the political will of municipalities and a continually evolving physical and educational infrastructure. We have already seen how a major manufacturer can transform and improve a region’s labour market – Intersurgical’s case in eastern Lithuania being a prime example of that. Now, INTUS will showcase the potential of Šiauliai, thus instigating interest among other potential investors, which evaluate success cases when researching potential expansion locations,” Mantas Katinas, Managing Director of Invest Lithuania, says.
Announcing the investment, Karolis Dieliautas thanked Ambassador at Large Simonas Šatūnas who has been relentlessly promoting Lithuania’s economic environment while stationed in Washington DC as the Deputy Head of the Lithuanian Embassy and after he came back to Lithuania. Mr. Šatūnas was instrumental in helping INTUS to start considering Lithuania as a possible location for expansion. In addition, Mr. Dieliautas thanked Lithuania’s Minister of Economy, Virginijus Sinkevičius, whose “efforts to cut bureaucratic red tape, simplify processes, expedite decisions and push for common-sense laws were visible from the other side of Atlantic.”
Also receiving praise was Šiauliai mayor Artūras Visockas, whose “no nonsense approach to reducing bureaucracy, encouraging innovation and creating a friendly environment for people and business” was a crucial factor in deciding the new factory’s location.
Artūras Klangauskas, CEO and Member of the Board of Šiauliai Free Economic Zone, emphasizes that INTUS investment is a perfect example of cooperation between all parties. “INTUS is the third company that establishes in this free economic zone, we hope to announce about two more investments this year. Not only foreign, but local industry investments are very welcome in our zone as 4 hectares out of 133 is still available for successful business development,” says Mr. Klangauskas.