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P&G to close manufacturing plant in KCK

The Procter and Gamble manufacturing plant in Kansas City, Kansas, will close in 2020, according to an announcement today.

Procter and Gamble today announced it would close its manufacturing plant in Kansas City, Kansas, in late 2020.

The plant at 1900 Kansas Ave., which manufactures dish soap, employs about 280 full-time workers, according to a spokesman for P&G. It has a 113-year history in Kansas City, Kansas. Products made here include Dawn, Gain, Ivory and Joy hand dish-washing detergents.

According to the company statement, the plant is being moved from its 1905 building in Kansas City, Kansas, to a new facility at Tabler Station, West Virginia. A study started in 2013 was the basis for this decision, according to the company.

“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. We are committed to supporting P&G people through the transition in a manner consistent with our values and principles,” the P&G statement read.

P&G will negotiate with the local labor union for support in helping employees make the transition to other P&G sites or to jobs outside P&G, according to the announcement.

“Over the next three years, P&G leadership is committed to working with every individual to determine the best opportunity for them in accordance with their personal situation, business needs, and our principles and values,” Rotha Penn Brauntz, communications manager for P&G, stated. “We are working hard so that we can find another position for everyone within P&G if they are willing to re-locate. There are no guarantees and we can make no promises, but this is the goal we have. P&G will work with every individual on a plan that best fits their needs, including transfers to other P&G U.S. locations such as Tabler Station. P&G will discuss options with the union at Kansas City regarding the specifics of the transition as it relates to employees, relocation and separation packages.”

Brauntz stated that the Kansas City, Kansas, plant has operated for 113 years.

“The employees are well known for their strong performance, culture and contributions to the community,” she stated. “This decision was not easy, and is not a reflection on the employees, their work or the communities. P&G is proud of its employees and is hopeful that many of them will re-locate to other P&G manufacturing sites in the U.S. as P&G continues its supply network transformation and investment in American manufacturing.”

According to Brauntz, the P&G study’s purpose during the past four years has been about transforming the way P&G goes to market in North America.

“The critical determining factor in our Supply Chain re-design is the importance to deliver an integrated supply chain solution that is closer to the largest North American populations of our customers and consumers and which enables P&G to co-locate with suppliers and leverage our scale, enabling production of multiple brand categories at one location,” Brauntz stated. “In this sense, being able to have a production site that can respond within 24 hours, with low logistic costs, plays a critical factor when deciding where to install additional capacity. When building the new facility, the Tabler Station location was strategically selected to best meet this need. “

Kansas City, Kansas, Mayor David Alvey has made a statement released by the UG’s public information officer on Wednesday about the P&G plant closing:

“The Unified Government received notice from Procter 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 Procter 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.”

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Legends to add new Kate Spade outlet

The Legends Outlets in Kansas City, Kansas, plans to add a new Kate Spade outlet location this spring.

According to an announcement on The Legends’ website, a new 3,500-square-foot store is scheduled to open in mid-March at 1847 Village West Parkway, Suite K-127.

Kate Spade is a women’s designer apparel and accessories store known for its color, charm and playful sophistication, according to the announcement.

The store will offer handbags, clothing, jewelry and home accessories.

According to the company’s website, Kate Spade started in 1993 and is named for a former accessories editor at Mademoiselle who brought out a line of handbags. Then a Kate Spade store opened in New York in 1996.

Tapestry Inc., the New York-based parent company of Kate Spade, is also the parent company of Coach Inc. and Stuart Weitzman, according to the company’s website.

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Chamber takes stand on legislative issues

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Opinion column

by Murrel Bland

The Legislative Committee of the Kansas City, Kansas, Area Chamber of Commerce approved its 2018 State and Federal Legislative Agenda when it met Friday, Jan. 12.

One of the federal issues that drew the most comment in previous Legislative Committee meetings concerned immigration reform. The committee’s recommendation states that a federal resolution should “compassionately address situations of individuals currently in the country.” The chamber opposes threatening the business licenses of employers who have unintentionally hired illegal workers.

The chamber supports an increase in funding for the National Institute of Health that will be used to find the cause, cures and prevention of diseases that affect many Wyandotte County residents and millions of Americans.

The chamber opposes federal and state mandates that would result in excessive utility rate increases.

Concerning state legislation, the chamber supports the following:

1. A reauthorization of STAR bond legislation. This allows state and local sales tax to be used to help finance major tourism projects such as the development of Village West.

2. Legislation that would streamline the process for local governments and neighborhood organizations to deal with abandoned buildings. State Rep. Stan Frownfelter (D-37th Dist.) has been a longtime sponsor and advocate for this legislation. State Sen. David Haley (D-Fourth Dist.) has opposed such legislation; he has said it could violate the rights of property owners. Those supporting the legislation explain it is not aimed “at Grandpa and Grandma who might have trouble paying their taxes, but rather the irresponsible, out-of-town deadbeat landlords.”

3. An origin-based sales tax for intrastate purchases so that it does not place an onerous burden on business.

4. Continued funding of the state transportation program, while opposing using such funds to balance the state general fund.

The chamber opposes a funding formula that would place an undue burden on local property taxes and mandated functions that do not include appropriate financial resources.

The Board of Directors of the chamber will consider these recommendations when it meets later this month.

Murrel Bland is the former editor of The Wyandotte West and The Piper Press. He is the executive director of Business West.

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