Officials at Procter and Gamble announced Wednesday that they will be closing the company's Kansas City, KS, plant in 2020.
The company told its 280 plants employees that they will be transferring production of their dish care business from the KCK site to a new facility in Tabler Station, WV.
P&G says the move will be complete by mid-2020 with the plant fully closing in late 2020.
"Decisions like this are never easy but we are communicating this decision more than two years in advance to help our employees plan for the future," P&G's Rotha Brauntz aid in a written statement. "We are committed to supporting P&G people through the transition in a manner consistent with our values and principles."
Brauntz says the company plans to negotiate with the local labor union regarding support to help employees transition to opportunities, whether that be transfers to other P&G sites or beyond P&G.
Officials say Wednesday's announcement was the result of a study started in 2013 across P&G's North American supply network to more efficiently and effectively serve retailers and consumers across the country.
"The new site is being master-planned to be a large, multi-category facility much bigger than the Kansas City plant, with strategic suppliers co-located on site, closer to three mega-distribution centers and presenting significant scale opportunities to develop solutions for channels and customers across categories that would not be feasible/cost effective for smaller sites," Brauntz said.
The KCK plant was built in 1905 and produced: Dawn, Gain, Ivory and Joy hand dishwashing detergents.
Kansas City, KS Mayor David Alvey called the decision disappointing, but said he is hopeful a replacement will be found.
“We do have some real positive that we can take out of this," Alvey said. "First of all that it’s a great facility. It could be re-purposed. There’s a demand for manufacturing it’s a great location at 18th and Kansas Avenue, with easy access to I-35, I 70, I-29, obviously 435 - all those different places.”
In a statement from the Unified Government of Wyandotte County, officials in KCK say there was no communication between Procter and Gamble and the county when the business was conducting the study.
Full statement from the UG:The Unified Government received notice from Proctor and Gamble on Tuesday evening that they will be ending production at their Kansas City, Kansas plant in mid-2020. They stated that this decision was based upon an internal study at Proctor and Gamble that sought to identify ways to align their production with their supply chain partners.
The Unified Government and the Wyandotte Economic Development Council were not invited, during any part of the Proctor and Gamble study, to assist them in developing solutions in Kansas City, Kansas. The plant has been in operation for 113 years and has provided quality employment to thousands.
We work diligently with our KCK businesses to make certain that we are a great place to do business. We would have done the same for Proctor and Gamble if they would have contacted us. We are encouraged by the fact that this plant is in an excellent location and there is strong demand for manufacturing space in KCK. Unemployment is at an all-time low, and we are a national destination for business growth and attraction.
Finally, we are committed to assisting every one of the 280 employees to find new quality jobs.Brauntz says the decisions will result in the new West Virginia dishwashing plant gaining 200 full-time employees by 2020.
Nathan Mauck, an associate professor of finance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, said the decision to close the plant would create a "trick down" impact for families.
"They're going to have to find new jobs in town or potentially move," Mauck said. "From there, there’s a lot of other potential impacts. The housing market could be impacted if a large number of people need to relocate, either moving in or out, and definitely all of the businesses and the folks who have part of their livelihoods tied to these businesses as well are impact it.”
Alvey and a company spokesperson says they will do what they can to help workers find new jobs.
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