Glass TEXpo 2018 Hosts a Busy Glass Industry

By Norah Dick, Glass Magazine
May 14, 2018

Glass TEXpo, the biennial glass industry trade show, was held May 10-11 in San Antonio. A majority of the exhibitors described their businesses on a scale of “busy” to “super busy,” as market growth continues across all industry segments. Jim Charles, manufacturing representative, Groves Inc., says he feels smaller glass shops are doing well right now. “I’m also seeing independent fabricators doing a healthy business,” he says.

Companies continued to report a lack of skilled labor. Jim Reid, ACD Enterprises Inc. representing Blink Blinds and Glass by ODL, says manufacturing has reached capacity due to the labor shortage. “They can’t make any more,” he says. “Everybody who wants to work has a job.”

John Olson, sales and rentals, Quattrolifts, says the labor shortage is also preventing some industry members from pursuing larger projects. “Companies are scared to place a bid on bigger jobs in case they don’t have enough labor,” he says. 

Exhibitors’ overall optimism is shared by Felix Munson, owner of Anchor-Ventana Glass, and president of the Texas Glass Association. Discussing the Texas glass industry, Munson says there is “a lot of momentum in the market, and it’s very broad-based,” predicting continued growth in new construction for the next 18-24 months.

While Munson highlighted the labor shortage as a continued industry challenge, he also underlined the ways that the younger generation entering the industry are influencing change, especially in the use of technology. He says a large part of their contribution is their their need to have information shared. “The younger generation is used to sharing information,” says Munson. “It helps us be better business people.”

The event was hosted in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, and sponsored by the Texas Glass AssociationUSGlass MagazineUSGNN and the Architect’s Guide to Glass and Metal.