A top manufacturer in Clarendon County will soon be expanding.
Meritor, a global supplier of drivetrain and braking systems for the commercial truck market, is investing $5.2 million in machinery and equipment and adding 31 jobs at its Manning plant, according to the state Department of Commerce and the Clarendon County Economic Development Board.
Meritor’s plant currently has about 140 employees, according to George Kosinski, executive director of the county’s development board, ranking it as one of the top five manufacturers in Clarendon by employee totals. With the job additions, Meritor will have about 170 employees, Kosinski said.
As far as the additional jobs, the company will mostly be looking for mainline workers (production assemblers and machine operators). Hiring is expected to begin in late June or early July, according to Kosinski, and he expects Meritor to add all the jobs within the next 12 months.
Meritor’s Manning plant, at 2398 Ram Bay Road in Clarendon County Industrial Park off Interstate 95, specializes in the production of braking system parts for the commercial truck market in the U.S.
Along with the jobs, Meritor will invest $5.2 million in assembly line upgrades and automated processes at the plant, Kosinski said.
Headquarted in Troy, Michigan, Meritor has been in business for more than 100 years and is a leading supplier in the commercial vehicle market, serving truck, trailer, defense, specialty and aftermarket customers, he said.
“Meritor has been around for a long time and knows how to do this manufacturing process well,” Kosinski said. “The company has adapted and changed with the market and automation, and it really is a world leader and ahead of the market in many places, so I think that has a lot to do with its reason to expand here.”
He expects Meritor’s wage offerings for the jobs to be very competitive among manufacturers in the region, which also includes Sumter, Lee and Kershaw counties.
Kosinski estimated the industrial expansion to be one of the largest in Clarendon in the last five years.
Meritor is one of the longest-serving manufacturers in the county, and he said the county is happy for the expansion.
“As a county, we’re super excited that we can help an industry like this sustain and grow and provide jobs for our citizens,” Kosinski said.
Clarendon County Council Chairman Dwight Stewart echoed his sentiments.
“We have always felt like Clarendon County was a great place to live, work and play,” Stewart said. “Today’s announcement solidifies those thoughts, as one of our longest-standing industries chooses to expand right here in the place we call home. We wish them much success.”
BY BRUCE MILLS