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Koyo Bearings USA holding job fair

Strong safety, quality records weighed for location

POSTED: May 18, 2011 10:22 p.m.

Koyo Bearings USA will hold a job fair Saturday to recruit for an expansion that will add 50 employees to its Dahlonega plant.

The 70,000-square-foot addition, which broke ground earlier this month, will increase the plants' production of roller bearings. Plant manager Barry Beyer said demand for the part is growing as the automotive industry recovers from the recession.

"Everybody expected the automotive industry to rebound and it has," he said. "We are trying to meet that need."

Koyo began in January deciding which of its plants to expand. Dahlonega was chosen over several others, including one plant in Tennessee. Beyer said the company will take advantage of the state's Quick Start program, an incentive initiative that provides customized job training to new or expanding companies.

"That was a big contributor," he said. "It typically takes about 12 weeks to train a good employee. If they're less qualified it takes longer than that for just a single job. So starting out with a real good candidate makes our job a lot easier to get up to speed."

Beyer said the facility's strong safety and quality records also contributed to Koyo's decision to expand there. The company also wanted to move quickly with the expansion and was confident good employees could be found in the Dahlonega area.

The expansion of the plant off Highway 9 is projected for completion in February of next year, with production there beginning the following April.

"It's very positive for the community," said Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce President Amy Booker. "The creation of new jobs, 45 to 50 new jobs, it's an investment in the community."

Koyo has operated a plant in Lumpkin County for about 30 years, employing as many as 300 people at one time. Today, the plant has just 155 employees, up from what had been a low of 120.

"We've really been intertwined with the community and that's really been a benefit, just to be able to help them out and provide the jobs," he said.
"...The automotive market has certainly been hit hard with the economy. ... Climbing back up the other side just feels really good."

Beyer said he's confident Saturday's job fair at the Lumpkin County High School will provide quality job candidates.

"We're able to get good employees for this type of work," he said. "We feel like there is still a good available workforce out there."

 



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