Samsung looking to expand to 1,000+ jobs in Newberry, will partn - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Samsung looking to expand to 1,000+ jobs in Newberry, will partner with USC, Clemson

The Newberry plant is already set to employ 350 to make washing machines in South Carolina. (Source: Samsung) The Newberry plant is already set to employ 350 to make washing machines in South Carolina. (Source: Samsung)
NEWBERRY COUNTY, SC (WIS) -

At his bookstore in Downtown Newberry, Randy Berry can tell you two things:  Newberry needs jobs, and Newberry needs a way to get young people to those jobs.

“Young people are leaving small towns to go to the big cities, mainly because of lack of jobs, so to be able to train them here – that’s very important,” Berry said.

Samsung is hoping to fill both voids. Months ago, it announced plans to build washing machines in Newberry County off I-26 to the tune of a thousand jobs.

Friday, Samsung delivered more good news to the state.

“This is a very important day – an important moment – for South Carolina,” Governor Henry McMaster said, as he stood beside Samsung executives, University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides, and Clemson President James Clements.

Friday, Samsung announced a research-and-development partnership with Clemson and the University of South Carolina.

“We’re going to put the orange and the garnet laundry in together! Now, it’s going to come out separately,” Pastides joked. “That’s okay. It’s going to come out separately.”

But, behind the scenes, the announcement could have greater meaning. South Korea-based Samsung’s U.S.-based competitor, Whirlpool, has asked the government to slap Samsung with tariffs, which could cut profit margins and make this Newberry plant’s future cloudy – even stormy.

Ultimately, President Donald Trump will have to make that decision.

“We think that we’ll have a favorable outcome on the tariff,” McMaster said.

But, the governor isn’t taking that for granted. Samsung isn’t either, as it flexes and shows off its growing American muscle with announcements like Friday’s.

Back at his bookstore, Berry, a former teacher, is hoping it works.

“I look at any kind of law – any kind of regulation – like I did when I was a classroom teacher,” he said. “Every classroom rule I made, there was always an exception. There was some extenuating circumstance that made that rule not apply to that particular child, and I feel the same way about this tariff.”

Eventually, Samsung should employ 1,000 workers in Newberry. However, a company exec said Friday that he doesn’t think a thousand will be enough and seemed to promise more.

Whirlpool, on the other hand, says by putting tariffs on Samsung will only cause them to make products in America faster.

Copyright 2017 WIS. All rights reserved.

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