May 2015

Hope’s® and Ironworkers Shopmen’s Local 470: Time-Tested Products and Teamwork

Hope’s® Windows, Inc. is a renowned, century-old company manufacturing solid hot-rolled steel and solid bronze window and door systems in Jamestown, New York. Hope’s products are custom designed and handcrafted for each project.

The “hands” in that craftsmanship belong to the ironworkers of Shopmen’s Local 470 (Jamestown, N.Y.), chartered on July 16, 1934, making it the second oldest shop local still in existence.

“We place great trust in our workers who are part of more than just a manufacturing process,” says Robert Du Bois, vice president of operations of Hope’s. “It’s an art, and all you have to do is look at the countless luxury homes and prestigious cultural buildings across the country that testify to their skills.”

John Bielak, executive director of the Shop Department, says the union enjoys a strong relationship with Hope’s.

“We recently finished the process of ratifying two contracts with Hope’s,” Bielak says. “We proudly stand with the company to continue a long-established track record of success.”

That sense of unity has helped make Hope’s the nation’s leading and most experienced manufacturer of custom designed, handcrafted, hot-rolled, solid steel and solid bronze window and door systems, specializing in historic preservation, cultural, institutional, commercial and luxury residential applications. But that’s not all; Hope’s offers a full line of windows and doors for detention and blast-resistant applications as well.

Most recently, Hope’s launched its patented Thermal Evolution™ technology, a breakthrough for its hot-rolled, solid steel windows and doors. The technology exceeds stringent energy efficiency standards while retaining the superior qualities of Hope’s windows.

Architects utilize Hope’s windows and doors to achieve the most audacious and technically challenging design visions—with unlimited shapes, sizes and profiles, plus an unparalleled finishing process.

The manufacturing of Hope’s custom windows and doors begins with transforming solid steel billet into a variety of slim geometrically complex, and remarkably strong profiles. This transformation is achieved through hot-rolling, a process where steel is heated to be malleable, then formed through an array of precision tooling to its final geometry.

Along with aesthetics, durability drives this pursuit. Hope’s commits itself to using only materials with proven ability to last a century or longer. On top of that—literally—Hope’s utilizes the world’s most advanced finishing system developed in cooperation with top U.S. metallurgists and architectural coating suppliers. This superior pretreatment and finishing system is just one of the many features associated with Hope’s products.

“The high performance requirements for each Hope’s product, customized for each unique project, requires our employees to have the skills of an artisan with unyielding attention to detail,” says Du Bois.

“Our folks are accustomed to the variety we find from one project to the next,” says Scott Merritt of Local 470, “and we never shy away from a challenge.”

Union, management and office personnel work hand in hand to blend 100 years of old-school craftsmanship with new technology to improve Hope’s current product lines and develop new product offerings. In 2012, Hope’s introduced the One55 Series™ steel window system, designed primarily for historic applications. The typical window configuration consisted of multiple vertical and horizontal muntin bars requiring significant welding. With the knowledge and experience of Local 470 welders, special welding patterns were developed to reduce the twisting and bending of the extremely narrow steel profiles. 

The bonds between Hope’s 200+ employees and the local community are strong and deep. Each year, Local 470 along with office personnel team up to generously support the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County.

The ties to the community are also evidenced by the remarkable number of long-term employees at Hope’s. For example, Roger Van Every has been working at Hope’s for 62 years. “I’ve seen many changes during my time at Hope’s, with product development, manufacturing processes, and, of course, personnel. Hope’s has always been committed to their employees as well as their customers.”

Randy Manitta, Hope’s president, attributes the enduring success of the company to a strong sense of teamwork.

Hope’s was founded in 1912 and was originally known as International Casement Company, Inc. In 1932, International Casement merged with Henry Hope & Sons, Inc. to become Hope’s Windows, Inc. In 1969, Hope’s Windows merged with three other corporations and was known as Roblin Hope’s Industries, Inc. Hope’s Architectural Products, Inc. acquired all the assets and business from Roblin Industries in 1982. Hope’s Architectural was renamed Hope’s Windows, Inc. Today, the company continues to be privately owned, and is at its original location. The manufacturing facility and offices are housed in four buildings totaling 300,000 square feet on 17 acres.

Over the many decades, the most distinguished architects in the United States have placed their trust in the Hope’s products manufactured by ironworkers of Shopmen’s Local 470. The roster of prestigious projects featuring Hope’s technology, product integrity and exacting craftsmanship began with its very first contract, Prudence Risley Hall at Cornell University; followed by The White House; Mary Switzer Building; universities—Harvard, Yale, Brown, Texas, Chicago; the USC School of Cinematic Arts; Birthplace of Country Music Museum; various buildings at Pearl Harbor; and numerous luxury residences all over the map.

Every project that Hope’s has been a part of attests to the shared value of excellence—shared between the ironworkers, management, ownership and other employees of a company always building a legacy of progress and innovation.