By Valerie Baldowskis
For months now, Inline Plastics Corp., has quietly staked out a home for itself among the many businesses in the Liberty Industrial Park, in McDonough.
At an official grand opening, and ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday, officials representing the City of McDonough, the Henry County government, the Henry County Development Authority, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, and the local business community, welcomed Inline's president, Thomas Orkisz; its vice president of sales, Augie Lanzetta; and its vice president of manufacturing, Dan Landan, to the Southern Crescent area.
The 158,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution facility is housed in the former Ford Parts distribution center. The business has 92 employees. At full employment, the plant is anticipated to have approximately 120 associates. Officials say, once it is operating fully, the company will generate a payroll of $3 million annually.
"Tom [Orkisz, company president], I'd like to congratulate you on officially opening your plant here in McDonough," said McDonough Mayor Billy Copeland. "You found a new promised land, and that is Henry County, and the City of McDonough."
The city has grown over the years, said the mayor. "To share with you a little about our town ... In 1997, I was defeated by two votes," Copeland said. "We had 4,200 people in McDonough, [and] for the year previous, about 3,000. I came back in 2005, to begin serving in 2006, and McDonough had grown from 4,200 to 16,000," he continued. "Today, we are in excess of 20,000 people."
The Shelton, Conn.-based company, which provides plastic food packaging used with bakery items, fresh cut fruit, deli items, and produce, has put some $3.5 million worth of equipment into the facility. Getting the business operational, and equipment installed, accounts for the 10 months delay it took to get the facility going, officials said.
Herb Knutson, director of marketing for Inline Plastics Corp., said one of the machines installed is custom-built, and did not come in until the very end of December 2009.
Inline's Orkisz said he elected to open a plant in Henry County because of its proximity to the interstate. "It's a good logistical location for us," said Orkisz. "We have about 13 southeastern states that we want to support. It's centrally located, kind of like a hub, where we can reach all those states very effectively. Probably, the tipping factor was really the logistics. It was better situated, more approximate to our key customers, enabling us to get to them quicker.
"The county was very proactive with [its] support, and the incentives the state offers ...," Orkisz added.
Dawn Sturbaum, senior incentives program manager for the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, presented the company with a $1,000 Regional Economic Business Assistance (REBA) grant during the event.
Bob White, executive director of the Henry County Development Authority said Inline Plastics' decision to locate in Henry, "reaffirms our viability and attractiveness for new business investment."
After the ribbon-cutting program, Landan and John Ammons, the company's Georgia plant manager, gave attendees a tour.