Bitzer celebrated its newest Oakwood facility on Tuesday, with company leaders guiding tours through a warehouse where compressors for refrigeration and air conditioning are manufactured and holding a ceremony with leaders from the German company and the Hall County community.
The 95,000-square-foot expansion represents an additional 50 jobs and a $10 million investment, leaders said at the ceremony outside the building on Enterprise Way off Thurmon Tanner Parkway.
Hall County Board of Commissioners Dick Mecum said the 50 employees are salaries paid into the community and "when you spend money locally, it rolls over."
Mike Duffy, plant manager, said the company currently has about 105 employees and is looking to expand within the next two years, adding more space and more employees.
"In March of 2012, I stood close to this very spot, on a green field, and showed a rendition of the new factory we would build...," said Peter Narreau, president of Bitzer US. "This vision has become a reality. A reality that has only been possible through the support of our headquarters and our state and local community."
Peter Schaufler, CEO and chairman of Bitzer Group, said he "looked forward to the growth."
Bitzer first established a plant in Oakwood in 2004. By 2005, the company began production with 25 employees. Bitzer still maintains the 45,000-square-foot facility on Chamblee Road in Oakwood, which was named Bitzers’ North American headquarters. Bitzer has one other plant in North America, located in Syracuse, N.Y.
Bitzer was named the industry of the year in the medium category this year by the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce.
"These things don’t just happen. ... These things happen because somebody had a dream and a vision to make them happen...," Oakwood Mayor Lamar Scroggs said. "We want to welcome you to Oakwood and spend money in our community."