January 24, 2006
With all the grim job reports, it’s no surprise South Carolina has an unemployment rate second only to hurricane-ravaged Mississippi. But one company is trying to help lower that number. The Kimberly-Clark Corporation announced plans to expand their two million square foot plant in Beech Island, making it the largest manufacturing plant in North America. News 12 is on your side with what you can expect to see in the next year.
Right now they’re still in the process of getting the necessary permits, but if all goes as planned they hope to start breaking ground in April and complete it in 2007.
“It’s a rather large roll of toilet paper,” said Tom Colgrove, plant manager.
Measuring in at more than 12 feet in diameter, it alone produces more than 600 packs of toilet paper. And with the announcement of Kimberly-Clark’s plans to expand their plant in Beech Island, they expect to produce even more.
“We’ll be building a large tissue machine that makes very large rolls of tissue paper and then with that will be a series of converting lines that takes those large rolls and turns them into what you see on store shelves,” Colgrove said.
Along with that 900,000 square foot expansion comes 150 new jobs.
“Production jobs are processes to produce our consumer tissue products,” Colgrove said.
The company, who’s known for producing tissue brands like Kleenex, Scott and Conttonelle says the move is a part of a plan to save the company more than $300 million in the next four years.
Kimberly-Clark plans to close 20 manufacturing facilities and expand seven others, among those: Beech Island.
“About a year ago we entered an economic development agreement with Aiken County and with the state to help this expansion to this site,” Colgrove said.
A deal the county hopes will keep more jobs rolling into Aiken County.
They’ve already started hiring in December. If you’d like to apply for a job at Kimberly-Clark, visit kimberly-clark.com.