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Georgia Transformer celebrates past, eyes future
Prabhat Jain
CEO Prabhat Jain addresses Georgia Transformer employees during their company's July 26 50th anniversary celebration. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff
This is the kind of company that every community in the state of Georgia would love to have.
Effingham County Industrial Development Authority CEO Brandt Herndon

RINCON — The future stole the spotlight from the past during Virginia and Georgia Transformer Corp’s recent 50th anniversary celebration

CEO Prabhat Jain touted his company’s many accomplishments but made it clear that he expects its success to continue during a July 26 luncheon with employees and local business leaders at the Georgia Transformer facility at 2789 Ga. Hwy 21 South.

Georgia Transformer manufactures transformers to support a variety of industries, including steel, mining, utilities, data centers and transit, among others. Its products are designed to last 60 years. 

“I want to thank all of you here,” Jain said while speaking directly to Georgia Transformer employees. “You are the ones who make us what we are.”

Jain asked the employees to applaud themselves for their achievements and they obliged.

“We are protecting the electrical grid of our country, without which life would come to a standstill in 72 hours,” Jain said. “If we lose electricity, I think we are done.”

Jain said an overwhelming majority of transformers are made overseas in countries that might not share U.S. interests.

“That is why we initiated to buy your plant here,” Jain said. “We are going to make it go; we are going to make it successful; we are going to hire the people; we are going to retain them; we will work with them; and we will have activities for the employees so that they will feel this is staying home to them. Only then will we succeed and grow.”

The Rincon facility was built in 2009 by Efacec Energia using the best engineering and design concepts available. Since acquiring it in January 2015, Virginia and Georgia Transformer Corp., based on Roanoke, Va., has been focused on strengthening the business and operations while keeping the foundations established by Efacec intact (Engineering designs, manufacturing processes/procedures, etc.).

“We are succeeding in that endeavor but we need to be faster and that’s why we focus on training, hiring, retention and development from within,” Jain said.

The 250,000 sq. ft. facility is state of the art with a controlled environment throughout in order to assure optimal pressure, humidity and temperature for insulation materials and other critical parts used in the transformer manufacturing process. 

Jain thanked the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) and Effingham County government officials for their efforts to bolster Georgia Transformer. IDA Brandt Herndon reciprocated Jain’s sentiments. 

“This facility continues to be a testament to the success that can be achieved through partnerships, collaboration and teamwork,” Herndon said. “We sincerely appreciate (Georgia Transformer’s) continued support and investment in this facility and Effingham County, and we look forward to working alongside you to make the next 50 years an equally impressive success.”

Herndon called Georgia Transformer “a diamond in the rough.”

“This is the kind of company that every community in the state of Georgia would love to have,” he said. 

Herndon said a capital investment of more than $100 million has resulted in 305 high-paying manufacturing jobs for Effingham County.

“These opportunities don’t come very often and I am so glad that Effingham County was able to win this back in 2008 and Mr. Jain has been able to run with it,” Herndon said.

Georgia Transformer has a significant percentage of minority employees, a fact noted by Metropolitan Savannah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President Alfonso Ribot.

“I want to thank the owners and the people present here because 50 years is a long, long time,” he said. “It is said that most businesses, in their fourth or fifth year, they go under, but it has been 50 years and I am very proud to be a partner with Georgia Transformer trying to find employees so that they can keep on going and fill their quotas.”

Georgia Association of Manufacturers President Roy Bowen also helped Georgia Transformer observe its milestone.

“This is a celebration of a 50-year celebration of transforming power,” Bowen said. “The excellence that is around this area today has clearly been enhanced by visionary leadership, a skilled and committed workforce — you — and best-in-class transformers that are highly valued by customers in the U.S. and around the world. You compete on a global stage and succeed on the basis of quality and competitiveness.

“You really underscore the importance and pride in the term ‘made in the U.S.A.’”