Beech Island Kimberly Clark expansion brings hundreds of jobs

By: Kristen Cosby
By: Kristen Cosby

Kimberly Clark announced an expansion April 28. The Beech Island plant will become the largest in North America.

With that comes hundreds of new jobs.

1.4 million people around the world use Kimberly Clark products every day; you probably do too.

They make things like toilet paper, Kleenex and Huggies.

And while these products are used by so many of us, today's announcement of 250 new jobs may touch our lives even more.

Al Lark is part of Kimberly Clark's Beech Island expansion.

He's the plant's longest employee, here since the beginning in 1968.

And Al knows the value of his job.

"It benefited me real good. I started out there real good and ready to retire in good health," he says.

He retired the same day as the expansion announcement, paving the way for the multi-million dollar expansion and 250 new employees.

These 250 new workers will be making things for America's babies.... products like Huggies
diapers and baby wipes.

Kimberly Clark employees' average wage is $22.39 per hour. That's almost $7 more than the county average of $15.88.

Representative Rowland Smith helped lure these well-paying jobs by changing a tax incentive law.

"It means more than just the number of employees that will be hired here, because of the spin off effect, people buying new homes, improving education because they're paying more taxes," Smith says.

Senator Greg Ryberg agrees wholeheartedly. He says Kimberly Clark's jobs provide great opportunities.

"Wonderful company," he says. "I worked for them for 4 years right out of college."

As for Al, he's never missed a day of work.

He says this job helped him raise six children and operate a small farm.

And he has this advice for future workers:

"I just come in, have a good attitude, work safely," he says.

Work on this expansion starts in June and should be finished in early 2008.


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