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Briggs & Stratton: Commitment to Win
Statesboro employee Chris Smith earns company's top honor for excellence: President's Award
Chris Smith
Chris Smith is shown holding the President's Award, which is Briggs & Stratton's highest honor in its “Commitment to Win Excellence Awards” program.

While Briggs & Stratton remains the world’s largest producer of engines for outdoor power equipment, the company is always looking to constantly improve its products for customers and keep a dedicated, skilled and efficient staff of employees at every level of the business.

Recently, Briggs implemented a “Commitment to Win Excellence Awards” program to motivate employees to keep striving for their highest level of performance, according to Amanda See, human resources manager for the Briggs plant in Statesboro.

And it was announced in January that an employee at the Statesboro plant was named the first winner of the program’s top award – the President’s Award.

Chris Smith, a senior engineering specialist, was selected for the honor and a $10,000 award from a group that included nominations from every department of Briggs & Stratton.

The Commitment to Win employee recognition program has three tiers, See said.

“WIN award individuals are nominated by their peers and receive recognition and $100 with their WIN award certificates,” she said. “Commitment to Win Excellence Awards are nominated teams or individuals who are selected to receive $2,500. The President's Award is a team or individual selected by our company president to receive the award of $10,000. This is an honor to be selected out of all the company employees.”

Smith started working at the Statesboro plant eight and a half years ago as a technician, See said. He was promoted to supervisor and is now the plant’s Tooling manager.

Smith is responsible for maintaining all diecast tooling for the plants in Statesboro and Auburn, Ala. In 2021, Smith implemented a plan of insourcing repair work instead of sending plant tooling to outside sources. According to a release from Briggs, in the two+ years since Smith started the insourcing program, about $3.5 million has been saved with no negative impact to quality or scheduling. Also, his program has lowered repair times by days and even weeks.

“Chris has taken a struggling diecast area due to poorly maintained and managed tooling and returned it to a proven profit center,” the release said. “He’s been instrumental in delivering higher-quality parts to Statesboro’s and Auburn’s four critical assembly lines.”

Located in Bulloch County’s Gateway Industrial Park, the Statesboro plant is a big manufacturer of small engines. Opened in 1995, the factory has built more than 25 million engines.

Those include the traditional Briggs & Stratton engines used in consumer machines from mowers to pressure washers and, since 2018, rugged Vanguard Small Block V-Twin commercial engines. That was the year that Briggs & Stratton Corp. brought Vanguard production, previously based in Japan in a joint venture, home to the United States. Specifically, the Statesboro and Auburn plants were equipped to make these engines, with the Auburn factory assembling the Big Block version.

The Statesboro plant diecasts aluminum alloy components, including cylinder blocks, heads, sumps and covers, for engines assembled at both locations.

The process begins with aluminum alloy ingots being heated in a big furnace until liquified. The molten metal then flows down to each of the diecasting machines and is forced under high pressure into a die in the shape of the desired engine part.

Once extracted and cooled, the newly cast part moves into the trim process where any rough edges are smoothed away and the component is inspected to make sure that it meets specifications and quality control standards.


Job openings

The Briggs plant in Statesboro is always looking for quality employees and uses Ogeechee Technical College’s continuing education programs for training, such as Open Access Training and Fast Track, as well as Georgia Department of Labor apprenticeship programs.

For additional information and to apply, visit and find job openings in Statesboro.

For questions about current job openings, interested individuals may contact Human Resources at (912) 871-5800.

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