The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press 

GAF adds 50 jobs with reopened plant


April 25, 2019 | View PDF

Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

GAF President Jim Schnepper speaks to the crowd before the ribbon was cut.

GAF Materials cut the ribbon for the reopening of their Glass Mat plant that was shuttered in 2009. GAF President Jim Schnepper cut the ribbon before over 75 people, signaling the beginning of the next chapter in the GAF story.

Local dignitaries including Mayor Gilbert Alvarado, Councilmember Cathy Prout and representatives from Supervisor David Couch and Rudy Salas' offices were on hand to celebrate the reopening. GAF is the nation's leader in manufacturing roofing materials, with one in four homes and businesses roofed with GAF roofing materials, according to industry leaders.

In 2009, with the housing market crashing and demand for roofing materials dipping, the leaders at GAF decided to shutter the glass mat plant. But Shafter GAF Manager Nigel Abraham and Schnepper decided to "mothball" the operation, keeping the site kept up and prepared for a turnaround. When the market started climbing again, the Glass Mat plant went through a multimillion-dollar upgrade to support the increase in demand for high quality roofing solutions.

The plant produces a fiberglass substrate called glass mat, a key component in manufacturing rooftop shingles, which are also produced by GAF in Shafter.

"We are thrilled to bring the Glass Mat plant here in Shafter back online and bring 50 more jobs to the community." Schnepper said,.

Jamie Stewart | the Shafter Press

Workers prepare to cut a roll of Glass Mat and begin a new roll. They can make a large roll like this one every 20 minutes.

After the ribbon was cut, a lunch was served and a tour was given, showing the process of creating the Glass Mat material. It was said during the tour that the plant can produce enough roofing material in one day to service 20,000 homes. GAF produces a broad range of industry leading commercial and residential roofing and waterproofing solutions, with the largest network of distributors and certified roofing contractors in North America.

Abraham and Schnepper said that the company has enjoyed a very prosperous relationship with the city of Shafter and are looking forward to it growing even stronger. "As an employer in Shafer, we could not be happier to support our community and our talented team as the Glass Mat plant begins to operate at full capacity once again," Abraham said. "This represents our commitment to our community and our customers, and we are excited to play a bigger role in our local economy and the roofing industry"


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