1 February 2018 News
Two months after it was first reported, the state Department of Workforce Development is issuing a Closing and Mass Layoff notice for a Fond du Lac company. Last November Saputo Cheese announced it would be closing its cheese manufacturing facility in Fond du Lac by June 1, leaving 126 employees out of work. DWD and the Fox Valley Workforce Development Board, says it will offer Rapid Response services. Fond du Lac County executive Al Buechel worked at the plant more than 50 years ago when it was Tolibia Cheese. Buechel says the news is a reminder of the importance of encouraging local companies to modernize and expand their facilities. The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Dislocated Worker Program provides transition assistance to workers and companies affected by permanent worker layoffs. The Program’s local Rapid Response Teams help companies and worker representatives develop and implement a practical transition plan based on the size of the layoff event.
Kimberly-Clark’s plan to make deep cuts in its workforce involves hundreds of employees in Wisconsin. The consumer products giant says it plans to close the Neenah Nonwovens facility within the next 18 months, as well as the Cold Spring Facility in nearby Fox Crossing. The closures involve 600 employees. The company says a final decision on the Cold Spring facility will come after it consults with the plant’s union. Kimberly-Clark recently announced 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 personal products maker was founded in Neenah in 1872 and moved its corporate headquarters to Irving, Texas in 1985. It currently employs about 3,200 people in the Fox Valley.
The public will get a chance to sound off in March about Racine officials’ request to pull 7 million gallons of water per day from Lake Michigan to serve a massive Foxconn Technology plant. The state Department of Natural Resources announced Wednesday that they’ve scheduled a public hearing on the request for March 7 in Sturtevant. The agency also will take public comments on the request through March 21. The Taiwanese electronics company wants to build a massive flat-screen facility in Mount Pleasant, which is about 30 miles south of Milwaukee and 60 miles north of Chicago. Racine has asked the DNR for permission to divert water from the lake to serve the facility. Under the Great Lakes Compact, all water diverted from Lake Michigan must be returned minus what’s lost to evaporation or what’s used for Foxconn’s manufacturing process. The city’s application estimates about 2.7 million gallons per day will be consumed and wouldn’t return to the lake. All wastewater would return to the Racine wastewater treatment plan and then the lake.
Wisconsin education officials say nearly 400 private and religious schools have registered to participate in state voucher programs during the 2018-19 school year. The Department of Public Instruction said in a series of news releases Wednesday that 133 schools have registered to participate in Milwaukee’s voucher program, eight more than in 2017-18. Twenty-six schools have registered to participate in Racine’s program, including six new schools. Two of those six currently participate in the state voucher program or the Milwaukee program or both. Meanwhile, 222 schools have registered to participate in the statewide program, including 48 new schools and 21 schools that previously participated in either the Milwaukee or Racine programs. Qualifying students who attend schools in the three programs can collect state subsidies to defray tuition expenses.