Giti Tire opens US' first factory in Chester Co, plans to create 1,700 jobs

Kristi O'Connor | WBTV
Kristi O'Connor | WBTV

CHESTER COUNTY, SC (WBTV) - Giti Tire opened the company's first tire factory in the United States Wednesday and plans on creating thousands of jobs in South Carolina.

The tire factory opened their first U.S. facility in in Richburg, South Carolina and expects to create nearly 1,700 jobs as part of "Walmart's commitment to purchase an additional $250 billion in products supporting American jobs by 2023."

Right now, there are 200 people employed at the Chester plant. By the end of the year they hope to have 400 people hired. There will be 1,000 employees by the end of 2018. A spokesperson with the plant says the full 1,700 jobs will be filled sometime after 2018.

When the plant is at full capacity, Giti officials say they can produce roughly 30,000 tires in one day.

The plant is offering hope to hundreds of people looking for a better job. Brenda Crawford says she's lost two manufacturing jobs already, and was thrilled to hear Giti was coming to town.

"It's good, because it's all I know," Crawford said.

While Crawford does have a background in manufacturing, Giti officials say you don't have to have experience or a technical background.

"I now have financial stability and a peace of mind," Employee Arlene McGiver said. "I thank God for putting Giti in my path."

According to a spokesperson with Giti Tire, the company "will invest $560 million and create new jobs in Chester County over the next decade."

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster released this statement Wednesday:

"Walmart's commitment to American jobs is having a tangible impact on communities across America, including South Carolina. I'm very happy to celebrate Giti Tire's choice of Richburg to build a world-class manufacturing facility, bringing local jobs and investment to our great state."

The chairman of Giti Tire, Enki Tan, said that "Chester County's extensive infrastructure network, proximity to a major metropolitan area, and commitment to a highly-skilled workforce will support the company's needs and growth for many years to come."

The tire company has been recruiting students who are graduating from the York Technical College in Rock Hill "to train and educate the local workforce for the types of jobs required by this highly-advanced manufacturing facility," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson stated that Giti Tire initiated a math and science award program in the Chester County School District so children could get "excited about STEM," which means the science, technology, engineering and math fields.

Giti Tire estimates that 100,000 units of Dextero tires will be created for Walmart in 2017, according to a press release. "In 2018, capacity will reach several million tires," the press release stated.

Greg Foran, who is the president and CEO of Walmart U.S., released this statement:

"By investing in products that support American jobs, we are able to bring new products to our shelves that our customers want and new jobs to the communities we serve. Our customers have told us that second to price, where products are made influences their purchase decisions."

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