A local company that began with a college project and in the last few years almost tripled its workforce is Georgia's 2012 Manufacturer of the Year in the Small Business division.
“ATR is a perfect embodiment of what makes manufacturing so powerful and distinct in Georgia,” Chatt Tech President Ron Newcomb said in a release. “The company has a strong commitment to quality, customer service, the community and the environment.”
ATR, which began at the Georgia Institute of Technology as a research project, has been at its South Erwin Street location in Cartersville more than 17 years. An environmentally-friendly company, ATR’s core business is re-manufacturing other companies’ waste. It saves more than 40 million pounds of plastic, wood pallets and cardboard from landfills and sponsors local environmental education in programs at the Margaret and Luke Pettit Environmental Preserve.
Since 2008, ATR has nearly tripled its workforce and revenues, and currently it projects another 30 to 50 percent increase in employment and a doubling of its revenue by 2013. ATR's facility is 850,000 square feet and includes extrusion and weight systems operations, silo storage and a laboratory.
ATR teamed with Georgia Quick Start and Chatt Tech to develop customized training for its current, new and future employees. Training focused on long-term needs of ATR’s production and maintenance staffs, as well as providing consultation in the areas of human resources and safety.
“We started at Georgia Tech, we use Georgia surplus products, and we hire Georgia employees who are trained by Quick Start and Chattahoochee Technical College,” CEO David Holt said in a press release. “The one thing we didn’t have in Georgia was customers. I want to thank you all and the governor for helping to bring them to this state as well.”
Cartersville-based ATR has grown to become the world’s largest re-processor of nylon.
Drawing its supply from various surplus sources, including north Georgia’s carpet manufacturing industry, ATR converts a wide variety of unwanted industrial surplus into high-quality resin formulations used in manufacturing processes throughout the world.
ATR is the second Manufacturer of the Year win for Bartow County since 2009 when Toyo Tire North America took the prize in the Large Business category. Bartow is one of two communities to have two winners of the awards, which began in 1995.
Each year, technical colleges throughout the state nominate manufacturing businesses for their contributions to Georgia's prosperity and the good of their local communities. Companies are nominated in three categories—Large Business (more than 500 employees); Medium Business (151 to 500 employees); and Small Business (150 or fewer employees). Nominees were measured on their economic impact to Georgia, workforce excellence and demonstration of corporate responsibility.
“Chattahoochee Technical College and ATR’s partnership with Quick Start has been a positive example of the dedication of each entity’s commitment to community, education and training,” Chatt Tech Vice President of Community and Economic Development Glenn Rasco said in the release. “We applaud ATR for its efforts and look forward to continued success and cooperation in the years to come.”