By Aadit Tambe
Procter & Gamble has announced that it will cut 500 jobs from its Iowa City plant, a result of the company’s decision to move the manufacturing of beauty and hair care products to a new plant in West Virginia, according to a press release from Mark Nolte, the president of Iowa City Area Development Group.
The 500 jobs will be cut between now and 2020, when the company, 2200 Lower Muscatine Road, moves the production lines to its new plant.
“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,” a press release from Procter & Gamble said. “We are committed to supporting P&G people through the transition in a manner consistent with our values and principles.”
The decision was taken because of efficiencies in the distribution and transportation of water-based products in West Virginia. The Iowa City plant will continue the manufacture of oral-care products.
Iowa City Mayor Jim Throgmorton, City Manager Geoff Fruin, Kim Casko of the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce, and Katie Knight of the United Way of Johnson and Washington Counties have asked the Iowa City community to show strength in face of these job cuts.
Procter & Gamble has been in Iowa City for more than 60 years and has been a vital part of Iowa City’s economy, the press release stated.
“The challenges that lie ahead are numerous, but we are confident the Iowa City community will come together to support the affected employees and ensure the remaining P&G operations are not only maintained, but can grow and thrive,” the press release said.
The job cuts were not a reflection on the quality of Iowa City’s workforce or supportiveness of Iowa City’s business climate, the press release said.
“The decision is all about geography; reducing P&G’s expenses and carbon footprint by locating the production of these heavy products proximate to population centers,” the press release said. “This decision is not reflective of any amount of public assistance, financial incentives or lack thereof.”
The release said it is important to work with Procter & Gamble and its Iowa City employees to find out what additional services the employees and their families need.
“Partnering with local organizations like the United Way of Johnson and Washington Counties and the strong, nonprofit community will be critical,” the press release said.
The press release assured members of the Iowa City community that they are not alone, in facing this hardship, and that the Iowa City area remains to have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, and there will be more growing companies, seeking to recruit people affected by this news.
“You are part of a community and one of our strengths is that we pull together in times of need,” it said. “It is true we have some time to prepare, but we will not wait to act. It is time for our strength to shine.