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Image 6 of The Advocate Messenger April 16, 2012

Part of The Advocate Messenger

A6 MONDAY, APRIL 16, 2012 LOCAL CORNING, from A1 get a glass screen after carrying around an iPhone prototype in his pocket and finding its plastic screen marred by tiny scratches. Isaacson says Corning CEO Wendell Weeks told Jobs about an ultrastrong glass that the company had developed in the 1960s but shelved because it never found a market. It was called Gorilla Glass, and Jobs wanted to buy as much of it as Corning could produce in six months. Responding to the impatient Jobs’ challenge, the Harrodsburg plant quickly went from making liquid crystal display (LCD) glass for products such as televisions and monitors to manufacturing Gorilla Glass for the first run of iPhones. On the day the iPhone hit the market, Jobs sent Weeks a message: “We couldn’t have done it without you.” Joe Dunning, a spokesman at Corning’s headquarters in Corning, N.Y., declined to verify the details of Isaacson’s account. But since the book’s publication, Corning has publicly acknowledged its relationship with Apple. It had previously been bound by a nondisclosure agreement that designers like Apple use to keep their competitors from learning too much about their operations, Dunning said. “What we can now say is that we have supplied the glass for iPhones since 2007,” he said. Apple acknowledges its relationship with Corning, too. On its website, the company includes as an example of American jobs it supports: “Corning employees in Kentucky and THE ADVOCATE-MESSENGER WWW.AMNEWS.COM New York who create the majority of the glass for iPhone.” A Corning fact sheet corrects one minor aspect of the book’s story. Gorilla Glass was not actually developed in the 1960s, it says, though the company drew on expertise it gained while experimenting with strengthened glass during that era. Beyond Apple While the Harrodsburg plant still churns out some Gorilla Glass, it does not have the capacity to meet worldwide demand, Dunning said. The majority of Gorilla Glass is now made at Corning factories in Taiwan and Japan — closer to the electronics manufacturing that occurs in Asia, Dunning said. The iPhone is manufactured in China. “If you have a component in that supply chain, it would make more sense if you had your plant right next to the next guy’s plant and not 8,000 miles away,” he said. Gorilla Glass is now used in more than 600 devices, including smart phones, tablet computers and high-definition TVs, according to Corning. The company sold about $700 million worth of Gorilla Glass last year, nearly triple the amount it sold in 2010. “It is a real success story for us,” said Casey Duffy, manager of the Harrodsburg plant. While the plant churned out the first run of Gorilla Glass, Duffy said the real contribution of workers in Harrodsburg was reworking the processes to show how it could be done. In recent decades, as manufacturing has moved overseas, the Corning plant has remained “viable and relevant” because it has been the place where Corning’s scientists and engineers put their ideas, such as Gorilla Glass, into practice, he said. “We certainly believe it is our lifeblood here,” he said. And while the majority of Gorilla Glass is made in Asia, its growth has meant jobs and investment in Harrodsburg. The plant recently underwent a renovation that cost at least $186 million, in part to boost production of Gorilla Glass. In 2010, Corning projected the investment would also mean 80 additional jobs at the plant — a mix of production workers and engineers. Duffy said the plant is on the way to meeting that target, which would mean $6 million in long-term tax incentives from Kentucky and from Mercer County. The plant currently employs about 400, he said. he likes to compete — not lose. champion in the 1950s,” “e ones here, at ConCreech said. “He and I were stitution Square, start my teammates at UK. I had alage group at 65 and I can’t ways been a runner, but, after compete with 65-year-olds. college, at that time, people Now if they had a category didn’t run past college.” that started at 70 ...” He said he remembers Merideth is his “pit crew,” being with a class that vishe says and also the keeper ited a Veterans Administra- of the plaques and letters of tion Hospital and someone recognition and medals. asked if running was ever He and Merideth spend used as a form of rehabilita- about two weeks each Janutive exercise. ary in Florida centered “I remember the startled around the “runDisney” look at the suggestion, and events, including the “Walt the reply was something Disney World Goofy's Race like, ‘Why, some of these and a Half Challenge” that men are over 40 years old!’ features not only a It was out of the question.” marathon but also a halfCreech was born and marathon the following raised in Wilmore, educated day. — both undergrad and He has 15 marathons and graduate school — at UK. many other races of shorter He worked as an English duration under his belt now teacher, first at the now-de- with no plans to slow down. funct Kentucky Military “After I recovered from School, which, he says, took my surgery in 2005, I had staff and students to Florida my cardiologist talk to my each year to winter. He and wife, to tell her I could run his wife moved away and marathons again,” he said. lived and worked in MichiCreech is steadily pressgan for 34 years where he ing toward his goal to be earned an additional gradu- running still at 99 years old. ate degree. e couple “I want to die healthy,” he raised their two sons, said. Steven and David, before He has the support