McIver Road textile plant to re-open, bring 135 jobs
By Melissa Rollins, Editor, email@example.com
The fiber industry is coming back to Darlington County. During a much-anticipated announcement Aug. 8 at the SiMT Gould Incubator, the Darlington County Economic Partnership announced that Fiber Industries LLC would be re-opening the plant on East McIver Road in Darlington.
Hiring will begin in the fourth quarter of 2017 with production to start in early 2018.
Darlington County Economic Partnership Executive Director Frank Willis said that it is a relief to finally be able to make this announcement.
“It is a huge relief,” Willis said. “You know people know that something is going on and then want to know who it is and what it is. You want to tell them but you can’t. It’s nice to be able to say its Fiber Industries. The most valuable part is that we’ve competed and we’ve won. We’ve got $30 million dollars; we’ve got 135 jobs. To stand up and be able to say that is pretty doggone special.”
Willis has been working on several projects and thinks that this announcement can only help spur others on.
“They weren’t waiting on this by any means but there is certainly that trail mentality,” Willis said. “I saw you do it and I’m trailing you. I certainly think it is going to happen.”
Codenamed ‘Project Phoenix’, the re-opening has been in the works for quite some time.
Fiber Industries management team Andrew Rosenfeld and Leandro Carboni shed some light on the details that have been agreed upon by the company and the county.
“(August 7), the county approved our incentive package and that brings us closer to our vision and our plan to re-start the Palmetto Polyester Staple Fiber Operations business,” Rosenfeld said. “ReadySC will be our partner for the hiring process so we are looking forward to working with them.”
Carboni said that the plant will employee more than 100 people.
“We expect to invest more than $30 million dollars and to create at least 135 jobs,” Carboni said. “We believe the region has a great resource for very experienced employees, given the textile history in the city. The local community and the state have been very supportive in working with us; we really, really appreciate all the support. We are looking forward to working with all the stakeholders as we move forward.”
Rosenfeld said that the trend toward textiles made in the United States is swinging back in the country’s favor. The way that the McIver Road plant was shutdown also makes it a valuable site for Fiber Industries to locate.
“It was very evident early on that the U.S. has actually become competitive again and this is something we determined a few years ago,” Rosenfeld said. “Some of the people who are working for us where there at the time of the shutdown and helped shut it down. The plant was shut down in an orderly fashion so it could actually be restarted. We felt overall that we could get a good employee base to start the plant up.”
Carboni agreed with Rosenfeld on the upswing of textline manufacturing in the United States.
“Here is the epicenter of textile industry in the U.S.,” Carboni said. “We will be really close to our key potential customers, between 20 to 100 miles. It will be the focus of the U.S. market and we feel really good about the site and the location.”
Bobby Hudson, Chairman of Darlington County Council, was present at the announcement.
“We are honored to have Fiber Industries start back up,” Hudson said. “It was a good place to work; I worked there for 33 years. I will tell you, the people are elated that it is going to happen and we wish you the best.”