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Chicago Bridge & Iron to close Laurens operation

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A fabricated materials plant in Laurens will close March 30 and lay off 250 employees.

The closure of Chicago Bridge & Iron is the largest in Laurens County after the closure of Timken’s plant in 2006 which impacted more than 1,000 employees, according to the Laurens County Development Corp.

"After careful evaluation, CB&I has decided to close the facility for economic reasons," said Gentry Brann, spokeswoman for CB&I in an email.

Jonathan Coleman, executive director of the LCDC, said the CB&I facility was working on the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station project in Jenkinsville which was recently halted by SCANA Corp. and Santee Cooper.

“Obviously it’s never good when something like this happens,” Coleman said. “With the openings and opportunities that are available in the county we hope to be able to help those displaced as much as possible.”

The company filed a notice under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. According to a list of notices filed with S.C. Works (.pdf), more than 5,000 workers in Jenkinsville lost their jobs as a result of the decision to stop construction at the site. This includes 75 CB&I employees working at the site and 4,003 employed by Fluor Corp.

“Our office, along with SC Works, is working to line up some job fairs and find some available opportunities,” Coleman said. “We are targeting late October for a job fair.”

CB&I is headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas and has operations in Africa, Asia, Canada, Europe, the Middle East and South America.

Reach Matthew Clark at 864-720-1222.

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