Auto parts maker plans to expand North Carolina facility

GKN Driveline, a British-based auto parts manufacturer, plans to expand its North Carolina factory over the next five years. GKN Driveline manufactures constant-velocity joint systems, AWD systems, transaxle solutions and eDrive systems, according to Area Development Online. The company plans to invest more than $100 million into the facility and create more than 200 new jobs by the end of 2018.

GKN Driveline's expansion is due to a Job Development Investment Grant given to the company by North Carolina. The grant was voted on by North Carolina's Economic Investment Committee and was based on a business's proof of job creation and other performance metrics. These grants are only awarded to businesses whose planned expansion will benefit the state more than it will cost the state, according to Area Development Online.

Part of grant will go toward adding 25 percent more square feet of floor space to accommodate an increase in production. The award will also go toward material flow improvements and new equipment, Area Development Online reported.

The North Carolina facility was purchased by GKN Driveline in 2011 and currently employs more than 700 workers for the creation and assembly of high precision auto products. GKN Driveline employs an additional 1,530 workers worldwide.

"Automotive manufacturing companies like GKN know that North Carolina is a strong fit for their company," North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory stated. "The additional skilled manufacturing jobs that they'll create will strengthen the economy of Catawba County and add to our state's already strong base of automotive parts manufacturers."

Businesses, like GKN Driveline, should partner with manufacturing recruiters to find the most skilled workers in their area. Supply chain and operations recruiters can also help companies find qualified workers as they expand their facilities.