It’s hard to express my deep sense of gratitude towards the citizens of Newberry County – and throughout South Carolina – for the welcome bestowed upon Samsung. As the plant manager of the new Newberry County facility, I see the many acts of kindness freely given over the past six months to help us get up and running in lightning speed. I see up close and personal the local employees working hard to master new skills and displaying pride in the washing machines they are producing for people across the United States. And I see a bright future for all of us together.
In just six short months, we’ve hired more than 500 employees to launch Samsung’s first U.S.-based home appliance manufacturing facility. I’m proud to say 90% of our new hires are from Newberry County and the surrounding communities. As for production, South Carolina-made washing machines began rolling off our production line this month.
These incredible milestones would not be possible without the support of the outstanding Newberry County community and the state of South Carolina. I want to thank everyone who attended our January 12 ribbon cutting ceremony and helped make our January 13 family celebration day a resounding success.
On January 12, H.S. Kim, President and Head of CE Division for Samsung Electronics was joined on stage by Governor Henry McMaster, U.S. Senator Tim Scott, Congressman Ralph Norman, President and CEO of Samsung Electronics America, Tim Baxter, His Excellency Yoon-Je Cho, the Korean Ambassador to the United States, a representative from the U.S. Department of Commerce and our own Wayne Adams, Newberry County Administrator. Together, they officially led our guests in the grand opening of our plant. During the ceremony it became clear that Samsung is planning to plant deep roots in Newberry County and make this community a long-term home.
Samsung’s leadership decided to donate some of the first South Carolina-made washing machines to local, Newberry County organizations. Ten sets of washing machines and dryers will be divided between the Boys Farm and the Freedom and Hope Foundation, respectively, both of which do amazing work in our community. One special washing machine, signed by all guests and Samsung employees, is going to the Newberry County Museum to memorialize this historic event.
On January 13, my wife and I enjoyed seeing our employees have fun onsite with their families. We enjoyed an array of games, Samsung door prizes, a virtual reality (VR) station, great food and quality time getting to know each other better. We celebrated the exciting results of six months of hard work and determination. I am so very proud of each and every one of them.
Over the next few months I hope to meet many of you in Newberry County. Whether at Oktoberfest, Veterans Day or future Newberry County events, we look forward to partnering with you and the citizens of Newberry County. Again, thank you for welcoming us to your community. It’s a blessing to call South Carolina home.
Tony Fraley is the plant manager at Samsung’s Newberry facility.