Roofing Company Gaf Plans $146M Georgia Plant, Hiring 135

VALDOSTA, Ga. (AP) — A roofing company plans to build a factory in the south Georgia city of Valdosta, investing $146 million and hiring 135 workers over the next six years.

GAF, a unit of privately held Standard Industries of New York, made the announcement Wednesday. Construction is supposed to start this fall, with production beginning in early 2024.

The company will make a plastic membrane called thermoplastic polyolefin roofing that is used mostly to cover flat roofs or low-slope roofs on commercial buildings.

GAF said the plant will allow it to serve customers more quickly. The company currently makes the same product in New Columbia, Pennsylvania; Mount Vernon, Indiana; Gainesville, Texas; and Cedar City, Utah.

“Adding another manufacturing plant in Georgia will help ensure that our customers get the GAF products they need as quickly and efficiently as possible” GAF CEO Jim Schnepper said in a statement.

The company said it chose Valdosta because of its vicinity to highway and railways, available workers and its location relative to other GAF operations. GAF already has other locations in Savannah, Statesboro and Cumming that employ a total of 225 people.

Company spokesperson Joe Perri said it was too early to say how much employees will earn.

GAF could get more than $13.5 million worth of incentives to locate in Valdosta. That includes 130 acres (52.6 hectares) of free land worth $3.25 million and 12 years of property tax abatements with estimated savings of $7.9 million, said Andrea Schruijer, executive director of the Valdosta-Lowndes Development Authority. The company would also be eligible for a state income tax credit allowing it to annually deduct $3,500 per job from state income taxes, up to $2.36 million over five years, as long as workers make at least $28,000 a year.

It's unclear whether the company will emit air or water pollution. Perri said he facility would “meet or exceed” pollution control permit requirements.