GA automotive industry, Hart County receive boost: 350 new jobs

Georgia’s auto and auto-supply industry received another boost today as Governor Nathan Deal announced today that Tenneco will expand production in Hartwell, boosting employment by 350 jobs.

“Tenneco is an important player in the automotive industry, and we are pleased they have expanded their presence in Georgia,” Deal said. “Georgia’s comprehensive logistics system and skilled workforce are two of our many key selling assets because they give companies like Tenneco easy, efficient access to their markets as well as a world-class workforce.”

Tenneco is one of the world’s leading designers, manufacturers and distributors of emission and ride control products and systems for the automotive original equipment market and aftermarket. The company is expanding existing lines and installing additional production lines at its Hartwell manufacturing facility, where automotive shock absorbers and struts are produced.

Hart County has been a Georgia Certified Work Ready Community since 2009, indicating that the county has a ready pool of labor specifically trained for a range of positions, including those in the manufacturing industry. Tenneco has called Hart County home since the 1960s, and already employs a mix of more than 750 full and part-time workers at its Hartwell facility.

This comes less than two weeks after another announcement of 178 new jobs at an auto-related manufacturing facility in Dublin, GA.

As a disclaimer, I should note that I spent the better part of my childhood in a Tenneco family, as my father worked for several divisions of the company over his career, including Newport News Shipbuilding, which has since been spun off.

Insert gratuitous Porsche link here.


  1. bowersville says:

    Hartwell based Tenneco added 180 jobs last year. Tenneco was consolidating operations and a plant in Nebraska was closed. The economic director Dwayne Dye attributes part of the draw to Hart County beyond the existing Tenneco plant in Hartwell is the county being work ready certified. Tenneco’s top customers for shocks and struts is GM, Chrysler and Ford. Unemployment dropped from the 13%’s to the 10%’s in Hart. With the additional jobs of 350 one would expect the unemployment numbers go down again. Maybe even below the national averages

    In other good news for our area is the Ty Cobb medical facility.

    In other good economic news for our little dot on the map. Ty Cobb Regional Medical Center is quickly moving to a spring opening. The hospital is located just south of the I-85 exit at Lavonia on I-85( exit 176?). It includes several state of the art facilities. If you’re headed north on I-85 it’s on your right 5-6 miles south of the SC state line at Lake Hartwell.

    Two major employers in the same area in this economic down turn. Somebody is doing something right.

  2. DTK says:

    “The economic director Dwayne Dye attributes part of the draw to Hart County beyond the existing Tenneco plant in Hartwell is the county being work ready certified. ”

    I doubt that. I imagine the main thrust behind Tenneco’s expansion of the Hartwell plant has more to do with the prohibitive cost of cleaning up hexavalen chromium and other hazards than with Hart County’s “certified” workforce. It’s just cheaper to keep the Hartwell plant going than to shut it down.

    • DTK says:

      The article says Ritz expects to add the 50 jobs in the next two years. Let’s not count our chickens before they hatch. In fact, I’ll wager you a friendly bet that if we revisit this issue on Feb. 9, 2014, Ritz will not have added 50 more full-time jobs to their payroll.

      We should take grand pronouncements in press releases with a grain of salt.

      • bowersville says:

        I can read. I’ll wager just as today. In two years I’ll be optimistic about the future and you’ll still be a pessimist. I’ve read behind you before. Such as… do you believe press releases?… they paint everything in the best possible light…as in when you were writing about a dispute that occurred over the lack of a face to face in Savannah between Barnes and Deal. If you have behind the scene verifiable knowledge on Hart County then share it, otherwise take your argument to the local BOC where it belongs. Your imaginings are just that, your imaginings.

        Same argument, same dead horse. Grand pronouncements in press releases. I’ve nothing else to discuss, it bears no positive fruit and you have no more than a presumed grandiose imagining to offer as to what I should consider. None.

  3. bowersville says:

    DTK, since every interested party is reading I’m linking this thread. From the looks of your comments you were pro-Barnes and anti-Deal. Nothing the matter with that, it’s your choice. But please don’t confuse being pro-Barnes and anti-Deal to the point you feel it necessary to slam the future of Hart County…that’s uncalled for. Apparently you and I both know grant money coming to Hart County was credited to Perdue for the industrial park. Feel free to attack Deal or Perdue if you find it appropriate but for goodness sake man, leave Hart County be.

    • DTK says:


      Well, then let’s make that bet. Remember, it’s a friendly one. I’ll wager a steak dinner that Ritz will not have 50 more full-time employees on its payroll on Feb. 9, 2014. Ritz may hire and lay off 50 workers between now and then, but total employment will not be 50 employees more by Feb. 9, 2014. That’s my bet. I live in Lavonia, so I’m just right up the road from you. I’ll make good on it if I lose.

      As for my GOP bona fides, I’m a former county chairman and I was on a committee at the last state convention in Macon. If I came across as pro-Barnes, it’s only because I try to be intellectually honest and realize that just because someone has an “R” next to their name it doesn’t mean they’re the best candidate or that they are the most honest.

      And yes, I have info on Hart County’s track record of luring businesses to the county. But I’m just going to leave it alone because my criticism is not really about Hart County; it’s about government picking winners and losers in the marketplace. Read “The Selling of the South: The Southern Crusade for Industrial Development” by James Cobb, who, incidentally, is from Hart County. It will pretty much tell you what I think about the merits of these types of initiatives.

      And, lastly, I loathe the “Work Ready” program. It’s the epitome of corporatism. It’s come to the point where a working man can’t even get an interview or drop off a resume at a place like Fenner Dunlop without the government “certifying” him as a decent, capable worker. If President Obama tried to implement something like this, all the right-wingers would call it fascist. But when the Chamber of Commerce types do it, we call it progress.

Comments are closed.