Deal keeps Wisconsin Kimberly-Clark plant open

MADISON — Gov. Scott Walker announced Thursday, Dec. 13 one Kimberly-Clark plant in Neenah will stay open, and one will close. It's part of a deal reached with consumer-products giant Kimberly-Clark Corp. worth up to $28 million over five years to keep a plant open and save nearly 400 jobs.

"It's about keeping the footprint of Kimberly-Clark here," said Walker.

Gov. Walker says the new incentive will keep the Kimberly-Clark plant alive in Cold Spring, and its jobs alive.

Scott Walker

"This is a pretty good Christmas going forward," Walker said.

Taxpayers will foot the bill, provided the longtime company keep all 388 jobs through 2023, and make at least $200 million in capital investments at the Cold Spring facility.

Scott Walker

"To me if there was any talk about a legacy, I want this to be my legacy... that we protected these kinds of jobs," said Walker.

Earlier this month, Walker called for a lame-duck session trying to push a bill through the Legislature -- giving the longtime company a tax incentive. But it didn't pass.

This time, Walker worked with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, a deal that does not require legislative approval.

Scott Walker

At the same lengthy extraordinary session, the Legislature passed a number of bills that some say limit the power of incoming Governor-elect Tony Evers, and his ability to pass a similar tax incentive plan.

"It absolutely would be able to pass a package like this. There's no doubt about it they just have to have buy-in from everybody, which is what we do. We have to buy in from everybody," said Walker.

As part of the Kimberly-Clark plan, the other local plant in Neenah will close. One hundred employees will lose their jobs. Another plant in Arkansas will also close are part of this. About 400 employees there will also lose their jobs.