Milliken & Company plans to invest at least $2.5 million to upgrade equipment at three plants in Anderson County.
Headquartered in Spartanburg, the textile and chemical research company employs nearly 600 people in Anderson County, according to county economic development officials.
The company plans upgrades at its Cushman knitting plant in Williamston, its Gerrish-Milliken weaving plant in Pendleton and its finishing plant, also in Pendleton.
The upgrades will include refurbishing existing machines and buying new equipment to increase productivity at the plants, according to documents from the Anderson County Economic Development Department.
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Courtney Edwards, a corporate spokeswoman for Milliken, said Wednesday that the company is performing the upgrades as part of its ordinary course of business and that “no big changes” are expected at the Anderson County plants.
She said she could not discuss the specifics of the upgrades, because the details are “proprietary information.”
The equipment upgrades are not going to lead to the creation of new jobs or the loss of existing ones, according to Anderson County officials.
The average wage at Milliken’s Anderson County plants is just shy of $16 an hour, and its annual payroll at the three plants is $18.7 million.
The Anderson County Council recently approved incentives that allow Milliken to have tax breaks on the new equipment it plans to install. In exchange for those breaks, the company must make its intended investment of $2.5 million within the next five years. The company is expected to pay about $42,000 in taxes on the new equipment for the first year the machinery is in place. Under the incentives agreement, taxes on the equipment decrease dramatically in subsequent years. By the fifth year that the equipment is in place, the taxes on it are estimated to be slightly more than $5,500, according to Anderson County documents.
Burriss Nelson, Anderson County’s economic development director, said recently that the company’s latest planned investment is a sign of its commitment to the area.
“This helps us keep good, well-paying jobs in Anderson County,” Nelson said. “There are hundreds of people and families who depend on those jobs to keep food on the table.”