Development Authority gets update on expansion

by Sarah Fay Campbell

Air Power Hydraulics Inc., a Scotland-based company that opened its first U.S. location about 18 months ago, is expanding. 

Glen Dove of Air Power Hydraulics talked about the expansion at Thursday's meeting of the Coweta County Development Authority. The company has moved from its original 1,500-square-foot location into a 9,000-square-foot location. Both locations are in the Shenandoah Industrial Park.

The company was founded in Glasgow and will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year, Dove said. The company's founder couldn't find the parts he needed, so he started his own company to make them.

The Coweta location only has three full-time employees presently, Dove said, with some temporary employees. In the next year or so, the workforce will grow to six to 10.

Air Power Hydraulics designs and manufactures hydraulic cylinders and actuators for a range of industries, including defense, agriculture, and companies that lay undersea cables. The company opened the Coweta location because one of its large customers "moved to Newnan a couple of years ago and they encouraged us to consider the idea as well," Dove said. The company does contract work for the U.S. government and needed to buy materials that were made in the U.S.

The company's owner had always wanted to open a location in the U.S., as well, Dove said. "So that was the catalyst," he said, and they have enlarged their customer base since then.

Another Coweta industry is celebrating a major milestone — its 25th anniversary in Coweta.

Martin Pleyer, vice president of operations for Grenzebach, spoke about the anniversary and the company's history in Coweta. "We've expanded three times in the building, and we still have three of the employees hired 25 years ago," he said. "We're actually pretty proud we are here in this community. We've gotten a lot of support."

Candace Boothby, president of Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce, said that a consultant has been working to collect data related to Coweta becoming a "health care destination community." He will be presenting the final marketing plan for health care for Coweta today at the Economic Prosperity Council meeting.

"He's done an amazing job," Boothby said. The work has included a "SWOT Analysis" and meeting with recruiters and providers. Boothby said once the plan is approved she'd like to come back and present it. "We'll all be working together to create this healthcare destination over the next couple of years," she said.

Larry Alford of the Georgia Tech Lean Consortium reminded everyone of the plans for National Manufacturing Day, also today, which includes inviting a group of local teachers to learn about the importance of manufacturing and the jobs associated with it, as well as "the skills gap" that so many manufacturing companies are dealing with.



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