A Chinese memory-foam mattress manufacturer is bringing 250 jobs to the South Carolina county that bore the brunt of the employment losses from the failed V.C. Summer nuclear plant expansion.
Healthcare US Co. Ltd. announced Tuesday it will invest $45 million to begin operations in the first quarter of 2019 in the 650,000-square-foot former Mack Truck and Guardian Building Products plant in Winnsboro.
The company is an affiliate of China's Healthcare Co. Ltd., which was founded in 2003 and was the first publicly traded, memory-foam mattress maker in its home country. The parent organization has 3,600 employees worldwide, including sites in Serbia and Spain.
The South Carolina plant plans to begin hiring in early 2019.
Winnsboro is in Fairfield County, where the local economy was was rocked in July 2017 after Santee Cooper and South Carolina Electric & Gas halted work on two new reactors they were building at the V.C. Summer plant in Jenkinsville. The move wiped out more than 5,400 jobs, many of them temporary construction positions.
The S.C. Coordinating Council for Economic Development awarded the county a $300,000 grant from its rural infrastructure fund to offset the costs of renovating the vacant factory that Healthcare US is taking over.
Billy Smith, chairman of Fairfield County Council, said he and other local officials "are hopeful that others will see this and know that Fairfield County is open for business and focused on the kind of growth that will be beneficial both for our citizens and the businesses that choose to locate and invest with us."