February 2, 2018

Rep. Rohrkaste Response to Kimberly-Clark Announcement

I issued the following statement in regards to the recent Kimberly-Clark announcement concerning its Fox Cities operations.

Wednesday's difficult announcement by Kimberly-Clark comes on the heels of the company’s announcement last week that outlined its global restructuring plan which will cut over 5,000 jobs and close 10 facilities worldwide.

I am committed to working with Kimberly-Clark and local and state agencies to ensure that those individuals and families affected by the recent announcement have the resources and assistance they need moving forward. Kimberly-Clark is a vital part of the Neenah community, and the company has emphasized that they will continue to be heavily invested in our area. Also, Neenah will remain the headquarters of Kimberly-Clark’s North American Consumer Business.

The Fox Cities community and the state of Wisconsin stand ready to meet this challenge and assist those affected by this announcement. If constituents have any questions or concerns, please reach out to my office, and we will be ready to assist you.

Please visit https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dislocatedworker/ for more information.

Department of Workforce Development Response to K-C Announcement

MADISON – Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Ray Allen today announced steps that DWD and its regional workforce partners are taking to assist workers following news that Kimberly-Clark plans to close two plants in Neenah and Fox Crossing over the next 18 months.

"We have contacted our regional workforce partners to prepare Rapid Response services that help affected workers find new, good-paying jobs," Secretary Allen said. "We want the workers to know that the labor market outlook is bright, our reemployment services produce results, and we are ready to support the workers and their families in any way we can."

Secretary Allen announced the following steps:

• DWD is working with its regional workforce partners to mobilize a Rapid Response Team to reach out to the employer and meet with affected workers. The team will schedule orientation sessions to provide workers with information about reemployment services, Unemployment Insurance, and pre-layoff workshops on a variety of topics such as resume writing and interviewing, job search strategies, and budgeting.

• DWD will work with regional partners to identify employers across the region who are seeking talent with the skills that affected workers have, and help facilitate connections to fill job openings with qualified applicants.

• Secretary Allen encourages affected workers to contact their local Job Center to inquire about services by visiting www.JobCenterofWisconsin.com/directory or calling 1-888-258-9966.

Rapid Response services are part of the DWD-administered Dislocated Worker Program, which serves workers who become dislocated when a business cuts positions or ceases operations entirely. The goal is to support affected workers and their families, and help workers find work at new jobs that pay as well or better than their previous employment.

For more information about the Dislocated Worker Program, visit: https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dislocatedworker/

Legislation Supporting HOPELINE

On Monday, a bill which I co-authored was released for co-sponsorship. The legislation requires the Department of Public Instruction to provide $110,000 annually to the Center for Suicide Awareness, Inc., to continue their work in assisting those who may need emotional support or additional resources. The Center for Suicides Awareness, Inc. is located right here in the Fox Cities, and they operate HOPELINE, a service that provides immediate emotional support and resources for individuals experiencing a crisis. HOPELINE is available 24/7, every day of the year. It serves every county in Wisconsin at no cost to the individual.

In addition to providing immediate assistance, HOPELINE captures valuable, accurate, data in real time, allowing for detailed and searchable key issues. The data collected can be used in the planning and deployment of state and county resources. This data can be particularly helpful for rural and underserved areas with geographical or resource barriers.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Wisconsin’s suicide rate and the number of deaths resulting from suicide have increased between 2005 and 2015. Suicide affects all of our communities. However, it has the largest impact on adults aged 45-54. Veterans are at elevated risk for suicide, accounting for 19 percent of all suicides among Wisconsin residents aged 18 and over between 2007 and 2011. Youth also face elevated risks, particularly in Wisconsin. Wisconsin’s teen (15-19) suicide rate has been higher than the national rate for all but one year between 1999 and 2015, and the rate has doubled between 2007 and 2015, according to the Wisconsin Office of Children’s Mental Health (OCMH).

Research shows that a series of health and environmental factors can increase the risk of suicide. Key environmental factors include:

• external stress from harassment or bullying
• adverse life events such as job loss, divorce, or death of family member or friend
• family member or friend’s death by suicide
• barriers to mental health resources.

When individuals face a negative environmental factor, access to immediate support is what is needed most.

The bill is supported by the Mental Health America of Wisconsin, National Alliance on Mental Illness – Wisconsin (NAMI – WI), Wisconsin Council on Mental Health, Disability Rights Wisconsin, Wisconsin Family Ties, and Reentry Associates LLC.

Below is a sampling of the current data:

Top Five Text Topics – In Order:
• Depression, Stress, Suicidal Thinking, Family Issues, and Relationships
Veteran Texts – Top Three Topics – In Order:
• Relationships, Suicidal Thinking, and Depression
Peak Time When Veteran Texts are Received:
• 1:00 am
Day of Week When Highest Number of Texts is Received:
• Tuesday
Hour(s) of Peak Texts:
• 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Overall Texter Satisfaction Rating:
• 94%

Listening Session

Thank you to everyone who took the time to stop by my listening session Monday night at Neenah City Hall! We had a great discussion, and I look forward to holding more in the coming months.

Thanks for Visiting!

Speaking to members of the Wisconsin Convention and Visitors Bureaus

Pam Seidl, Executive Director of the Fox Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau, and myself

Thank you to Pam Seidl, Executive Director of the Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau, for stopping by my office Tuesday to discuss legislative priorities and tourism in Wisconsin. Pam does a fantastic job of promoting the Fox Cities area, and I look forward to continuing to work with her to boost tourism in the Fox Cities area.

Also, thank you to the Wisconsin Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus for allowing me to speak at your legislative day in Madison! We had a great discussion concerning the state of our state and the outlook for tourism in Wisconsin.

Legislative Website

If you are interested in learning more about bills that I have authored, co-sponsored, or voted on, please click here.  This link will take you directly to my Wisconsin State Legislative page.  Also, if you are interested in viewing my office website, click here.


As always, if you have any comments or thoughts regarding the subject of this
E-Update, please feel free to contact me.

If you would like to be removed from future mailings, email me and ask to unsubscribe.

State Capitol Room 321 East - PO Box 8953, Madison, WI 53708
(608) 266-5719
Email: Rep.Rohrkaste@legis.wisconsin.gov