By Rita-Sue Seaborn
The Pickens TTI North America plant is currently hiring 140 new employees after being awarded the Home Depot contract to manufacture pressure washer products. Doug Newton, the company’s senior vice president of Human Resources, said.
“This is certainly exciting,” he said. “This is the return of manufacturing to Pickens County and it is a big plus to the county and to the company.”
Newton said the Pickens facility will be the primary supplier of pressure washers for Home Depot after winning the contract from manufacturers in China.
“There was a lot of effort and study went into this process,” he said. “We were up against some stiff competition from China.”
“This will have a meaningful impact on Pickens County,” Farley said. “First and foremost, it will have a positive impact on the 140 people now being hired by TTI. Then it will spill over onto the main streets of Pickens through money being returned into the community.
“This is an early holiday season gift to our county,” he said.
Another of the key factors in Home Depot's decision to award the contract to the Pickens TTI plant could be contributed to the quality of workers in this area, Farley said.
“We can provide a quality work force,” he said. “People in this area are known to work hard and be accurate in their job performance. They are dependable.”
Pickens County Councilman Ben Trotter said he knew the potential of TTI receiving the contract and expanding its workforce was in the process several months ago.
“I was just told (Monday) that this is a done deal,” he said. “We need quality jobs in Pickens County, and Council is doing everything we can to attract those jobs.”
Trotter said that TTI North America's receiving the contract from Home Depot is a noteworthy event for the county and its citizens.
“This is good,” he said. “And if we keep planning the way we are going, in bringing jobs to Pickens County, our future looks bright.
“We will harvest a good crop,” he said.
Clay Councill, public relations manager for Home Depot, said that the company is looking forward to working with TTI North America.
“We are thrilled to be working with TTI and to have their products on our shelves, Councill said. “And it is outstanding that additional jobs will be created in Pickens County in producing this product.”
In a statement issued to the press, S.C. Governor Mark Sanford said that TTI North America's success in receiving the Home Depot contract is an indication of the state's commitment in attracting new jobs to the area.
“As we work to compete in a global economy, our ability to attract and grow foreign investment is important,” he said. “This certainly speaks to the success of our efforts to improve the state's economic conditions to promote business growth.
“We remain committed to continuing these efforts to keep creating jobs and attracting new opportunity throughout South Carolina,” Sanford said.
Founded in 1985, TTI North America is located in the former Ryobi and OWT building and its outdoor products group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Techtronic Industries, Ltd.
According to a written media statement, S.C. Secretary of Commerce Joe Taylor said that Pickens will reap the financial benefits of TTI's growth in this area.
“I am very pleased TTI has chosen to continue their proud tradition of manufacturing quality products in Pickens County,” Taylor said. “I hope their continued growth will provide even more opportunities for our excellent workforce in Pickens.”
“I am excited that Home Depot is using TTI to produce their pressure washers,” Senator Larry Martin said. “This is a good product and a terrific tool that many of us use. In addition, Home Depot's decision to give the contract to TTI will lead to the provision of good jobs here in Pickens County,” he said.
Newton said that the hiring efforts will continue until the positions are filled. The manufacturing of the Home Depot pressure washer will begin no later than December 15, he said.