Georgia governor Nathan Deal released a statement on December 16 indicating that the U.S. branch of a Seoul, South Korea-based company will open up a manufacturing facility in LaGrange in Troup County, which should create 100 jobs over the next three years. These new positions could provide a boon to automotive staffing.
"We are very happy to announce that we have decided to establish our new plant in LaGrange," company adviser Paul S. Jo. said in the statement. "We have followed for 65 years the same philosophy of our founders to grow through consistent and innovative manufacturing systems, material and product development and advanced technologies. We appreciate the team from LaGrange, Troup County and Georgia that has worked with us. We look forward to being a member of that team to build a successful business future together."
The company is an automotive supplier, manufacturing torsion bars and springs. The firm plans to invest $14 million into purchasing an existing plant and then expanding its capacity. According to television station WTVM 9, the company counts Hyundia, KIA, Mobis, Mando and Powertech among companies that receive its supplies.
The media outlet reports that major contributors to the effort to bring the jobs to the state included the Development Authority of LaGrange, The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDECD) and the City of LaGrange. GDECD project manager E. Jane Caraway took lead on the project.
Newly hired workers will be prepared for their roles at the new facility by the state's Quick Start workforce training program, according to the media outlet.
Another factor that could drive strong activity for those involved in staffing for positions in the automotive industry could be strong sales for new vehicles in 2011. Data provided by J.D. Power and Associates and LMC Automotive indicate that sales of vehicles being driven off car lots for the first time are expected to reach 1,033,700, according to USA Today. If sales hit this level, it will be the first time retail sales surpassed 1 million since the sales activity in this sector was bolstered by the Cash for Clunkers program in 2009.
The media outlet reports that total sales for the industry are expected to reach beyond an annualized pace of 13.4 million in December, which is almost 1 million higher than the metric of 12.5 million experienced during the same time in 2010. These strong sales numbers could result in an uptick in automotive staffing.