Slater plant could close, 100+ jobs at risk

SLATER. S.C. — More than 100 area residents could be without work in mid-September after JPS Composite Materials said its plant in Slater may close.

In a recently released financial report, Handy & Harman Ltd., the New-York based global industrial company that purchased JPS in 2015, said the closure was approved in the second quarter of 2016.

A spokesman for Handy & Harman said it’s trying to sell the plant, according to multiple media reports.

“We are actively engaged in discussions with possible buyers, and it is our desire and intent to complete a transaction,” said a statement from the company.

Originally built in 1927 by N.H. Slater and acquired by J7P Stephens & Co. in 1946, Slater Mill has a rich history, including a role in producing the fabric used for the Apollo 11 spacesuits that walked on the moon. Today, the plant produces high-strength fiberglass and specialty synthetic fabrics used in a variety of products and applications.

JPS also operates a plant in Anderson and another in Statesville, NC.