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For and about business in Surry County, N.C., including Dobson, Elkin, Lowgap, Pilot Mountain and Mount Airy

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Jantec Neon Products is a sight to see

December 11th, 2007 · No Comments

Even if you live in Surry County, you may not have heard of Jantec Neon Products — like United Plastics, CK Technologies and others we could name, Jantec has a bigger national reputation than a local one — but you’ve almost surely seen Jantec’s work.

Jantec manufactures and markets the neon signs that light the way to hundreds of small businesses including hair, nail and tanning salons; coffee houses; barber shops; massage and tattoo parlors; beauty spas; restaurants, including ethnic foods, pizza, ice cream, hotwings and sub shops; finance and tax-preparation offices; pawn shops; travel agencies; and specialty stores.

The company’s manufacturing and distribution facility is at 332 Sexton Road. It has a Mount Airy address, but in fact is just north of Dobson off Casstevens Road. Jantec employs about 17 people here.

Jan Legere founded Jantec Neon Products in 1993. During the 13 years before that, he worked in the fluorescent lamp field, including several years as president and chief operating officer of a major manufacturer of specialty fluorescent lamps. He also was an engineering consultant who helped set up lamp plants both domestically and in Mexico, Thailand and mainland China.

Legere established Jantec Neon Products about as far north in Pennsylvania as you can go without being in New York.

Surry County offered the company North Carolina’s milder climate with easy transportation access for shipping.

“A long family history of artists, combined with some of the most state-of-the-art knowledge of how to manufacturer neon signs (which, from an engineering view, are very similar to fluorescent lamps) led to the vision of Jantec Neon Products,” the company says on its web site. “Today Jantec Neon Products employs over 30 people involved not only in the manufacture of of neon displays, but also many high-tech lighting products, some of which include specialized microscope illumination units, lighting for robotic vision units, and miniature neon indicator lamps (2 mm. in diameter).

“The fact that the same equipment that processes your neon sign also processes special lamp units for million-dollar microscopes results in a reputation for quality that is unequalled in the sign industry.”

In addition to lighted signs, Jantec Neon also provides window signs printed in vinyl ink on a clear static-cling background that will not fade, crack or peel.

“We recognize the need for economical signage for retailers who are on a budget,” says Lauri Legere. “Our static-cling window graphics look like professionally installed vinyl, but usually range between $20 to $30 each and can easily be removed and used again.”

Jantec Neon also sells heavy-duty vinyl banners with brass grommets as well as two-sided sidewalk signs with a heavy base and swinging message board that can stand up to windy weather; letter and symbol kits for changeable messages; and a free industry-specific header.

In 2005, the Legeres bought Surry County land and two buildings formerly owned by Kim-Mark Hosiery Co. The larger structure is 8,850 square feet, the smaller is 1,800 square feet.

Asked where the company finds workers to make and assemble neon lamps and Jantec’s other specialized products, Lauri Legere, who’s also the company’s vice president, says, “We train them.” She says the company has a few simple tests and exercises that generally indicate whether a person has the skills and aptitude for the work. It hires people part-time during a training period. If that works out, they move up to full time.

Jantec Neon Products posts job openings here. The company is currently looking for an administrative assistant and maintenance and assembly workers.

Note: Jantec also has a company blog. To read Jan Legere’s very funny post about his recent adventures with Sprint’s telephone service, go to

And one more note: Specialty Coffee Retailers’ website,, has featured Jantec twice in as many years. The articles are aimed at coffee retailers and coffee-shop owners, but there’s useful information about neon signs and other displays for many small businesses in “Signs Of The Times” and “Signology”.

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