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JDA of Franklin, Hart and Stephens Counties - TI Automotive

TI Automotive

TI Automotive

In 1997, Franklin, Hart and Stephens counties came together to form a tri-county Joint Development Authority (JDA) in order to bring jobs to the area. Georgia Tech completed a feasibility study in 1998, and in 2001 the JDA acquired land for Gateway Regional Industrial Park, a 150-acre prime site along I-85/GA Hwy 77, to target high-tech companies aimed at diversifying regional economy. The OneGeorgia Authority awarded a $500,000 Equity grant for infrastructure development of the industrial park. “In 2001, we were fortunate to receive a $500,000 Equity Fund Grant from the OneGeorgia Authority for infrastructure in our Gateway Industrial Park on I-85.  We had basically exhausted our available financial resources when we purchased the land so this allowed us to begin development of the park shortly after the purchase.  Otherwise, it may have been several years before we would have had utilities on site,” says Jack Edmunds, chairman of the Joint Development Authority of Franklin, Hart and Stephens Counties. “This was a big attraction when we began working on the TI Automotive Project that eventually became our anchor industry in the park.  During negotiations, we were in competition with a neighboring state.  What really made this project happen was an EDGE grant from OneGeorgia that allowed us to grade the site for this high-tech industry.” In 2004 TI Automotive announced that it planned to locate as the park’s anchor tenant. In addition to the $650,000 EDGE grant used for site preparation, local funding for the project totaled over $2.3 million. TI Automotive is the only global supplier of fully integrated fuel storage and delivery systems for cars and trucks and the leading supplier of fluid carrying systems for braking and powertrain applications to automakers worldwide. Based in Warren Michigan, the company employs over 20,000 people at more than 130 facilities in 28 countries on six continents with sales in 2004 totaling over $2.5 billion. The OneGeorgia grants helped the area attract the automotive powerhouse which has invested more than $33 million dollars in the area. Training for many of the facility’s high-tech operators was provided by Georgia’s Quick Start program through North Georgia Technical College. TI Automotive now leases the Gateway Park site from the JDA of Franklin, Hart and Stephens Counties. The state-of-the-art factory manufactures blow-molded plastic fuel tanks and filler pipes for vehicles built by BMW, Daimler Chrysler and Hyundai, which is a first for a North American auto supplier. In 2005 TI Automotive opened its $33 million dollar state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Hartwell Georgia. The plant’s opening created 73 hi-tech manufacturing jobs with above average pay, with anticipation of up to another 100 early in 2007. The new 145,000 square foot plant has currently booked business to produce more than 480,000 automotive fuel tank systems, and according to Manouchehr Kambakhsh, TI Automotive vice president of Global Advanced Engineering, the new facility will have the capacity to produce a million fuel tanks annually. Now in 2008, TI Automotive in Hartwell has created 153 jobs, one-third more than its original estimate, and the company has invested $33,030,000 of the total project cost of $34,010,000. “The project is totally complete. Plant start-up, hiring and training, climb-out and stabilization of operations were successful with TI Automotive currently supplying BMW, Kia and Mercedes. Potential expansion of one additional production line is being considered, and the TI customer base is growing. The OneGeorgia EDGE grant was a pivotal component in being able to secure TI Automotive as a Georgia manufacturing facility and helped Hart County’s competitive edge over bordering states.” Jack Edmunds, JDA of Franklin, Hart and Stephens Counties.


Tagged: onegeorgia, edge, franklin, hart, stephens, ti automotive, rural grant