Milwaukee Tool, a prominent manufacturer of heavy-duty power tools in the US, has announced that it will be closing its manufacturing plant in Clinton, Mississippi by the end of September 2023. The plant, which currently employs 150 people, began production in late 2021. According to the company, the change is necessary to “improve the performance of Milwaukee Tools’ supply chain” and will involve the relocation of activities to their other facilities. Despite the decision, the company remains confident in its ongoing success and future growth, having invested over $702 million in their US operations in the last five years and grown its employee population by over 180%.
The closure has come as a shock to the city of Clinton, with the local public information officer stating that “I don’t think anyone here was expecting this.” The company has assured that it is developing several support options for the impacted Clinton employees and working diligently to explore opportunities that allow them to move to one of their other locations. The earliest any employees will be let go is April.
This development raises broader questions about whether this is a sign that manufacturing in the US may not be profitable, despite Milwaukee Tool’s recent promotion of bringing manufacturing back to the United States. The closure of the Clinton plant may suggest that even with heavy investment, there are still challenges that make manufacturing in certain locations unviable. Nonetheless, Milwaukee Tool remains committed to its other US locations, which include Jackson, Olive Branch, Byhalia, Greenwood, and its soon-to-come Grenada facility.