“This expansion will help our plant remain competitive and meet increasing customer demand. Pickens County has provided us with an excellent business environment in which to operate. We greatly appreciate the support from state and local officials,” said Plant Manager Matt McKinnon.
Kongsberg Automotive will manufacture precision parts for the aerospace, truck and automotive industry at its expanded plant in Pickens County. The plant became part of the company through a recent acquisition. The expansion will begin in early 2012 and is expected to be completed within five years.
“Today’s announcement is a big win for South Carolina and Pickens County in particular, and we celebrate the 300 new jobs Kongsberg will create. Announcements like this show that we are doing the right things to encourage economic development in South Carolina,” said Gov. Nikki Haley.
This is Pickens County’s fifth and largest economic development announcement since June. Kongsberg Automotive was incorporated in Pickens County 1989 as Tevis Machine Products by Earl Tevis, a Pickens County entrepreneur. Mr. Tevis sold the company in 1999 to Teleflex. Kongsberg Automotive acquired the Pickens operation in 2007.
“The Palmetto State continues to be a big player in the automotive club. Manufacturing remains an important part of South Carolina’s economy and is the greatest source of wealth and job creation. We appreciate Kongsberg Automotive’s investment in the Palmetto State,” said Bobby Hitt, Secretary of Commerce.
Automotive continues to be a leading sector in South Carolina. Commerce has been involved in recruiting more than $2 billion in investment and more than 4,000 jobs in the automotive-related sector since the beginning of the year.
Due to current and projected rapid growth, Kongsberg needed to double the current plant capacity. Given the fact that there was not an appropriate, large enough existing manufacturing facility in Pickens County, Kongsberg considered other locations in both the U.S. and Mexico. However with Confluence Watersports vacating the Bill Masters facility in Easley, county officials moved quickly to introduce Kongsberg to the facility. Kongsberg chose to stay, winning the 300 job expansion in Pickens County, as well as retaining the existing 100 jobs.
“The expansion of Kongsberg Automotive and the creation of new jobs is fantastic news! The skilled workforce, the training available through Tri-County Technical College, the business-friendly community, and many other assets in Pickens County made the decision simple for Kongsberg Automotive. Pickens County is proud to celebrate this announcement and looks forward to watching the success of Kongsberg Automotive for many years to come,” stated Pickens County Council Chairwoman Jennifer Willis.
“Kongsberg has been an important part of Pickens County,” stated Dr. Ronnie L. Booth, chairman of Alliance Pickens and president of Tri-County Technical College. “This announcement is the result of Kongsberg’s positioning itself to take advantage of new opportunities in the world-wide market for their products. Most new jobs are created by existing industry and we see yet another example of that today.”
“We have a wide variety of challenging and rewarding positions that will become available in the near future. We look forward to partnering with the people of Pickens County to get those jobs filled”, said Kongsberg Human Resources Manager Candace Moore.
The company will begin hiring for the new positions in January 2012. Anyone interested in job opportunities with the company should contact Liberty One Stop at that time.
Kongsberg Automotive develops, manufactures and markets systems for gearshift, clutch actuation, seat comfort, stabilizing rods, couplings and components. For more information about Kongsberg Automotive, please visit www.kongsbergautomotive.com.
About S.C. Department of Commerce
As South Carolina’s leading economic development agency, the Department of Commerce works to recruit new businesses and help existing businesses grow. This year, Commerce won the Gold Shovel Award and the Deal of Year Award from Area Development magazine. Commerce has been part of recruiting world-class companies to South Carolina such as Boeing, Bridgestone, Continental, Monster.com, Heinz, ZF Group, BMW and Google Inc. Commerce also supports small and existing business, rural development initiatives and offers grants for community development. For more information, visit www.SCCommerce.com