//GDEcD announces 2021 GEAR award winners

GDEcD announces 2021 GEAR award winners

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 The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) announced the five companies that earned 2021 GEAR Awards. These awards are designed to recognize forward movement in the state’s automotive and mobility industries through innovation and emerging technologies.

“Georgia’s existing automotive companies continue to push the mobility industry forward,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Our transportation suppliers and manufacturers create high-paying manufacturing jobs; they invest in research and development and public-private partnerships; and they give back to their Georgia communities. Congratulations to all of our winners – it is always a pleasure to recognize the leadership of our automotive and mobility industries right here in Georgia.”

The 2021 GEAR Award winners are:

  • Supplier of the Year, employing 200+ people: YKK (U.S.A.) Inc.; Macon

The Macon, Georgia, plant provides a range of zippers, plastic, and metal components for seat assembly, truck tonneau cover hold downs, and many other applications to more than 100 automotive customers. The company has a long history of quality and dependability, and is very active in its local community. 

  • Supplier of the Year, employing 199 or fewer people: SMI Composites, LLC; Comer

The company specializes in autoclave-cured components for Cadillac, Chevrolet Corvette, and Camaro brands. In five years, the company has grown its 5,000-square-foot facility to 55,000 square feet. SMI Composites also remains an active participant in its community. 

  • Transportation Equipment Manufacturer of the Year: TJCW Inc. dba Rock Solid Cargo; Douglas

The company produces a high volume of enclosed cargo trailers. Relying on many years of experience, the company prides itself on providing excellent customer service, and the state-of-art facility aims to create optimal working conditions for employees. 

  • Innovation and Emerging Technology Award: Solvay, Alpharetta

A world leader in high-performance Specialty Polymers, Solvay launched two products in 2021 designed to further the evolution of the mobility industry. Amodel® Supreme is a high-performance thermoplastic that can withstand the high-voltage systems in electric vehicles. Amodel® BIOS is a partially bio-based high-performance PPA which enhances electrical performance for connected vehicles and is produced using 100% renewable energy. 

  • Citizenship Award: Nivel Manufacturing; Cairo

A manufacturer of aftermarket accessories for personal and utility transportation, Nivel Manufacturing encourages and rewards employee participation in various community service efforts. In 2021, volunteers sewed nearly 1,000 masks and many gowns for those working the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company also supports its local chamber of commerce, the local high school college and career academy, and many other organizations within the community, as well as participating in blood drives, back to school drives, holiday gift giving events, and other service opportunities.
“It is an exciting time for Georgia’s automotive and mobility industries, and we thank everyone who submitted nominations this year,” said GDEcD Deputy Commissioner of Global Commerce Scott McMurray. “Our existing companies within this sector have continued to impress us this year in particular as we look toward the future of the state’s innovative automotive and mobility industries and the future opportunities they will create.” The Georgia Automotive Awards began in 2016 to highlight the collective achievements of Georgia’s robust automotive industry, which has contributed to the state’s competitive advantage in the sector. A committee of experts who retain a deep understanding of the automotive and manufacturing industries reviewed the nominations from companies across the state.

About GDEcD 
The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is the state’s sales and marketing arm, the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industry and small businesses, locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourists to Georgia, and promoting the state as a destination for arts and location for film, music and digital entertainment projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development. Visit 
georgia.org for more information.