Though still under construction, Samsung’s home appliance plant in Newberry is already working to put together its washing machines.
Samsung announced Thursday it has hired 350 people to begin working at the 450,000-square-foot factory, with a goal of 500 by the end of the year. The plant, which is Samsung’s first U.S.-based home appliance manufacturing site, will begin production in the first quarter of 2018.
The company expects to create 954 jobs by 2020.
“We’re moving fast, and that’s exciting,” said John Harrington, senior vice president and GM of home appliances at Samsung Electrics America. “We have invested over $380 million in a facility that will create 1,000 jobs over the next three years. We’re proud to call Newberry home.”
Tony Fraley has been named the plant manager for the Newberry site. Before joining Samsung, Fraley spent 19 years as senior director of operations at Electrolux. The Tennessee native received undergraduate and graduate degrees in chemical engineering from Tennessee Technological University.
“Tony is a highly skilled manufacturing leader,” Herrington said. “He will be responsible for all the manufacturing that takes place at this facility.”
Fraley said South Carolina has been very welcoming to the company, and the quality of individual applying for jobs has been fantastic.
Current employees are learning to work the presses that will form the sheets of steel to make cabinets, base plates and front frames of the machines. Injection presses will make plastic parts which will be assembled on the line.
Fraley said the plant is concentrating on washing machines for now, though manufacturing other products could be a later possibility.
“If we decide to expand, we’ll leverage the infrastructure we have and add some other space,” Fraley said.