Kimberly-Clark Corp. said last week it will close its Conway, AR manufacturing facility by 2021, ending months of uncertainty about whether the company would choose the Arkansas plant, or a similar factory in Wisconsin. The company announced in January it would close several plants around the globe as part of a company-wide restructuring program. Last week, the maker of Huggies diapersa and Kotex feminine hygiene items reached an agreement with the state of Wisconsin involving a $28 million incentive package to save at least one plant there from closure.
Kimberly-Clark has been a part of Conway's manufacturing base for decades and a member of the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce since 1970. The company said it remains committed to its other Arkansas operations, which include a manufacturing facility in Maumelle and an office in Bentonville. The Conway plant employs 344 people.
In the past decade, the company has invested millions of dollars in its Arkansa plants in Conway and Maumelle to add new jobs and make those facilities more cost-effective and efficient. In July 2010, Kimberly-Clark and the Conway Development Corp. announced the company had planned a three-year investment from $25 million to $65 million at the company’s Conway plant. The expansion project added capacity for products that were not formerly produced by Kimberly-Clark in the U.S.The Maumelle site is new than the Conway operation. In 2015, the company announced a similar $68 expansion of its baby-wipes facility in 2015, bringing that plant’s workforce to nearly 500 workers.