An international business recently expanded its south Forsyth location with a customer support center.
The Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce announced the expansion of Dieffenbacher’s U.S. manufacturing plant on Wednesday.
The customer service center will add about 13 new jobs and $1.2 million in capital investment to the facility off of McFarland Parkway.
Dieffenbacher is a family-owned company founded in Germany in 1873.
According to the chamber, the firm is a leading supplier for wood-based panel and pellet plants.
The company also focuses on development of green energy products, said Randall Toussaint, the chamber’s vice president of economic development.
“We’re one of the first communities to establish a green property tax abatement program that serves as a recruitment tool to bring more green technology firms into the area,” Toussaint said.
The company’s expansion “demonstrates success in both of our markets,” he said, referring to the county’s recruitment of international business and the sustainable technology sector.
The new customer service center provides spare parts and services for all of Dieffenbacher’s customers in Canada and the U.S.
The demand for Dieffenbacher’s products is growing in this country, and the new customer service center prepares for that sector, said Rolf-Dieter Krey, manager of customer service in a statement.
Krey worked with the chamber once the expansion opportunity arose in late 2012.
“At first I thought it was just about tax incentives,” he said, “but it was also about work force development.”
Krey plans to work with local colleges on creating internship opportunities to assist with training the future work force.
According to Toussaint, the expansion will cause the business to hire employees trained in technology proficiency and interpersonal communication.
“There is a void of technically trained workers throughout the state of Georgia, and we’re thrilled that our partners at the Georgia Department of Labor, Lanier Technical College, our local school system and our manufacturing society have been able to step up and offer support to our local companies,” he said.
“Really, that’s what’s allowing many of these high-tech and green companies to grow and expand. It’s quite simply that we’re able to meet the labor force needs that they have in a real-time basis.”
Dieffenbacher moved to south Forsyth about 18 months ago, Toussaint said, and he’s thrilled that the business is expanding so quickly.
“With international companies, they grow a bit more exponentially than our domestic companies do,” he said. “That’s the model that we’ve seen before.”
Dieffenbacher is one of more than 60 international companies located in the county, where 20 have established their North American corporate headquarters.
According to the Georgia Department of Economic Development, nearly 40 percent of business expansion in north Georgia during 2012 occurred in Forsyth County.