October 21/Manchester, Tenn. - Great Lakes Cheese is opening its first plant in the southeast in Manchester, Tenn.

The Hiram, Ohio, company said it plans to invest $100 million in the 330,000-square-foot facility and create more than 200 jobs.

The cheese manufacturing and packaging plant will become the company's ninth. The others are located in Utah, Wisconsin and New York.

"There's a lot of people here in Manchester who (are) out of work," resident David Creek said. "They need jobs. Anything that comes our way is appreciated."

Hiring is expected to begin in the fall of next year and reach 200 by 2019.

"They (will) use a whole lot of robots and they (need) skilled people," Manchester mayor Lonnie Norman said. "That's why the pay will be in the upper range of $18 to $20 an hour."

The company supplies grocery and warehouse stores and restaurant chains and food service distributors.

"We're just sitting on the verge of doing big things," Norman said. "I hope this is a stepping stone for us to get other things."

Another cheesemaker, MDM Foods, announced in August that it plans to build an expanded production facility in Manchester. The new facility is expected to increase employment from 41 to about 70 people in the next few years.