OXFORD – A $167 million economic development project in Oxford is now officially underway as Saint-Gobain held a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the company’s CertainTeed Roofing campus on Friday.

When the project was announced in April, the company committed to investing at least $118 million, but the company will now invest approximately $167 million according to a statement.

At the time, the company announced it would hire at least 37 workers once the facility was fully operational. A performance-based economic development grant from the One North Carolina Fund is a part of the deal the company made with the state of North Carolina.

According to a statement, the project is supported with more than $700,000 in incentives and grants from the state of North Carolina, which includes a Rural Division Building Reuse Grant as well.

“The construction of this facility in Oxford is an important step to maintain our industry-leading service to our customers,” said Carmen Bodden, Vice President of CertainTeed Roofing in Friday’s statement. “Our goal is for this plant to be the new industry standard – it will utilize cutting edge energy and water reduction technology, as well as innovative automation.

Once operational, the facility will manufacture glass mat, a material composed of short fiberglass filaments bonded together by a polymer resin.  The manufacturing process results in a key component in the production of roofing shingles.

Building product manufacturer to invest $118M in expansion at Oxford, to add jobs

The largest investment, with more coming

The company statement noted that the $167 million facility will just be the beginning of its investment, as it plans to invest additional funds in “new technology to enhance employee safety and sustainability” at the plant.

To date, the $167 million mark is the largest investment in any of the company’s US-based roofing product manufacturing facilities, it noted in the statement.

In April, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper called the expansion project “a great indicator of North Carolina’s manufacturing economy.”

Last month, Governor Cooper said at an event that manufacturing jobs will be a future driver of the state’s economy.

The 37 jobs expected to be hired at the facility will average wages of nearly $67,000.  In April, the state of North Carolina estimated those jobs at those wages would create annual payroll impact of more than $2.4 million in the region.

(Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly noted the company received an economic development grant that had been approved by the Economic Investment Committee. That was incorrect. This story has been updated.)

Manufacturing jobs will be a driver of NC’s economy, Governor says