By: Bill Bregar
April 5, 2013
SUNNYVALE, CALIF. — Serious Energy Inc. sold its vinyl window and door fabrication plant in Vandergrift, Pa., the former Kensington Windows, to a group of investors that includes former Kensington executives.
Serious Energy bought the factory in 2009, when Kensington Windows’ former parent, Jancor Cos. Inc., abruptly closed its doors and filed for bankruptcy.
Sunnyvale-based Serious Energy issued a news release March 17 announcing that it sold the Vandergrift factory to former employees and Alpen High Performance Products, a maker of glass-fiber reinforced windows.
According to a report in the trade magazine Window & Door said the new ownership group is led by Chuck Wetmore, the vice president and plant manager, who will serve as CEO, and John Barker, who will continue in his post of chief financial officer. They did not return calls for this story.
A Serious Energy spokesman said the company continues to make aluminum windows for commercial construction, but no longer is involved with vinyl windows. Serious also is focusing on its drywall business.
Serious Energy also had purchased a Chicago vinyl window fabricator, Republic Windows and Doors Inc., which had been closed in late 2008 — prompting its unionized workers to stage a sit-in and occupy the plant to protest the lack of any notice, severance pay or accrued vacation time. Just a few years later, the workers occupied the plant again, as Serious Energy (then known as Serious Materials) was going to close the operation.
A spokesman for the Pittsburgh-based union, the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, said the Chicago factory did close down, but ex-Republic employees now are trying to set up a worker cooperative to run the business.