More than 300 Florence workers face difficult decisions after plant announces closure

More than 300 Florence workers face difficult decisions after plant announces closure

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - More than 300 employees at Worthington Industries, Inc. in Florence will be laid off, following an announcement Tuesday. The engineered cabs facility announced its closing will take place in September.

"The weaker market conditions in Engineered Cabs combined with a need for significant capital investments to address production challenges led to this decision," said John McConnell, Chairman and CEO. "We will be transitioning business to our Greenville, Tenn. operations to better serve our customers." McConnell added, "These decisions that so deeply impact the lives of our employees are never easy or taken lightly."

The news is taking the community by surprise.

"There were discussions just a few weeks ago that they would expand. It was very sudden when yesterday they announced they would close in September," shared Mary Kelley with the Florence County Economic Development Partnership.

Kelley's office immediately jumped into action.

"We immediately contacted brokers to tell them we will have this facility available in September," Kelley explained. She added it could be appealing to a business to move in knowing there is a trained workforce ready to work.

She has six months to find a replacement company but said it is promising.

"We do have companies looking, we do have phone calls almost daily asking about certain sites. And it is not just in the city, but spread out within the county because Florence County does have so much to offer," said Kelley.

Severance packages will be provided based on years of service and employment assistance will be offered to employees in Florence.?

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