Clearwater Paper to lay off workers at Neenah facility
85 employees will lose jobs
11:49 AM, Nov 29, 2016
10:49 PM, Nov 29, 2016
NEENAH, Wis. - Clearwater Paper has confirmed that the company will begin layoffs for workers at its facility in Neenah, Wisconsin.
In a press release, Clearwater Paper announced its Neenah location will permanently shut down two of the company's highest-cost tissue machines, affecting approximately 85 of the facility's 400 employees beginning December 31.
Clearwater Paper says that the layoffs are part of an "overall facility optimization and restructuring plan."
Three remaining tissue machines will continue to manufacture an array of private label and away-from-home tissue products.
"Although a difficult decision when considering the impacted employees at Neenah, we expect the plant's restructuring to lower our overall costs and significantly strengthen the facility," said Glenn Taylor, vice president of manufacturing for Clearwater Paper's consumer products division.
In addition to the Neenah layoffs, Clearwater Paper has announced the permanent closure of its Oklahoma City converting facility.
The Oklahoma City facility will remain open until March 31, 2017. All of the facility's 131 employees will be impacted.
Neenah Mayor Dean Kaufert says there was no warning, adding he was made aware of the news Tuesday morning.
He says he has relatives who work there, and he's concerned for those impacted during this holiday season.
"You're taken aback, because... there's never a good time to learn this information," says Kaufert. "But, with Christmas right around the corner, this is going to dampen the spirits for a lot of people that work there, and the community as a whole."
Mayor Kaufert says he's confident, however, the demand for a skilled workforce in the region will help these employees land another job.
"The job market right now is pretty good for skilled labor. These will be skilled laborers," says Kaufert. "They work in the mill, they usually run presses, things like that.. so they have some skills that maybe they can share with, hopefully, some other companies."
Clearwater Paper says they will work closely with state employment agencies to assist employees through this difficult time.
If you or someone you know has been affected by a recent layoff, a list of resources is available below to help with career development, training and employee assistance.