Andersen Windows and Doors is looking to hire 1,000 workers this year for its three Twin Cities factories and other operations nationwide as a home improvement and housing construction boom drives demand for its products.

The 118-year-old company is looking to immediately add a total of 250 production workers to its headquarters and factory in Bayport and its manufacturing plants in Cottage Grove and North Branch, Minn. It also plans to hire another 750 workers nationwide in 2021.

To ensure broad recruiting, Andersen, which has 10,000 employees worldwide, emphasized that its three Minnesota locations will offer newcomers on-the-job training, wages of $16 to $22 an hour, health benefits, English language classes, foot-washing stations, quiet rooms that can be used to pray, and floating holidays so employees can choose when they need to take off.

The company is also offering signing bonuses of up to $2,000, said Scott Koenig, vice president of manufacturing at Andersen's Bayport plant.

He said the need to increase staff is urgent since the company faced unprecedented growth after demand for its windows and doors "skyrocketed due to a major boost in home improvement and new housing."

Competitor Marvin Cos. is seeing a similar spike in demand with the jump in housing construction. Marvin is looking to hire about 100 employees for its headquarters factory in Warroad, Minn., and 400 more nationwide.

"We paused hiring when demand was down, so when the market roared back in the second half of 2020, we found ourselves with a wealth of unforeseen opportunities," said Rick Trontvet, Marvin's senior vice president of human resources. "We are now offering unprecedented incentives in our local markets and turning on marketing campaigns across the country to attract candidates to Marvin."

Officials at Pella's Plymouth plant said the Iowa based company is also hiring, and plans to add 1,500 workers nationwide. Fewer than 100 of the new jobs will be in Minnesota.

The uptick in hiring at Minnesota's window-making firms is good news for the state's fragile economy, which has lost 229,968 jobs statewide, including 15,557 manufacturing jobs and 4,829 construction jobs between January 2020 and January 2021, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Real estate experts largely credited the surge in demand for home windows and doors to the pandemic and to historically low mortgage rates.

The Keystone Report for Housing First Minnesota reported a 32% spike over last year in Twin Cities single-family housing building permits for February. Those 536 single-house permits were joined by permits to build 410 units of multifamily housing the Twin Cities.

Andy McDermott, a senior vice president at Minneapolis-based ESG Architecture & Design, said his firm has remained busy doing residential construction even when office projects were largely frozen by the pandemic.

"We use Andersen windows in the majority of our [apartment] projects that are seven stories or less," he said. Developers that work with ESG are currently installing Andersen windows in construction projects such as the Millennium Apartments near Southdale Center, the Noko Apartments in Minneapolis and the Asher apartments in Uptown, he said.

Andersen chairman and CEO Jay Lund said the housing and hiring boom come during an interesting time, given the pandemic. "At Andersen, we feel both pride and a high sense of urgency to help be a part of creating and improving necessary housing during this incredibly challenging time," he said.

Dee DePass • 612-673-7725