Groundbreaking ceremony for Sumter plant bringing thousands of jobs

SUMTER, S.C. (AP) -- State and local officials are holding a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Continental tire plant in Sumter County that could hire up to 1,800 workers.

Gov. Nikki Haley is scheduled to join executives from the German tire maker for the ceremony that starts at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

South Carolina beat out Louisiana and North Carolina for the $500 million plant, which will be built in phases. Continental Tire says the first part of the plant should be open by 2017, with the plant finished in 2021. The company says the plant will make 8 million tires a year.

The Commerce Department says South Carolina put about $31 million into closing the Continental deal, with the cash going toward buying and preparing the site.

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