Tyger River & Perry prisoners will make wood products


Clinton jobs going to prison.


Officials at Perry Correctional Institution have confirmed the Greenville County prison will help Shaw Industries with the workload created when Shaw’s Clinton plant is closed in mid-August.

In the closing, 120 Laurens County-based employees will lose their jobs, or accept a transfer.

By February 2020, Perry will have a Shaw facility in-house producing wood products. About 50 inmates will be employed with Shaw supervisors.

Prison officials said it’s their understanding what Shaw is going to make in prison is different from what the company makes in Clinton.

Mark Hartline, senior director of human resources, said: “We are shifting volume from Plant H5 (Clinton), which unfortunately cannot produce the styles of products consumers desire today, to plant HW in South Pittsburg, TN, where Shaw has invested significantly in recent years.”

A report said Tyger River and Perry Correctional Institutes will also absorb some of the Laurens County plant’s volume.

The prison connection was not immediately spelled out Monday when Shaw announced it would be leaving Clinton, which has hosted these wood-products-producing industries since 1949. 

The State Department of Corrections said, “The company is renovating facilities at Perry Correctional Institution and is expected to employ about 50 inmates and Shaw supervisors.”

Shaw employs 22,000 around the world. 

In May, the company announced layoff of 249 people in Central (near Clemson). Shaw makes carpeting and flooring. 

Shaw’s prison project has been in the works for a year. It operates under guidelines of the federal Prison Industries Enhancement program. Approval is required from the Federal Government and the SC Department of Commerce.

That’s to determine that private sector jobs are not being displaced by inmate labor, a report said.


(Original reporting for this article by WSPA-TV, Spartanburg)

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