A Kia auto parts supplier in LaGrange, Ga., said Wednesday it is expanding with a $5.5 million investment and a pledge to create 80 more jobs within two years.
South Korea-based Hanil E Hwa, which makes vehicle interior parts that include door trim, seats, head liners, panels and bumpers, has been operating in LaGrange Industrial Park since 2010. It now employs about 225 people, a number that fluctuates a bit depending on production demand.
The expansion will be at the existing plant, the company said. It follows a recent city visit, led by LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton, to Korea to discuss future opportunities locally for Hanil E Hwa.
Thorton, in a release Wednesday, said the community is “thrilled” about the expansion, calling the Korean company a “great company and a very important part of the LaGrange community.”
Hanil E Hwa’s Eddie Mabe, senior manager of human resources, said the Troup County city is a “strategic partner” with the company and expects “many years of success” at its local plant.
LaGrange said 450 jobs have been created in the city over the last two years, amounting to $200 million in capital investment.
The city is only a few minutes east of West Point, Ga., the Troup County community that is home to the Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia plant, its massive presence visible off Interstate 85. The main plant, which opened in November 2009, employs about 3,000 workers, with roughly 11,000 auto-supplier jobs created in east Alabama and west Georgia to serve it various vehicle parts for the Kia Sorento and Optima vehicles.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, in a statement, welcomed the latest automotive-related deal as a certain sign that the industry has become entrenched in Georgia because of the state’s “highly skilled workforce, competitive infrastructure and pro-business environment.”
For information on hiring at Hanil E Hwa, or any other area employer, contact the Georgia Department of Labor's LaGrange Career Center, 1002 Longley Place, at 706-845-4000, or visit online at www.dol.state.ga.us.