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Officials, executives hold groundbreaking for Great Lakes Cheese Company in Manchester

Posted on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 5:00 pm

great lakes cheese

Local and state officials joined members of the Coffee County Industrial Board and executives from Great Lakes Cheese Company at a ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday. The company is building a 330,000 square-foot facility in the Manchester Industrial Park. (Staff photo by Josh Peterson)

Local and state officials joined executives from Great Lakes Cheese Company for a ceremonial groundbreaking of the company’s new 330,000 square-foot plant in the Manchester Industrial Park Tuesday.

The Ohio-based cheese packing company announced in October that it would be building a super plant in Manchester that will create 200 jobs by 2019.

josh peterson“Our growth in Tennessee is kind of an exclamation point on our super-packaging plants,” Great Lakes Cheese board chair Heidi Eller told the crowd at Tuesday’s luncheon. “You will find this is going to be a state-of-the-art plant. With that we need your best people to be trained to do technical jobs and grow with us. We certainly appreciate your support to this point.”

Once the plant is fully operational it is expected to have a big impact on the area. Early estimates call for annual tax revenue of $1.89 million once the plant is fully operational and 200 jobs are expected by 2019 with skilled jobs estimated to start at $18 an hour.

“We are very proud of what we have done so far and we are excited about what the plant in Manchester will do for the company as well as this community,” said Great Lakes Cheese President and CEO Gary Vanic.

Manchester Mayor Lonnie Norman and Coffee County Mayor David Pennington each lauded the cooperation of the local governments in helping to lure the industry to the area.

“It took a lot of people working together to pull this off,” explained Norman. “I really thank the [Coffee County] Industrial Board for all the work they have done. They work day and night and they don’t get paid for it. I really appreciate my board, the city aldermen, they have been outstanding.”

Added Pennington, “Industry is the lifeblood of any community. If you have growth at all you have industry.”

Allen Borden, Assistant Commissioner of the Tennessee Economic and Community Development, Burns Phillips, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and Judd Matheny, State Representative, were also on hand for the groundbreaking and luncheon…..

Continue reading the complete story in next week’s (Dec. 18) print edition of the Manchester Times. Click here to subscribe to the print and/or online edition of the paper or call 931-728-7577.