ZF Breaks Ground on Wind Power Plant; New Industry to Create 215 Jobs
The ZF Group, a leading global automotive supplier for driveline and chassis technology, will expand its existing Gainesville-Hall County operation with the construction of a wind energy plant. This project represents a $90 million investment and will create 215 jobs once the plant is fully operational.
“Georgia’s logistical advantages and the innovative research being done at the state’s universities and prime research facilities make us a strategic location for renewable energy projects,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “The ZF Group’s decision to expand its operations in Georgia is a credit to this flourishing strategic industry in our state, and bodes well for Gainesville and communities throughout Northeast Georgia.”
At its expanded Gainesville-Hall County operations, ZF will manufacture gearboxes for wind turbine energy generation. Construction for the new facility is expected to begin immediately, with an estimated opening in February 2011. The start of production is slated for January 2012.
“There is a heightened global focus on renewable energy production, and we believe there is an opportunity to leverage our automotive driveline and chassis technology leadership in this exciting and growing alternative energy sector,” said Elizabeth Umberson, ZF division president, Commercial Vehicle and Special Driveline Technology. “ZF is very grateful that we were able to collaborate with state and local leaders to make this investment in the community and people of Gainesville-Hall County and Georgia possible.”
The new ZF facility will be located in the new Gainesville Business Park, off Calvary Church Road and just minutes from the company’s existing plant. The wind turbine gearboxes manufactured at the facility will work as a part of a system that turns kinetic wind energy into electricity.
“ZF has been a great partner with Gainesville and Hall County for more than 20 years, and we realize the company could have located this new facility anywhere in North America,” said Kit Dunlap, President and CEO of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce. “The company’s decision to locate here is a testament to the relationship we enjoy with ZF, the quality of our workforce and our long-term efforts to support our existing industry.”
Georgia’s nationally recognized Quick Start workforce training program at Lanier Technical College will assist ZF in preparing new hires for work in the expanding Hall County operations. Quick Start provides customized workforce training free-of-charge as an incentive for companies to create new jobs in Georgia.
ZF is one of the world’s leading automotive industry suppliers specializing in driveline and chassis technologies. With a workforce of 60,000 employees, the company operates 123 plants in 27 countries. To sustain its success with innovative products, ZF invests at least five percent of its annual sales in Research & Development. zf.com