Company That Received WEDC Tax Breaks Plans 390 Layoffs

Appleton Lawmaker Criticizes Jobs Agency Over Job Losses In Her Area

Wisconsin`s oft-criticized economic development agency is taking heat again after a company that received hundreds of thousands of dollars in state tax breaks announced substantial layoffs this week.  

VF Corp. says that starting in June, 380 employees will lose their jobs at its Fox Valley facility that makes collegiate apparel under the JanSport brand. The North Carolina-based company received $248,735 in tax credits from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and was eligible for up to $880,500.

Democrat state Rep. Amanda Stuck, who represents much of Appleton, expressed frustration at the news, saying the tax incentives were, "supposed to be for job creation and job retention. So they have all this money now they`re walking away."

The JanSport facility is just outside of Stuck`s district but she said it`s conceivable that some of her constituents work there....

Here is the much better Post-Crescent Article:

JanSport to close, costing 380 jobs in Fox Cities

JanSport, a company that has been part of the manufacturing identity of the Fox Cities since 1982, will cease operations in its Greenville facility in the coming months, affecting 380 employees...

...While the manufacturing and retail portions of the business will be gone, the company’s VF Outdoor facility on County CB near the airport will continue to operate with 370 retained employees...

   ...more

Ken Notes: READ MY LIPS, businesses fail, lots of businesses, good businesses, great businesses. It is a fact of life as sure as taxes and, well, death.

Companies do not take incentives with the intent of taking the money and running, their intent is to grow and succeed. This is especially true of Jansport who I consulted for in the 90`s. They are a great company and loved the Fox Valley. They prided themselves on the "Built in America" theme. But when Walmart and other can produce a similar product for half the price it is tough to compete. Surly this is not the fault of either WEDC or Jansprot or parent company VF Corp.

That said, Wisconsin could reward companies that are growing or starting out by offering tax credits for an increase in employees over a period of several years. When the employees are laid off the incentives stop. This system would stimulate growth, help secure traditional financing, and reward companies for success rather than their lobbing efforts. It would also help if WEDC publicly tracked their investment and the OUTCOMES.



- - Volume: 5 - WEEK: 14 Date: 4/6/2017 7:29:33 AM -