Auto parts maker brings 300 jobs to Pickens Co. - FOX Carolina 21

Auto parts maker brings 300 jobs to Pickens Co.

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Kongsberg Automotive announces new jobs, investment in Pickens County. (Nov. 8, 2011/FOX Carolina) Kongsberg Automotive announces new jobs, investment in Pickens County. (Nov. 8, 2011/FOX Carolina)
EASLEY, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Leaders in Pickens County made a major economic announcement Tuesday morning.

Kongsberg Automotive, a maker of automotive components, plans to expand its existing Pickens County operation with a $7.3 million investment and add 300 new jobs. The announcement was made at 9 a.m. at the Tri County Technical College Easley Campus.

The expansion is scheduled to begin in early 2012 and take five years to complete.

"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 will manufacture precision parts for the aerospace, truck and automotive industry at the expanded plant, which became part of the company through a recent acquisition.

The company will begin hiring for the new positions in January 2012. Anyone interested should contact Liberty One Stop at that time.

Company leaders said they are looking to hire good workers.

"We want people that can learn new skills, come to work everyday and take pride in what they do," McKinnon said. 

The company considered moving to a different location when it needed to expand due to projected rapid growth, but the county encouraged them to stay and move into the Bill Masters facility in Easley after Confluence Watersports vacated.

Several companies have announced plans since June to invest in Pickens County, making about a $26 million investment in the county, generating 576 new jobs.

Jennifer Willis, the chairman of the Pickens County Council, credited the growth to the county's business-friendly policies. 

"Our process is streamlined, permitting is less than 24 hours in most cases," Willis said. "We can help them get done what they need to do, so they can get to the business of making products, hiring our people."

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