350 now on the job at Newberry Samsung plant

NEWBERRY COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Samsung's new home appliance plant in Newberry County is still under construction but almost a third of the plant's full workforce has been hired and they are already capable of producing test models of its washing machines.

Samsung executives allowed reporters and community leaders to get an inside look at the cavernous building on Thursday.

Construction crews are in several stages of installing giant metal presses that will create the outer shells of the appliances.

At least one assembly line is functional enough to carry out production of a working washing machine, though the company says the procedure is for training purposes and the test models will eventually be scrapped.

Plant manager Tony Fraley says the company hopes to have 500 employees hired by the end of the year, about half of the projected full workforce. Full production is expected to begin early next year.

Fraley says the quality of the workers hired so far is "fantastic."

"What we would like is if people are looking for employment, we would like them to go to ReadySC.org/Samsung and apply," Fraley said.

Fraley says management is exploring the possibility of labeling the new machines as "made in South Carolina."

Copyright 2017 WIS. All rights reserved.