Horton is Oconee’s newest manufacturing plant

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, Tri-County Technical College grads, are setting up shop at the Oconee Campus, working through resumes, developing plant policies and procedures, writing a manual for new hires and planning for the future. Boone is the Human Resources Manager and Kelley 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. Located across from Tri-County’s Oconee Campus is, according to Boone, a hiring manager’s dream. “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 Boone. Besides their pre-start-up tasks, the two 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 workplace. 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. 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. Besides operators and technicians, the personnel director will hire those who have completed the SCMC class taught though Tri-County’s Corporate and Community Education Division. The training is a 200-hour curriculum that includes the opportunity to earn 11 nationally-recognized credentials. 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.