SC county facing hardships after company announces layoffs and closure

South Carolina manufacturers including Samsung and BMW in the Upstate have expressed concerns about the president’s proposed tariffs. A Midlands factory announced layoffs earlier this month and the company is blaming tariffs for slow business.
The chairman of the Fairfield County Council recaps another major economic loss the county faced just a year ago when the VC Summer Nuclear Plant closed.
“We had the tarp pulled out from under us and unfortunately now we have the highest unemployment rate in South Carolina,” said William Smith.
Fairfield County lost 5000 jobs when the plant closed. Now the county is losing 100 more.
Element Electronics, a TV manufacturing plant in Winnsboro employs more than 130 full-time workers.
But in October 126 of them will be without a job. Elements Electronics is closing its doors because of the uncertainty of the impact recent tariffs may have.
“When that automotive plant closed down, piles of people left the county then wal-mart closes, it’s one thing after the other,” said Pelham Lyles, a county resident who has witnessed the changes first-hand.
Fairfield County has an unemployment rate double that of the state; the county can’t afford to lose anymore economic engines.
Smith explained how the county is still surviving. “There is one unit that’s still online at VC Summer that’s been there and that’s our revenue base. That’s where we get most of our money, that revenue has gone up but at some point it will start to depreciate.”
For some residents relocating to find better opportunities isn’t an option. “People are saying they can go elsewhere, those people can’t go elsewhere those people in some cases don’t have the ways to travel they can’t afford to live in a larger urban community,” added Lyles.
The layoffs are effective the first week of October. The company is hoping the closure is temporary and will reopen in 3-6 months.

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