GAF’s distribution center brings prosperity, convenience, and jobs to the shingle manufacturer and Michigan City area

GAF’s distribution center brings prosperity, convenience, and jobs to the shingle manufacturer and Michigan City area

Roofing shingle manufacturer GAF celebrated the official grand opening of its distribution center with the Michigan City community on Thursday, September 1.

“A lot of people sometimes don't stop to celebrate the moments that we should, but in this case, it was great and it's appropriate to do it now because the pandemic has subsided. It's beautiful out and to celebrate the opening of this facility today is really special,” GAF CEO Jim Schnepper said.

As GAF continues to grow, the expansion was added to better help handle the distribution of the roofing shingles to customers, which includes places such as Lowes and Home Depot. Just two and a half miles down the road from the main manufacturing plant, the distribution center features much more space equipped with offices and a large warehouse for all shipping, receiving, and distribution needs.

“The facility itself is a world-class distribution facility, which is great for us to see because I've been here for 18 years, and I've seen how we used to distribute product here in Michigan City, to what it's now become, which is awesome,” GAF Chief Operations Officer Randy Bargfrede said.

The addition has also positively impacted the job market in Michigan City. Between the main plant and distribution center, GAF now provides jobs to almost 200 employees.

“As we think about this facility versus other facilities, we're employing upwards of 30 plus people directly in this facility, but we're also having quite an impact on how many others we really help get employed around us,” said Bargfrede. “Think about all the truckers that need to bring in the product that we're looking at here and ship that product out. The people that load those trucks, the people that supply us with parts and maintenance equipment to be able to run an operation like this. I think it just shows the impact we can have on the community.”

The Economic Development Corporation of Michigan City (EDCMC) heavily supports impact that GAF has had on the community of Michigan city.

“GAF has been and continues to be a great corporate citizen and very engaged in our community and donating time and resources. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with them” said EDCMC Executive Director, Clarence Hulse. “ We see this expansion as one of many in the near future with all their new technologies coming to the market.”

GAF celebrates the grand opening of its distribution center in Michigan City

GAF celebrates the grand opening of its distribution center in Michigan City 75 Photos
GAF celebrates the grand opening of its distribution center in Michigan CityGAF celebrates the grand opening of its distribution center in Michigan CityGAF celebrates the grand opening of its distribution center in Michigan CityGAF celebrates the grand opening of its distribution center in Michigan City

The distribution center has also added a sense of ease and efficiency to current operations.

“I think anybody who's in business today, especially manufacturing, is in the logistics business. You do need to make sure that you're efficiently distributing your products, and this adds and allows us to be more efficient out of this facility,” Schnepper said.

While the ribbon cutting was just recently held, the distribution center has actually been up and running since November of 2019. The reasoning behind hosting the event in 2022 was that GAF wanted to celebrate this milestone with as many as possible who made the expansion possible.

“This ribbon cutting has been a long time coming,” said GAF Plant Manager Matt Hannon. “Throughout COVID, we delayed it and pushed it back until we got an opportunity where it was safe for everybody to collect, and we want to make sure we share it with everybody. We could have done it quietly and just gone about our business, but we wanted to make sure that we pulled in the community and folks that have been important and instrumental in driving this forward, so it's really nice to be able to celebrate with everybody.”

One such person included in that group was Michigan City Mayor Duane Parry, who has seen just how much of a great impact GAF has made on the industrial and manufacturing communities since it first came to the area 23 years ago.

“It's been a long time since Michigan City has had industry at this level in our town,” Parry said. “We were always a blue-collar town. We had tons of industry. When industry left the northern states, they went down south and eventually out of the country. Michigan City was one of the towns that were very heavily impacted by that. Now, GAF is in a select group with solar, wind, power tech, and a couple of others that are really supporting the community by establishing themselves. They employ a lot of our people. They've trained a lot of our people, which is good for everyone.”

Parry is also a lifelong supporter of GAF, and promises to offer his support in any way he can both in and out of office.

“I'd like to thank GAF for choosing Michigan City to build their manufacturing and material distribution center,” Parry said. “I assure them that as long as I'm serving Michigan City as its mayor, they will have a friend that will support them and their expansion in whatever they want to do.”

For more information on GAF, visit gaf.com/en-us.

The Economic Development of Michigan City (EDCMC), a proud supporter of GAF, works to bring quality jobs and businesses to the Michigan City area. For more information, visit edcmc.com.