FILE - GA Brian Kemp

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.

An Italian manufacturer is slated to open up shop in Georgia adding to the record job increases in the area.

Rivacold, a refrigeration systems manufacturing company, plans to open a $5 million facility in the metro Atlanta area, Gov. Brian Kemp announced in a news release on Thursday. 

“We are honored to welcome Rivacold to Georgia with the opening of their first U.S. facility in Buford,” said Kemp. “Rivacold will join a booming manufacturing industry in our state, and I am excited for the opportunities this new facility will create for hardworking Georgians in Gwinnett County.”

Rivacold will add 140 jobs to the climbing job field in the 29-county metropolitan statistical area where Gwinnett County is located. Preliminary numbers from the Georgia Labor Commission show around 2.2 million people in the metro area were employed in June. Unemployment also declined reflecting sturdy growth in the counties. Unemployment claims in June were down by 8 percent, double the rate at the same time last year.

“June was a very strong month for Georgia,” said Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “A number of local communities set records as the state added more than 20,000 jobs.”

Rivacold currently employs 1,200 people internationally. Specializing in refrigerator design and service, their products cater to the food, medical, vending machine and dairy industries.

Doug Schmidt, the president of the company's North America branch, said breaking into the U.S. market will help Rivacold keep up with changing demands and its customer base.

“Our proven, unique advantage is our ability to provide cooling solutions which are customized to the application’s needs,” said Schmidt.

More than 440,000 people are employed in the 10,000 manufacturing facilities in Georgia, according to the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance. Last month, Preci-Dip, a Swiss manufacturer of electronic connector pins, opened its first U.S. warehouse in Bryan County with a $13.6 million investment and 100 new jobs for residents.

This is the second manufacturer that has selected Gwinnett County as its home. Swiss company, Elma Electronic Inc., announced in May its plans to open a 150,000-square-foot facility in Gwinnett, which will require 93 employees. 

Rivacold’s new location in Buford will give the company quick access to the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin. 

“Rivacold's decision to locate in Gwinnett is further proof that we are leading the way in advanced manufacturing," said Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Chair Charlotte Nash. "Gwinnett provides the workforce, infrastructure, and collaborative business environment that these industry leaders need to thrive, and we look forward to their longstanding success in our community.”

Pat Wilson, commissioner of Georgia Department of Economic Development, said the state has been able to attract foreign investment because of its logistics network and workforce training programs.

“Congratulations to our economic development partners on this exciting announcement,” said Wilson.

Staff Writer

Nyamekye Daniel has been a journalist for three years. She was the managing editor for the South Florida Media Network and a staff writer for The Miami Times. Daniel's work has also appeared in the Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald and The New York Times.