News 12 First at 5 / September 27, 2010
GRANITEVILLE, S.C. -- A sign company had plans to invest $12 million and bring 125 jobs to Graniteville. Less than one year later, they're packing up.
MCA Media moved into a building on the old Avondale Mills facility. Now there's a vacancy and many people will soon be out of a job.
The company was based in Ohio when it announced it was consolidating plants in Ohio and Atlanta and bringing the headquarters to South Carolina.
About 50 people worked in the Graniteville location, and there are about 15 to 20 left while the company winds down operations.
Management blames an electrical fire in May and a struggling economy. OSHA has also been investigating the plant for four months, as three workers were injured in the fire.
One employee says an unlicensed electrician caused that fire when he was messing with some wiring, and it eventually sunk the business.
There's also a $6 million taxpayer-backed loan that the company says it may not be able to completely pay back.
"The county will certainly go to work immediately, the Economic Development of Aiken County, and State Department of Commerce, to fill that building," said South Carolina Rep. Roland Smith.
According to employees, workers are getting 20 days pay. After that they'll have to look for another job. Some of those employees moved here or left other jobs for MCA Media -- a business that's now leaving after less than a year.