Two Expansion Projects Bring South Carolina $178M+ In Investment, 1,120 Jobs

Oshkosh Defense will invest $155 million and create more than 1,000 jobs; KRA Operations will invest $23.5 million and create 120 jobs.

Oshkosh Defense, a subsidiary of Oshkosh Corporation, plans to invest $155 million to establish operations in Spartanburg County, SC. The tactical vehicle manufacturer’s expansion project will create more than 1,000 new jobs.

“We’re proud to bring this historic undertaking to Spartanburg County,” said Oshkosh Corporation Executive Vice President and Oshkosh Defense President John Bryant. “South Carolina has a skilled workforce and a proven history in advanced automotive manufacturing – it’s the perfect place to produce the NGDV. More importantly, we know the people of the Upstate take pride in their work and their community. What we build together here will reach every home in the country.”

Oshkosh Defense
(Source: Oshkosh Defense)

Oshkosh Defense specializes in designing and manufacturing a diverse portfolio of heavy, medium, light and highly protected vehicles and technologies for clients around the globe. Located at the Flatwood Industrial Park in Spartanburg, Oshkosh Defense’s new operations will support the United States Postal Service (USPS) Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV) program. The company will manufacture zero-emission battery electric vehicles and fuel-efficient low-emission internal combustion engine vehicles that will replace USPS’ existing fleet of delivery vehicles. Production of the NGDVs is expected to begin summer 2023.

“Today, we celebrate Oshkosh Defense – a world-class company – and their decision to establish manufacturing operations in South Carolina,” said Governor Henry McMaster. “It speaks volumes of our business environment when a company of this caliber invests $155 million and creates more than 1,000 jobs in our state. Congratulations to this great company, and we look forward to all the things they will do.”

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved job development credits for the project. Spartanburg County was also awarded a $9 million Set-Aside grant to assist with costs related to the project.

“The automotive industry continues to be at the forefront of our state’s economy and our manufacturing sector,” said South Carolina Department of Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt. “When companies like Oshkosh Defense choose to locate here, it not only creates opportunities for South Carolinians, but also reinforces our reputation as an automotive powerhouse which Team S.C. has worked so hard to cultivate.”

“This announcement from Oshkosh Defense furthers Spartanburg County’s record-setting pace for investments in 2021,” said Spartanburg County Councilman and Chairman of the Economic Development Committee David Britt. “The fact that Spartanburg County will play a role in producing the next generation of vehicles for the U.S. Postal Service is a point of pride for our community and another notch in Spartanburg’s cap nationally.”

“South Carolina’s Upstate has a global reputation as a high-tech automotive manufacturing powerhouse, and the Oshkosh Defense investment shows our region is also a leader in domestic logistics initiatives,” said Upstate SC Alliance President and CEO John Lummus. “Oshkosh Defense’s Next Generation Vehicle Delivery Program is another example of the Upstate’s role in the future of mobility innovation.”

Increased Demand Spurs KRA Operations’ Newberry County Expansion

With just one year under its belt at its first U.S. facility, KRA Operations LLC is expanding in South Carolina to fulfill a growing demand for home appliance parts. The company has committed $23.5 million in capital investment to the project, adding 191,209 square feet to its existing 105,000-square-foot Newberry County facility. The expansion will also provide 120 new job opportunities for local workers.

Newberry CountyLocated in Prosperity at the Mid-Carolina Commerce Park, the company specializes in the production of metal stamped and injection molded parts as part of an in-state supply network. Having exceeded start-up expectations with its first North American venture,  says the company is excited to take this next step.

“It was an honor to establish our company in Newberry County of South Carolina last year,” said KRA Operations president Wonyoung “William” Chang. “We are excited for the expansion of our company for the future business venture. It is our hope that we will contribute more for the community as we expand our business. We highly appreciate the support of the Newberry County, State of South Carolina, and related local businesses.”

For Newberry County, the expansion is another sign that the county’s opportunities for growth and its appeal to eager businesses are only getting stronger.

“For a company to triple the size of its facility and workforce just a year after the facility first opened is almost unheard of,” said Henry H. Livingston, III, chairman of Newberry County Council. “We’re always delighted to help our industrial partners grow, and we view this expansion as a vote of confidence in Newberry County.”

The county has seen a flurry of investments in recent years, ranging from globally-renowned brand name manufacturers to producers of electrical products and suppliers of automotive and appliance components. Working in partnership with local developers and officials, the Central SC Alliance assists the county with business recruitment and development efforts, as well as global marketing.

“When you tell the story of places like Newberry County to companies around the world, having local industries that take pride in where they are, what they produce and who works for them makes all of our jobs so much easier,” explains Central SC Alliance Chairman W. Keller Kissam. “KRA Operations’ rapid growth shows other companies that may be debating new locations or expansions how much potential is available right here in the heart of South Carolina.”

Construction for KRA Operations’ expansion is already underway with completion anticipated for late 2021.

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