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Leaders criticize state investments amid K-C closure

Posted: 8:03 PM, Feb 01, 2018
Updated: 2018-02-02 15:33:56Z

It's another loss in an industry that has defined the Fox Valley.

This latest example, the expected loss of roughly 600 jobs at Kimberly-Clark.

"The good paying jobs, a lot of them have gone away," Democratic State Senator Dave Hansen said.

Hansen says the cuts are a trend sending the region in the wrong direction. He says that as job losses stack up, the state is investing billions of dollars not to help the longtime paper industry, but rather a new industry with Foxconn.

"I think we've invested in something outside of our state, and I think we have to invest more here to protect the jobs right here and create more jobs in our small businesses here," Hansen said.

Wednesday, Neenah's mayor told us the state is doing well attracting new companies like Foxconn but is losing focus on the existing ones like Kimberly-Clark.

"These are 28 dollar (an hour) or more jobs, so it should be as important to the Governor's office to retain those types of jobs, than it is to bring more people in," Mayor Dean Kaufert said.

Governor Walker said Wednesday that the state is now in a strong position to help the affected workers find new jobs with equal or greater opportunities.

"We have more jobs today than we have people to fill them. Those are overwhelmingly in the Fox Valley, good paying, family supporting jobs, that are very similar to the type of positions those individuals are in right now."

Walker's office says the job losses aren't specific to Wisconsin, but rather a reflection of the national marketplace.