NEENAH, Wis. - (WBAY) - Companies in the Fox Valley needing skilled labor tell Action 2 News they're ready to hire.
This, after Kimberly-Clark announced plans to close two facilities and shed about 600 jobs.
The company plans to close its Nonwoven facility in Neenah within the next 18 months.
No timeline has been given for the closure of the Cold Spring facility in Fox Crossing.
There's confidence workers from those plants can find a smooth transition into something new.
"There's no reason why they can't transfer these skills to other industries, to other companies," said Anthony Snyder, Fox Valley Workforce Development CEO.
The Fox Valley Workforce Development Board says there's probably never been a better time to be unemployed in the manufacturing sector.
"I have employers tell me they're turning down business simply because they can't find skilled labor," said Snyder.
The board believes jobs with strong, competitive wages are waiting in the Fox Valley.
Expera Specialty Solutions, based in Kaukauna, says it's seeing great success in their niche paper markets and is looking to hire.
Expera believes former mill workers are attractive candidates.
"Having grown up together along the Fox River and all of these neighboring paper mills," Addie Teeters, Experia Speciality Solutions Communications Manager said, "any time we hear of another paper mill going down it's devastating, we don't like to hear that. If there's a way for us to find a home for one of those displaced workers at one of our facilities in the state of Wisconsin, we'd love the opportunity to."
Pierce Manufacturing in Fox Crossing is also looking to hire.
It believes workers impacted by Kimberly-Clark's closures would make a great fit.
"We understand we're very unique in what we do, we build custom fire apparatus," Shane Backhaus, Pierce Manufacturing human resources, said, "so folks that don't have that background coming to us we tend to train and develop folks that have a general mechanical aptitude."
"There are roles for these individuals if they want them. When they're let go finally, we'll take them and make sure they're ready," said Snyder.