South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley celebrates groundbreaking of Continental Tire plant in Sumter

SUMTER, S.C. — Gov. Nikki Haley is celebrating one of the crown jewels of her push to bring jobs to South Carolina as she helped break ground at a ceremony Wednesday for the new Continental Tire plant in Sumter County.


Work to clear the site for the plant has begun.

Haley says the plant shows how dedicated she is to bringing jobs to South Carolina. Officials for the German tiremaker say the plant will employ 1,600 workers by 2021.

The state’s unemployment rate is now at 9.3 percent. It was 10.5 percent when Haley took office in January 2011.

South Carolina beat out Louisiana and North Carolina for the $500 million plant. Continental Tire says the plant should make its first tire in 2014.

Continental is joined by fellow tiremaker Bridgestone in its investment and job creation in South Carolina. In September, BRIDGESTONE AMERICAS INC. ANNOUNCED IT WOULD SPEND $1 BILLION BUILDING A PLANT AND EXPANDING AN EXISTING FACILITY IN AIKEN COUNTY, CREATING 850 JOBS.