NEWBERRY — Kiswire held the grand opening Wednesday of its second Newberry plant.
Located off S.C. 76, the plant currently employs 27 people and manufactures steel cord used in the tire industry and in the steel belts found in today’s tires.
This product is different than the product manufactured in the other Kiswire plant in Newberry. Company officials said they intend to operate two separate plants in Newberry County.
Steel cord production started December 2013 for three different sized wires and the company is shipping them out now to customers.
S.C. Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt commented on Kiswire’s contributions to putting South Carolina on the global map, particularly with tire production where South Carolina is the number one tire exporter in the world.
“It’s easy to see why South Carolina has risen quickly as the nation’s and even the world’s tire capital,” Hitt said. “This expansion helps create an opportunity for world class manufacturing and at least two tire companies came to South Carolina since Kiswire (came to Newberry in 1999).”
Hitt said the quality of South Carolina’s workforce helped the plant expand and thanked Kiswire for its confidence in the Newberry County workforce.
Buddy Livingston, director of the Newberry County Career Center and chairman of Newberry County Council, said the expansion shows how Newberry has an excellent business environment. He thanked Kiswire for providing local jobs for area students.
Mike Briggs with Central SC Alliance said it takes the vision of corporate forces to come together with projections of exponential growth in employment and in metric tons produced.
Kiswire President David Minnick said future plans for the property include goal of expansion to 36,000 metric tons of production per year. That expansion and jobs that come with it take time.
Newberry County Director of Economic Development Teresa Powers echoed those sentiments.
“We are glad to see the growth in Newberry and the new facility and look forward to the company to continue to grow as the tire (industry) expands,” Powers said. “Kiswire is a great corporate citizen and an asset to the county as we go forward.”
The company now known as Kiswire started in 1945 making wire rope used by cranes.
In 1999, Kiswire built its first plant in Newberry and the plant expanded exponentially from just 13 people to employing over 100. That plant produces 50,000 metric tons of bead wire per year.