Construction of the 165-000-square-foot facility began at the park near Highway 92 in the summer, after Gov. Nathan Deal’s office announced that the Netherlands-based car parts maker planned to bring 300 jobs to Cherokee County.
Daniel Twork, plant manager at the new factory, said Friday the first line of production has been ordered by Ford and will start shipping out of the facility in Acworth on Jan. 31. Inalfa’s other facilities around the world also have car makers such as General Motors, Volkswagen and BMW as their customers.
The plant in Acworth, which is the first facility to open at the Cherokee 75 park, has hired about 85 employees, with the goal of 300 workers likely to be realized by 2015, Twork said.
“I would say a little more (will be hired),” he added. “But it’s early in the game.”
Twork said Inalfa hopes to have a positive impact on Cherokee County, especially in terms of employing county residents.
“I think we’re going to be a good fit for the community,” he said. “We’re a proud company. We really take good care of our people. It’s quite a nice facility. We hope it makes the community very proud.”
Commission Jason Nelms, who represents District 4 where Inalfa’s factory is located, said he was proud for the company to choose Cherokee County for its newest United States facility.
“You bring that amount of employment numbers into the county, it’s very impressive,” Nelms said Friday. “That’s pretty strong anywhere you go. Our citizens in Cherokee County, they’re smart, they’re very intelligent and they’re a qualified work force. For us to be able to provide a place for them to work in our county and to not have to commute into Atlanta every day, that’s just an added bonus. That’s what we’re all after.”
Twork credited the Cherokee Office of Economic Development in part with Inalfa’s move to Cherokee County being completed. COED was also honored by the governor in October, when Deal awarded the office and Inalfa the “Deal of the Year” award for helping to sway the company to Acworth.
Nelms said the Highway 92 and Interstate 75 area in Acworth is proving to be a good spot for growth in Cherokee, with other developments such as sporting goods retailer Cabela’s, also setting up shop in the area.
“It’s going to be a really good economic opportunity,” Nelms said, adding Inalfa can serve as an “anchor” for the Cherokee 75 Corporate Park specifically.