About 50 jobs will be added in White Deer Township in the next two years as GAF, a roofing system manufacturer, expands into Union County.

Township board Chairman Carroll Diefenbach said the Parsippany, N.J.-based manufacturer is investing millions in the former New Columbia Joist building site off Old Route 15, which more recently had been owned by Moran Industries.

GAF is expected to begin hiring in 2017 and reach about 50 or so positions by 2018, he said.

"It's such good news," Diefenbach said. "We're so used to jobs leaving that it's great to be able to say manufacturing jobs are coming back."

Company officials will attend a public township meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday to outline their plans.

GAF was founded in 1886 and is North America's largest manufacturer of commercial and residential roofing, with annual sales of about $3 billion.

"We're quite pleased," said Union County Commissioner John Mathias. "It's a high quality company with good jobs."

Commissioner John Showers credited the county's economic development director, Shawn McLaughlin, working with the Governor's Action Team, with sealing the deal and officials from North Shore Railroad with "finding the prospect." 

GAF is a "high volume rail user," he said.

Local officials are particularly pleased to see manufacturing jobs being added.

"We've lost so many manufacturing jobs over the years. ... It's good to see they're coming back," Showers said. 

Email comments to mmoore@dailyitem.com. Follow her on Twitter @marciamoore4.

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