LEWISTON – Johns Manville, a manufacturer and marketer of premium-quality building and specialty products, is marking 150 years in business in 2008. The Lewiston plant manufactures commercial specialty roofing products sold through commercial roofing distributors worldwide.

JM purchased the plant in 1972 and employs 20 people. Originally, the facility was located at 1525 Lisbon St., and moved to a new 36,000-square-foot building located in the Lewiston Industrial Park in 1979.

From a humble beginning as a roofing shingles business operating out of the basement of founder Henry Ward Johns’ home in New York City in 1858, today JM holds leadership positions in all of the key markets it serves for insulation, roofing, filtration, spunbond non-wovens, glass textile wall coverings and glass fibers.

The company’s products have been used to protect the lives of soldiers in World Wars I and II; help America launch its space shuttle missions; provide world famous museums such as the Louvre and Guggenheim with more hygienic environments; improve the energy-efficiency and durability of buildings including the Seattle Seahawks football stadium; strengthen wind energy blades; enhance indoor air quality; reduce noise; insulate commercial aircraft and automobiles; and reinforce roads.

In 2001, JM became part of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway family.

Throughout all of its successes, safety has remained the focal point of day-to-day operations. Currently, the JM Lewiston plant is striving to achieve OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program status that recognizes facilities with exemplary safety processes, employee involvement, and incident rates 50 percent below the national average. Reaching this goal would be a first in the Lewiston community, as no other manufacturing operation in the city currently holds that distinction.

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