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Economic Development and Growth through Education

15

he Schaeffler Group USA Inc. has been quietly

thriving in South Carolina for over half a century.

While other companies were experiencing the

negative impacts of changing times, fluctuations in

the market, or downturns in the economy, Schaeffler

just seemed to keep growing… and growing.

T

The German, family-owned company began its U.S.

manufacturing operations in the small town of Cheraw in

1964. Originally known as INA Bearing (as it’s still called by

many in Cheraw), the company’s first product was needle-

roller bearings for desk drawers. Over the years, Schaeffler

expanded and diversified, moving into automotive,

industrial and aerospace sectors. Today, South Carolina is

home to the German company’s corporate headquarters

in the Americas, as well as five manufacturing facilities.

Schaeffler supplies bearings, engine components and

other precision parts to over 70 percent of all automotive

companies and 30 percent of aerospace.

Phil Homan, human resources manager at Schaeffler Group

USA Inc., talks about the company’s remarkable growth

and how its sustained progress has been facilitated by

readySC

, Apprenticeship Carolina

and the SC Technical

College System.

EDGE:

Tell us about Schaeffler and its history here in South

Carolina.

Phil Homan:

Schaeffler was actually INA Bearing when it

initially came to South Carolina in 1964 from Germany. It

was a joint venture with another bearing company, and

it was the first time the company had incorporated with

another organization. Then, in 1969 we bought the whole

process out, and that became our corporate headquarters

here in the Americas. It started out with approximately 150

people, and today we employ almost 6,000 people all over

South Carolina.

continued on next page

Phil Homan, human resources manager

at Schaeffler Group USA Inc.