South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley was in town last Thursday morning to formerly announce the Shaeffler Group’s intention to expand operations in Cheraw to the tune of $40 million. This expansion will create 190 new jobs for Cheraw, she said, “because of the work ethic you have proven here.”
Haley said the training programs INA have put into place by working with Northeastern Technical College, since the 1980’s, have helped prove this community’s commitment to excellence. A reputation, she said, that has made its way across the Atlantic Ocean.
Having traveled to Germany just six months after she took office, Gov. Haley said she met with Mrs. Schaeffler, the owner of the company, to talk about economic growth in our state. “Mrs. Schaeffler talked about the people in Cheraw all the way in Germany,” Haley said. “She speaks of you with such pride.”
This is a company that could expand anywhere in the world, said Haley, “and they’ve chosen to expand here because of the quality work you’ve produced.”
The expansion will allow for the production of a new innovation known as a “tappet for Nissan,” said Holman, “which goes in the valve train of the engine.”
Jim Lanter, Director of Operations with Schaeffler, told the crowd, which included almost every worker in the plant, that Cheraw’s workforce had “proven it’s self time and again,” and has maintained an 88 percent retention rate since 1988.
“You have what it takes to compete on a global scale,” Lanter said. “And the technology involved with this new product is as sophisticated as it gets.”
Phil Holman, director of human resources for the Schaeffler Group, said the expansion and additional jobs should happen within the coming year. In fact, he said, applications will be taken, beginning January 2013, through the South Carolina Works program. All new employees must complete the training program through Northeastern Tech, said Holman, which is typically 90 days.
“This is a cool day in South Carolina,” said Haley. “And Cheraw is a cool place. This may be my first trip, but it’s not the last. It’s just the beginning.”
— Staff Writer Karen Kissiah can be reached by calling 843-537-5261, or by email at email@example.com.