GEORGETOWN COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The steel mill in Georgetown plans to hire hundreds of employees over the next year.
The steel mill has been a Georgetown staple for decades.
"I started working at the mill in November 1973," said Melvin Cohen who has worked at the steel mill since the first time it opened.
The old ArcelorMittal mill closed in 2015 which caused more than 200 people to lose their job.
"It's not just one group of people. The whole town hurt," Cohen said.
Liberty Steel officially purchased on the mill in December 2017.
The company started accepting applications this week.
After already working more than forty years at the mill, Melvin Cohen says he's submitting an application to help reopen the plant.
"I already did! I took my physical already. I would be proud and glad to help start it back up," Cohen said.
James Sanderson, the president of the United Steelworkers of America in Georgetown, says hundreds of hires are expected.
"Initially there will be 160 and it could grow to double that in that next year," Sanderson said.
Sanderson said the workers will head back to the mill in April and production is expected to start in June.
"Customers are already lining up asking when we'll start producing. That's how excited they are," Sanderson said.
Both Sanderson and Cohen believe the steel mill reopening isn't just beneficial to the workers, it affects the entire community.
"It's real good to reopen because you have young people, growth. That mill was good to me and my family," Cohen explained.
"It's going to increase spending in this community tenfold and boost the Georgetown economy," Sanderson added.
Sanderson believes the entire state will feel the growth.
"South Carolina will benefit from this tremendously. Anytime you're able to get jobs, jobs, jobs, I think you accomplished your mission," Sanderson said.