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Georgia Department of Economic Development Recognizes YKK for Contributions to Automotive Industry

YKK USA Receives 2021 GEAR Award

Andrew Capezzuto, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel, Georgia Department of Economic Development (third from left); Lester Miller, Mayor, Macon-Bibb County (fifth from left); Stephen Adams, Executive Director, Macon-Bibb Industrial Authority (second from left) pictured with Robert Stamps, Vice President and Business Development Leader – Transportation Fastening Materials (fourth from left); Jim Reed, President, YKK Corporation of America (third from right); John Smith, President, YKK (U.S.A.) Inc. (fifth from left) and the YKK Transportation Fastening Materials Team

YKK (U.S.A.) Inc. was honored with a 2021 GEAR Award by the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) in an award ceremony on January 14 at its Macon, Georgia plant. GDEcD named YKK the “Supplier of the Year, employing 200+ people” for its contributions to the advancement of the state’s automotive and mobility industries.

YKK produces a wide range of zippers, hook and loop fasteners, plastic hardware, and snaps and buttons for automobile seat assembly, truck tonneau cover hold-downs, and other applications for more than 100 automotive customers. YKK’s vertically integrated structure allows the company to create its own materials and machinery, all while ensuring quality, dependable supply, and minimization of manufacturing costs.

“The 2021 GEAR award for Supplier of the Year recognizes companies that are good corporate stewards,” said Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel of GDEcD Andrew Capezzuto, who presented the award. “The Georgia Department of Economic Development facilitates partnerships with local businesses in order to foster a team approach between communities and companies.”

YKK USA Receives 2021 GEAR Award“YKK isn’t just about making zippers, it’s about the people,” said Macon-Bibb County mayor Lester Miller. “Investing in people and community is something I have always known YKK is about, and I therefore can’t think of a better company to receive this award.”

Following the presentation of the award, Robert Stamps, Vice President and Business Development Leader – Transportation Fastening Materials, and Keith Kratz, Product Development Engineer, demonstrated various YKK® automotive fastening products, such as the ERGO-J®, a sheet fastener for securing the edges of motor vehicle seat covering material that improves the ergonomic efficacy of seat assembly and reduces the rate of development of carpal tunnel syndrome for automotive workers. They also showcased QUICKFIT®, a concealed hook fastener for automotive seats that enables operators to achieve a craftsmanship-like appearance when molded into the seat foam and reduces seat weight compared to metal wire tie down systems, and the 5CH CONCEAL® zipper, which forms a perfect seam when closed and allows seat manufacturers to significantly decrease the weight of seat back panels to improve fuel efficiency.

“I’m grateful to see the growth of the automotive group,” said YKK Corporation of America President Jim Reed. “We use our cyclical process to contribute to the automotive industry, which also allows us to reinvest profits into our employees and remain a foundational pillar of the community.”

Fueled by its Cycle of Goodness philosophy, YKK aims to find innovative ways to give back to local communities, including through environmental initiatives. The group of manufacturing companies has pledged to reduce its emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.


©2022 YKK Corporation of America


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