Kimberly-Clark plans on cutting more than 5,000 jobs and closing 10 facilities across the globe, according to an announcement by their leaders this week. In case you didn’t know, Kimberly-Clark, who makes paper products, such as Huggies, Kleenex and paper towels, was founded in Neenah in 1872. While now headquartered in Dallas, it still employs about 3,200 people in the Fox Cities.

K-C has not yet announced where the actual cuts will be, but they are hoping to cut costs by $500 million to $550 million by the end of 2021. Given their operations in 35 countries, the mayor of Neenah is hopeful that it won’t affect employment in the Fox Cities. Mayor Kaufert claims that he is remaining optimistic but will have to wait and see.

If the K-C layoffs do occur in the Fox Cities, it could have an impact on the area’s economy. Both the director of community development in Fox Crossing and the vice president of economic development for the Fox Chiles Chamber expressed concerns. The director stated that “K-C’s operations and employment are integral to life in the Fox Cities.”

On the plus side, Wisconsin’s Fox Cities are experiencing low unemployment rates right now. That just may mean that there would be jobs available to help put those employees back to work. However, job layoffs are never easy. Even for those employees that find other employment, there is usually a lapse of time between jobs, and no promise of equivalent salaries.

Options for those laid off when businesses cut back, reorganize or shutdown might be a period of severance pay (if it is offered) and a period of unemployment pay while searching for other employment. Long-term employees may find that they are no longer suited for other types of jobs due to lack of experience and new technology. Their marketability may have been drastically reduced from doing one type of job for most of their adult life.

For these individuals, as time wears on, financial matters begin to go downhill. Creditors are usually understanding for a short period of time, but eventually, they expect their money. This is when collection calls start, and life becomes miserable.

If you find yourself in a situation like this, things are not hopeless. There are options available. Personal bankruptcy, for instance, can help reduce or even negate your debt altogether. A good bankruptcy attorney can provide details, as well as other options to avoid a total financial disaster.

Source: Post-Crescent, “Kimberly-Clark, Fox Cities’ third-largest employer, to cut up to 5,500 jobs, close 10 plants globally,” Chris Mueller, Duke Behnke and Jeff Bollier, Jan. 23, 2018