Uncertainty growing after several Wisconsin companies announce job cuts, relocation
RACINE, Wis. (Nov. 5, 2015) -- Almost 200 jobs are about to leave a company that has been a staple in Racine for generations. S.C. Johnson announced, Thursday, it is relocating 175 positions to Chicago. This comes after a number of other companies across the state recently announced layoffs.
Joy Global in West Allis announced in September that more than 100 union and non-union workers would be temporarily laid off. Oscar Mayer is cutting nearly 1,200 jobs in Madison and General Electric announced in September it's plan to cut hundreds of jobs. When you have job loss anywhere, it's always a little uncomfortable at the onset. While not everybody is losing sleep, they may be feeling a little uncertain. Some of that uncertainty is growing in Racine after people learned of the jobs at S.C. Johnson moving to Chicago.
"Only thing that we were informed is they're white collar jobs," said John Dickert, Mayor of Racine.
Mayor Dickert says you shouldn't worry since Racine has things to keep people and industry, and bring more in.
"We have to create that transportation infrastructure, we have to create the great workforce education system and that great quality of life so that we are the place that we migrate to," Dickert added.
On the subject of transportation, the Racine City Council voted this week to spend $30,000 to study an extension to the Metra commuter rail line between Kenosha and Chicago. Mayor Dickert wants it to come to Racine, so that those 175 S.C. Johnson people can work in Chicago, but still live in Racine.
"Do I think they're gonna be packing up and leaving? No, I don't think that's something that we have to be worried about," said Jim Ladwig, who heads Racine Area Manufacturers and Commerce.
Ladwig said S.C. Johnson's expansion in Racine should back his point up.
"It's a two way street, ya know? We have to make sure that we're good to our corporate citizens and our corporations have to make sure they're good citizens to the community," Ladwig added.
S.C. Johnson announced it also plans to spend close to $80 million to modernize it's headquarters in Racine, that's after buying the old Sealed Air building in Mount Pleasant earlier this year. As S.C. Johnson put it, "Racine continues to be an important location for our global company."