Sumter, SC (WLTX) - The Continental Tire plant in Sumter held a milestone in its construction Tuesday, meaning that they are ready to hire workers in the Midlands.
The one-million-square-foot Continental Tire Plant in Sumter is one step closer to completion. Tuesday, builders put the last steel beam in place during a plant celebration.
Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt said in Sumter today that our state is on the way to becoming the tire captial of the United States. The Continental Tire Plant in Sumter looks to add sixteen hundred jobs in the next five years.
"It will be a remarkable project for this part of the state. It has legs and multiple phases and will continue to grow to about 1600 employees," said Hitt.
Plant manager Craig Baartman tells News19 that 95% of employees will be hired from within our state. The plant has already hired 300 of their expected 1600 employees.
"That will bring us to a total of four hundred people by the end of this year, that includes the people we recruited last year," said Baartman.
Adrienne Fairwell with the Department of Employment and Workforce says the unemployment rate sits at 8.4% and is optimistic it will continue to decrease in 2013.
"The Unemployment rate in South Carolina is the lowest it has been in four years," said Fairwell.
At its peak in 2021, the continental tire plant will produce 8 million passenger truck tires a year. As for that next big job announcement that could help continue strengthen job growth in South Carolina, Hitt isn't telling.
"We will have to wait and see."
Continental Tire plans to soon hire 60 employees. Positions include production operators and industrial maintenance technicians. The plant will begin production of passenger and light truck tires by early 2014. To find out how to apply for positions, go to the Continental Tire page.