ATR takes home state manufacturer of the year award
by Matt Shinall
Apr 20, 2012 | 1786 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cartersville-based Applied Thermoplastic Resources was named Thursday as the Georgia Small Manufacturer of the Year.

Laying claim to one of only three Manufacturer of the Year Awards handed out by Gov. Nathan Deal at the state's annual Manufacturer Appreciation Week Luncheon was the Bartow County producer of recycled plastic goods and services.

Located on South Erwin Street, ATR resides in an 850,000-square-foot facility where they take in more than 40 million pounds of plastic, wood pallets and cardboard to be recycled and reused each year.

"ATR is a great example of a homegrown company that has successfully weathered this economic downturn. They have been a great example to other companies that it can be done," said Bartow County Economic Development Existing Industry Director Rachel Rowell. "They've worked to diversify their business and succeeded in expanding and adding labor force the past few years."

According to a press release from Chattahoochee Technical College, the organization responsible for nominating ATR, the company has nearly tripled its workforce and revenue since 2008. ATR expects another increase of 30 percent to 50 percent in its workforce and doubling their revenue by 2013.

"ATR is a perfect embodiment of what makes manufacturing so powerful and distinct in Georgia," said CTC President Ron Newcomb in the release. "The company has a strong commitment to quality, customer service, the community and the environment."

Bartow County is now one of only two counties home to more than one Manufacturer of the Year recipient since Georgia began the awards in 1995. Toyo Tire won the honor in 2009 for Large Manufacturer of the Year.

"It's a tremendous honor to have another manufacturer award winner in a short amount of time. It's definitely an asset to our community to show the community and the state that we do value our manufacturers and we help support them in their endeavors with our team members like Chattahoochee Tech and the Department of Labor to help them grow and succeed," Rowell said.

Earlier this week, as part of local Manufacturer Appreciation Week festivities, members of the Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce participated in a tour of ATR and other local industries. During the tour, representatives from ATR explained how plastics are recycled and readied for use in the manufacture of other products.

"They produce nylon pellets to resale to those industries needing nylon in their process. ... They have different streams they take in these products with, break them down and then reformulate them to what the customer needs," Rowell said. "A lot of the group was really interested to see how many different types of products they take in to be recycled -- anything from hospital gowns to parachutes, non-woven fibers, carpets, all sorts of materials."

ATR began as a research project at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1995 and has since grown into the world's largest re-processor of nylon.

Also awarded Thursday were Kia Motors in West Point, named Georgia Large Manufacturer of the Year, and Quad/Graphics in The Rock receiving Medium Manufacturer of the Year.

For more information about Applied Thermoplastic Resources, visit