CertainTeed Corporation
Values driving monumental growth
In 2018, ECEDC, in conjunction with Milan Township, Team Northeast Ohio and JobsOhio, was pleased to announce a sizable expansion project with over $30 million capital investment was coming to our area from long time community partner, CertainTeed. To jog your memory, this is the big building near the Turnpike with the blue fence. And yes, you've probably noticed over the past year that blue fence is getting a little bit longer. To further jog your memory, CertainTeed makes roofing shingles, has been operating on the site for 51 years, and is a subsidiary of the international company Saint-Gobain. The expansion project consists of building a brand new asphalt processing plant to achieve vertical integration - leading to raw material supply stability, process control improvements, and quality assurance. CertainTeed does so much more than just make shingles. Saint-Gobain designs, manufactures, and distributes materials and solutions which are key ingredients in the well-being of each of us and the future of all. These materials are found everywhere in our living spaces and daily lives: building, transportation, infrastructure, and in many industrial applications. They provide comfort, performance, and safety while meeting the challenges of sustainable construction, the efficient management of resources, and climate change. Locally CertainTeed has demonstrated this and their commitment to community throughout their expansion project. Even while carrying out a project of this scale, the company still carried out superior safety and environmental friendliness during construction, and they also never lost sight of their charitable efforts. Last year, they supported 14 local organizations, most recently the Erie County Sheriff's department for a purchase of a third canine.
Fast Facts
  • 90,000+ labor hours with 0 injuries in project build-out
  • 2 million gallons flux storage capacity
  • $30 million+ investment enabling long-term sustainability of 200+ employee site
The progress made on the site since the announcement of the project is breathtaking. While much of it can be seen from Rte. 250 (i.e. the two one-million-gallon storage tanks), much of it cannot. For example the all-new rail-siding bringing rail access with four spurs directly to the site. A portion of the company's investment in this expansion project was to build the rail switch and spurs connecting directly from Norfolk Southern's main line. The spurs allow for up to 14 full rail cars at any given time to deliver the flux used in asphalt processing. This just-in-time delivery of raw material for shingle production allows for less dependency on trucks, meaning, less delays, less traffic, and less co2 emmissions.

To get a glimpse of the activity you can't see from the road, scroll through the series of progress pictures and following description of how the plant actually runs in today's age of advanced manufacturing.
January 2018 - demolition begins on new land, 10 acres north of CertainTeed's existing manufacturing site
June 2018 - tank foundation work started
November 2018 - tank construction begins
February 2019 - tank construction, operations building, and processing foundations started
July 2019 - things are taking shape
November 2019 - what you see today, with operation right around the corner
So what exactly is all that in the "today" picture? To the east, closest to Rt 250, are the tanks. These tanks hold flux (basically raw asphalt) in the quantity of 1 million gallons each. Since we're talking gallons, if you want to compare it to milk... one of the tanks would hold enough servings of milk for 5,333,333 days or 14,611 years. That's a lot of milk. The framing structure you see around the asphalt pipe bridge. This bridge is the only way CertainTeed's two sites are connected. It transports the asphalt directly from the processing plant over to the manufacturing site. The rectangular building nestled in between all the structures is the asphalt operations building - this is where things really get interesting. This building houses the control station. The asphalt processing plant is fully automated. The entire process is operated from this location through programmable logic controllers (PLC) that are interfaced with the operators through human machine interfaces (HMI). If you don't first think of computer programming when you think about jobs in asphalt processing, then this local project should change your mind. Another misconception about the asphalt processing plant may be that it's dirty. CertainTeed has installed environmentally-engineered control devices to mitigate the emissions of smoke and particulate matter (dust and dirt) pollution to the tune of $3 million. Similarly, they've installed multiple engineering control devices that control odor.
We are looking forward to seeing the new plant go into operation in Q1 2020, and we are certain that CertainTeed's commitment to growth, to creating new local jobs, to working collaboratively with contractors, to safety, to the environment, and to our community organizations will not go unnoticed. This company is so much more than a blue fence. They are true contributors to our economy and our community.
Did You Know?
Major facility upgrades often require site improvements. To support the CertainTeed expansion, ECEDC and a team of local and state partners brought together resources and strategies to assist with upgrading utility and transportation services to the expanding site. Entities involved included JobsOhio, Team Northeast Ohio, Columbia Gas, TransCanada, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, Norfolk Southern, the Ohio Rail Development Commission and the Ohio Department of Transportation. ECEDC is the first place to start in pulling together a team like this.  Contact us to find out how we can help and ensure smooth progression of your next project.   
Stay Tuned for Day 11: Cedar Point Sports Center
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The 12 Days of Development email series recognizes and celebrates another year of progress in Erie County, Ohio. Throughout the weeks of December, you will receive email spotlights on a company investing, improving and innovating in our community. We can't capture it all, so let us know a neighbor we missed or what activities you've got planned to make the 2020 list! #ErieCounty12Days