Economic Development and Growth through Education
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.
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
, Apprenticeship Carolina
and the SC Technical
Tell us about Schaeffler and its history here in South
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
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Phil Homan, human resources manager
at Schaeffler Group USA Inc.