New Hampton candle plant closing in July; at least 55 jobs lost - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New Hampton candle plant closing in July; at least 55 jobs lost

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NEW HAMPTON (KWWL) - The New Hampton Economic Development director confirms that S.C. Johnson plans to close the Soy Basics candle plant on July 1.

Tammy Robinson tells KWWL that representatives from S.C. Johnson visited New Hampton to make the announcement.

Robinson says 55 to 60 employees will be impacted by the closure.

Soy Basics was started locally in 2001 and was bought by S.C. Johnson in 2008.

The full statement is below:

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Kelly M. Semrau, Senior Vice President for Global Corporate Affairs, Communication and Sustainability for SC Johnson:

"SC Johnson has been faced with the realities of soft sales in the specialty candle market. Since the economic crisis of 2008, more than 150,000 U.S. specialty boutique stores have closed. Unfortunately, the market for specialty candles has not rebounded."We announced the decision today to close the Soy Basics plant with an understanding of the impact it will have on the 57 affected employees. We chose to provide a nearly six-month notice as the factory will close on July 1. Employees were informed today about the years-of-service-based severance package which includes a minimum of nine weeks pay, job training assistance, as well as continuing health benefits through the month of July. This is considered an above-market package for the industry.

"SC Johnson will sell the facility and will try to bring in a new employer. SC Johnson has also donated $20,000 to the New Hampton Great Plays Daycare Center and $10,000 to the New Hampton United Fund.

"As a family company, we will work with the community and employees in the most supportive way possible."

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