Gov. Scott Walker on Monday called for increasing job-retention tax credits to entice consumer products giant Kimberly-Clark Corp. to keep two manufacturing facilities open in northeast Wisconsin, rather than eliminate 600 jobs.
“Retaining outstanding Wisconsin companies like Kimberly-Clark is just as important as attracting new companies to our state, which is why I’m proposing we offer larger tax credits to ensure the company keeps those 600 jobs where they belong – in Wisconsin,” Walker said in a statement.
A spokesman for Dallas-based Kimberly Clark, which makes Kleenex tissue, Huggies diapers and other paper products, did not immediately return a message seeking comment. The move to close the Wisconsin plants came as part of Kimberly-Clark’s plans to reduce its workforce by 12 percent to 13 percent, or 5,000 to 5,500 jobs, and close or sell about 10 manufacturing facilities.
The Neenah factory, which makes non-woven products, was slated to close within 18 months. There was no closure date announced for the other plant in nearby Cold Spring, which makes Depend adult diapers and other personal care products.
Walker’s jobs agency can currently give Kimberly-Clark and other companies a 7 percent job-retention credit, but raising it to the same 17 percent Foxconn got would require a law change.