Cairo company among GEAR award winners |


ATLANTA – Georgia’s Department of Economic Development has announced the five companies that have won the GEAR 2021 awards. These awards are designed to recognize advancements in the state’s automotive and mobility industries through the innovation and emerging technologies.

“Georgia’s existing automakers continue to drive the mobility industry forward,” Georgia Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson said in a press release. “Our transportation suppliers and manufacturers create well-paying manufacturing jobs; they invest in research and development and public-private partnerships; and they give back to their Georgian 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 GEAR 2021 award winners are:

Supplier of the year, employing over 200 people: YKK (USA) Inc., Macon

The Macon plant supplies a range of zippers, plastic and metal components for seat assembly, truck bed cover fasteners and many other applications to over 100 automotive customers. The company has a long history of quality and reliability and is very active in its local community.

Supplier of the year, employing 199 people or less: SMI Composites LLC, Comer

The company specializes in autoclaved components for the Cadillac, Chevrolet Corvette and Camaro brands. In five years, the company has expanded its factory from 5,000 square feet 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 large number of closed cargo trailers. Backed by many years of experience, the company prides itself on providing excellent customer service, and the state-of-the-art facility aims to create optimal working conditions for the employees.

Innovation and Emerging Technologies Prize: Solvay, Alpharetta

A world leader in high-performance specialty polymers, Solvay launched two products in 2021 designed to promote development in the mobility industry. Amodel Supreme is a high performance thermoplastic that can withstand high voltage electric vehicle systems. Amodel BIOS is a partially bio-based high performance PPA that improves the electrical performance of connected vehicles and is produced from 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 on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company also supports its local chamber of commerce, local high school and career academy, as well as many other organizations within the community, as well as participating in blood drives, back-to-back drives. school, holiday gift events and other service opportunities.

“It is an exciting time for Georgia’s automotive and mobility industries, and we thank all who submitted nominations this year,” said GDEcD Deputy Commissioner for Global Trade Scott McMurray. “Our existing businesses in this sector have continued to impress us this year, especially as we look to 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 recognize the collective achievements of Georgia’s strong automotive industry, which has contributed to the state’s competitive advantage in the sector. An expert panel that maintains a deep understanding of the automotive and manufacturing industries reviewed nominations from companies across the state.


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