by: Jim Strickland Updated:
CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. - Cherokee County's newest large employer is now open in a county-owned industrial park. Inalfa Roof Systems makes sunroofs for automotive clients such as Ford, Nissan and BMW.
“I was out of work, I'd say a few months," said new hire Neia Jones.
"To be a part of something that's part new and just coming in and you're a part of that, it's good," said current worker Anna Lopez.
Lopez was on unemployment.
"I was ready to get out and do a job instead of sitting at home, and there wasn't a lot of people hiring," Lopez told Channel 2's Jim Strickland.
The factory anchors the 100-acre Cherokee 75 Park. Land and infrastructure cost $8 million in bond proceeds. Development Vice Chairman Steve Holcomb is hoping to have the park full in a year with industrial and office businesses.
“It can have very easily 1,000 to 2,000 jobs, and as far as capital investment, it can very easily have over $500 million," said Holcomb.
Inalfa has 100 workers now and expects 300 within a year.
"When we're done here you'll see this plant fully populated with assembly lines similar to what you're seeing today. We'll probably have seven to eight complete lines," said manager Daniel Twork.
Inalfa is already planning another expansion, with 45,000 more square feet operating and 100 additional jobs by sometime in 2015.