February was a good month for Georgia’s manufacturing industry, driven by increases in new orders and production, according to a Kennesaw State University report.
Kennesaw State’s Purchasing Managers Index rose to 62.5 in February. Anything above 50 indicates the manufacturing sector is expanding.
Hiring’s been better, too. Just look at the Kia Motors Manufacturing plant in West Point. Kia is hiring up to a thousand workers by year’s end and plans a third shift at the factory at some point, though no timeline has been set for the extra shift.
“We hope to have everybody in on the third wave [of hiring] by, say, April 1,” said Randy Jackson, human resources director at the Kia factory. “We’ll have a few coming in during April and May, but the majority of people will have to come in by early April.”
The West Point factory makes Kia’s Sorento SUV, and Jackson said the company wants to take advantage of the popularity of the vehicle.
“Any time we have opportunities to grow, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be very aggressive on doing things as soon as possible, but also making sure that we do all the right things,” Jackson said. “We see growth, we see market availability to us, and we want to attack it as soon as we can and as aggressively as we can.”
Consumer Reports just named the Sorento its top pick for family SUVs.