Horton HR Manager Says Close Proximity to Tri-County’s Oconee Campus Is a Hiring Manager’s Dream

Alicia Kelley and Kellie BooneWESTMINSTER --- Horton, Oconee County’s newest manufacturing facility, is set to open in May at the Industry and Technology Park in Westminster.

While construction of the 100,000-square-foot-building is underway, its first two hires, Kellie Boone and Alicia Kelley, both Tri-County Technical College alumna, are setting up shop at the Oconee Campus, sifting through resumes, developing plant policies and procedures, writing a manual for new hires and planning for the future. Kellie is the Human Resources Manager and Alicia is the Quality Engineer.

Clemson University graduate Sam Vella came on board as plant manager in 2020 and joining them on February 24 will be Chris Rothell, a 1997 Tri-County Industrial Electronics Technology graduate who will serve as maintenance group leader.

“It’s always good to see Tri-County Technical College listed on a resume that comes across my desk,” said Kellie, who received an associate in arts degree from Tri-County in 2001 before transferring to Limestone College to earn a bachelor’s degree. She is responsible for recruiting and hiring for all hourly and salaried positions, payroll and benefits, training and development and employee/public relations.

Alicia earned an A.S. degree from Tri-County in 2003, a South Carolina Manufacturing Certification (SCMC) certification in 2014 and an American Society of Quality certification in 2018. She has 16 years of experience in manufacturing and will be responsible for quality relations between the supplier and the customer and all internal quality operations and safety training.

Being located across from Tri-County’s Oconee Campus is a hiring manager’s dream, said Kellie.

“A group of future hires - a pipeline of talent -- will be just next door with Tri-County and the Hamilton Career Center, currently under construction beside the campus. Having the Oconee Campus and Career Center a few steps away is so convenient. Our future workforce, graduates, interns and co-ops, will feed the future of Horton,” said Kellie.
“We want to collaborate with Tri-County and Career Center about the educational goals of our future employees,” said Alicia.

“We are super excited about the Oconee Campus and its proximity to the plant, making it easier for our associates to take classes,” Kellie said.

In addition to their pre-start-up tasks, Kellie and Alicia also are spending time traveling to Horton facilities in Indiana and the headquarters in Minnesota to learn about the products and applications and to recruit several associates to the Oconee facility.

Horton’s engine cooling solutions are found around the globe -- almost any place you find engines with optimized cooling systems. The company manufactures fans and fan clutches for on- and off-road diesel applications, such as heavy, medium and light-duty trucks, on motor coaches and buses, on construction, agricultural and mining equipment, and on generators and industrial compressors.

The tentative opening day for the plant is May and they hope to hire 30 associates this year, with the remainder being hired in 2021. They are working with Bobby Brothers and the College’s readySC team to gear up for pre-hire training at the Oconee Campus.

“From the first time I met with Horton’s management team as a prospect looking to grow their business in SC, I’ve felt very confident that they would be a great fit for the Upstate”, said Bobby Brothers, area director for readySC. “Horton not only plans to create great job opportunities; they also are committed to giving back to the community they reside in, making them an excellent addition to Oconee County’s corporate partners. I’m looking forward to working with them.”

“Having the Oconee Campus available has been very beneficial,” said Kellie. In late April, readySC classes will begin in preparation for the May opening.

The plant will begin with one eight-hour shift. The plan is to hire an additional 80 next year and a total of 125 associates over five years.

In addition to operators and technicians, Kellie also will hire those who have completed the SCMC class taught though Tri-County’s Corporate and Community Education Division. The SCMC training is a 200-hour curriculum that includes the opportunity to earn 11 nationally-recognized credentials.

Although a degree is usually preferred, it isn’t essential,” said Kellie, who has worked in HR for 16 years at various manufacturing facilities. She says she also values work ethic and punctuality. “I give someone an opportunity to obtain experience and grow professionally through degrees or certifications,” she said.

She says one way to do so is through Horton’s tuition reimbursement plan for its associates.

Kellie urges interested persons to go to the company’s website -- - www.hortonww.com to submit resumes and cover letters or to get general information and or learn about products.


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