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Koyo’s Bobby Jones given manufacturing award

  • Ben Cheeks of Georgia Techs Enterprise Innovation Institute presents Koyos Bobby Jones, center, with a Faces of Manufacturing Award. On the right is Dorie Bacon, executive director of the Screven County Development Authority. (Enoch Autry/For the Savannah Morning News)

SYLVANIA — A veteran employee of Koyo Bearings is the face of local and statewide manufacturing.

The Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) named Bobby Jones, manufacturing manager, a “2017 Faces of Manufacturing Award” recipient Wednesday.

Jones is one of four Georgians who are being recognized for their contributions and commitment to the manufacturing industry.

Jones, who has been employed at Koyo Bearings for 28 years, accepted the award at the plant that provides bearings for the industrial and automotive sectors. Koyo Bearings, a subsidiary of JTEKT Corp., previously was known as Timken and Torrington.

“I’ve had a lifelong passion for innovation and being a part of a team that’s committed to driving improvements in the products we design and create,” Jones said. “To be able to do that at Koyo and to pass that on to the next generation of the manufacturing workforce is truly an honor.”

GaMEP, a federally funded economic development program of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, works with manufacturers across the state to help them remain viable and economically competitive.

More than 10,000 manufacturing companies operate in Georgia. Those companies, which span all sizes, employ more than 365,000 and produce a total manufacturing output of $53 billion per year.

Jones and the other three award recipients were chosen through a public voting contest consisting of 10 finalists.

“Bobby’s commitment to his field and industry reflects the quality of the people we have in Georgia manufacturing,” said GaMEP Director Karen J. Fite. “Through this award given today, our Faces campaign aims to honor and celebrate that strength, vibrancy, and talent.”

Jones is part of the Georgia Southern University’s engineering advisory program, a member of Ogeechee Technical College’s board of directors, a member of Coastal Workforce Development Board and a member of a regional industrial group working to resolve manufacturing needs.

His work also has helped establish advanced partnerships of local industry, development authorities and Ogeechee Technical College. That initiative led to the creation of an industrial maintenance lab so employees could gain skills to advance in their careers.

Jones’ “reach and influence span far past the walls of Koyo into academia, workforce development, industrial development and his community,” said Andy Durrence, Koyo plant manager.

Jones is married to Katherine Jones. The couple has two daughters and four grandchildren.

Koyo is a major supplier to original equipment and aftermarket customers in a wide variety of industries including aerospace, agri-con, automotive, electric motor, power sports, steel and wind. Its web site is www.jtekt-na.com.

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