13,000 new tires rolling out of the Bridgestone plant each day means that 200 new jobs have rolled into Aiken County and 100 more are on the way. These jobs are are badly needed in the community.
“A lot of people hired in with me waited three to four years to get a job,” says Jill Munn, a Bridgestone employee hired six months ago.
Those 13,000 extra tires mean they're making nearly 40,000 tires a day; they affect lives around the world:
“It impacts peioples' lives,” says hiring manager Mike Uhle. “We make a lot of tires and if one bad tire out the door could damage an entire family, so we have to take a lot of pride in it.”
A lot of pride, alongside a lot of smarts and a lot of fun.
“It's pretty cool to know that stuff comes in on rail cars and we ship it out the front door, the robots that are AGVs are pretty neat too,” Munn says.
That's right, there aren't only workers there are robots: We can't show those because they're a Bridgestone secret, but everyone knows what the finished product looks like.
“It's especially fun pointing out to the kids, 'We might have made that or we made those tires right now.'”
The one celebratory first tire from the expansion is a big deal: What does it mean?
“Food on the table, money in pockets, people bettering themselves,” says Will Williams of the Economic Development Partnership.
“It means a lot of jobs,” says Uhle.
“That I got another 10 years at least to work here, or at least another 10 to 20,” says Parker.
And to families in the CSRA, that means a lot.