Blackville plant closing means 300 more jobs leaving SC

BLACKVILLE, S.C. — A Blackville plant that makes air conditioning and heating equipment is closing, leaving about 350 workers without a job.

Allied Air Enterprises spokesman Ozzie Buckler told The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg that the Barnwell County plant will beginning shutting down this year and will be closed by 2011.

Officials say about 50 jobs will be moved to the company's other plants in Orangeburg and Mexico.

The company blames the economic collapse and the downturn in the housing market.

The plant draws workers from three counties with some of the highest unemployment rates in South Carolina. Allendale County's unemployment rate was 19.7 percent in December; Barnwell County was at 15.8 percent; and Bamberg County was at 15.5 percent.

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