of a retiring to Danville in 1998. lovely wife and an active “I ran my first marathon lifestyle and the protection here in town at 43 years of of a gargoyle so he appears age,” he said. “Coach to be in pretty good shape Plumber’s 5K.” to meet his goal. He has run in other “I am happier than I was Danville events over the the first year of my maryears but said one of the riage, and I feel better than I reasons he runs is because have in 30 years.” PEOPLE, from A1 years ago, said Wayne Reinsmith, president of the local chapter of United Steel Workers, which represents about 240 workers there. When Reinsmith began working at the plant in 1993, “we had five or six people” cutting the glass and moving it along in the process, he said. Today’s sheet glass operators “are really watching and servicing the robots,” he said. While that has meant fewer jobs for rank-and-file workers, it has also meant opportunities for them to learn such skills as operating machines, which earns a better wage, Reinsmith said. Of the 80 jobs Corning expects to add at the plant, the average wage is projected to be about $25 an hour — higher than the average wage in Kentucky of about $18 an hour. About one-fourth of those jobs will be engineers, while the remaining are production workers, Duffy said. A typical rankand-file union worker makes about $20 an hour, he said. After a Hitachi auto plant with more than 600 workers, Corning’s factory is Mercer County’s secondbiggest employer, said Gayle Horn, the county’s deputy judge-executive. Horn remembers when the plant made lenses for eyeglasses and binoculars. In the 1950s, young men who graduated from Mercer County High School could get a job at the plant and make a middle-class career of it, she said. “Any citizen in this county is grateful to still have Corning as an industry ... when you think how many years it’s been here,” Horn said. “And now, it’s like it has its second life — it’s gone to high-tech.” Changing functions From sand and other raw materials to the finished 5-by-6-foot sheets that are shipped across the Pacific Ocean, the glass is made in Harrodsburg mostly without being touched by human hands. Workers are in the background, such as the ones who monitor the robots that cut the glass and package it. In that sense, the plant is an example of how American manufacturing is becoming more “advanced,” with automation performing repetitive tasks that used to be done by unskilled workers, said Manoj Shanker, an labor economist with the Kentucky Office of Employment & Training. For instance, being a “sheet glass operator” at the Harrodsburg plant means something much different now than it did 20 DANVILLE, from A1 which could slightly impact taxpayers in the future, according to Coleman. Danville operates on about $20 million each year, roughly half of which comes from the state. “Our district is not in this situation alone,” Coleman said. “School districts are constantly under pressure to provide more and perform higher with fewer resources.” Danville also has no textbook funding, compared to $57,362 in 2009. Coleman said that problem can be alleviated by relying on technology more than traditional books, but the district also needs to make sure there is enough funding to keep updated technology in classrooms. LIFEST YLES I L 3, 20 12 TU ES APRI TH E Going gray Gray h air is fa b sh DAY B ADVO CATE -M ES SEN GER NATIONAL CHAMPIONS KENTUCKY WILDCATS They Brought It Home.. ... And So Can A6 ut is ion for wo it a good id able rking wome ea n? 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MOND TS, on ng e with cky's eig NC AA Photo/Davi iversit A10 AY CKY LO natio y of Final Fo hth d that. is there ar Pick 3: MIDDAY ur tou J. Phillip onshi nal champ TTER That’s e irname Pick 4: 2-3-0 Y why I’v six first-rou nt photo p, featuring 7-6-1s 3 nders Pick e got Jackso by Clay to go Cash 4: 0-0-2-3 on th EVEN IN DEX ria Gr n and VictoBa Cash John recrui is aff Pick 3: ING Ball 15; ll: 2-6-21-30 Calipar Vaught and storie ting on team. 9-6-7 Advice Kicker i s by Decad an 7-0-9Friday es of Book d Keith Tay Larry BizTec 3-3 National h 5 Card 4-6-9-28 Dollars: .” select ret s should be lor. A8 Classif Opinio News -29 Cash: ied n specifi ailers this available A5 2C, QH -47 A6, A12 Comics s Pet/Fa in cal , 10D, , C1 rm Josep ly Sam’s weekend, C2-C5 A11 4S, KC Death Sports h Club, s Wa Store. Beth, and C6 A4 TONI Local the UK lmart, News GH A2 Colleg A9, B1 Chance T e -B12 A2-A3 60 pe of rain Printed rcent. on rec © By ED DIE PE NE LLS AP Na back W ORLE tional ANS fro Writer — Be Su m the Wou nds YOU! Don’t just c over them , hea l them ! ycled paper Advoca te-Mess enger Vol. 146 , Here’s all that we offer! No. 240 High: Comp 80s Lo w: 6 lete 6 05358 12300 7 Danv ille, KY 1426 58 have all th weath includ e lat er ma 0s est tec ing hy p, A12 hnolo pe but th gies e thing rbaric ox ygen the m peop cham ost is le se bers, em to our ge If yo u ha remem nuine ve a ber carin call us woun g att d that at (85 itude docto 9) 23 won’t . 9-14 r for heal, 70 or a ref erral ask yo . The Ad ur www. vocateemhe Messe alth. org nger | (85 | ww 9) 23 9-10 news 00 | .com 217 So uth Th ird Str eet | One newspaper plate of A1, OR Poster (11”x17”) of A1 and the newspaper $34.95 2012 The We You can buy the original newspaper plate and more from The Advocate-Messenger’s Commemorative Page of Kentucky’s National Championship. Two newspaper plates, one of A1 & one of B1, and a Poster (11”x17”) each of A1 & B1 and the newspaper. $49.95 Com e Get Your TOD s AY!! ! 330 S. Fourth Street • P.O. Box 149 • Danville, KY 40423-0149

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