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Olympic Steel kicks into high gear

June 24, 2008

Item Staff Writer

Hot, metallic sparks shot from the side grinder of a worker at Olympic Steel — Sumter’s newest manufacturing facility — on Tuesday. The company has been in production since last week.

Sumter learned of the new industry addition in mid-April. The $10 million facility is slated to bring 65 jobs to Sumter and eventually build in the Black River Industrial Park.

“We are traditionally a steel-selling company,” said T.G. Manus, the company’s operations manager. “In recent years, we’ve started into the manufacturing side.”

Its production is dwarfed by its current facility at Live Oak Industrial Park and is only a fraction of its full production, which is slated to include steel manufacturing as well as parts fabrication. Still, the crew has been churning out its wares in anticipation of its new building, which is expected to break ground sometime this summer.

The company’s maiden shipment — a hull that will provide the skeleton to an armored vehicle — went out last Saturday.

On Tuesday, the six-member crew was welding prefabricated parts onto what will eventually be shipped to a military supplier. Manus said the scaled back effort can produce about two of the hulls a week. As the workers hone their craft, they will be able to produce about one hull a day, he said.

The Cleveland-based steel manufacturer decided to expand because its mother facility in Siler City, N.C., was “busting at the seams,” said Manus.

“There was so much work up there,” he said. While the manufacturing company’s main function is steel production, it isn’t limited to it, said Manus.

“Anything anybody wants, we’ll be able to fabricate,” he said.

Both Manus and Human Resources Manager Kathy Truelson sang the praises of Central Carolina Technical College, which provided almost all of the welders’ training.

“Central Carolina … I can’t say enough nice about them,” said Manus.

The second round of hiring is slated for mid-July, said Truelson.


Visit for all of Sumter’s local news.

Contact Staff Writer Jamie Hudson at (803) 774-1222.

Contact the Olympic Steel human resources department for more information about the company’s upcoming hiring at

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