Diaper-maker to close Vancouver plant

Associated Hygienic Products will transfer some of 101 employees

By Libby Clark, Columbian Web Editor

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Duluth, Ga.-based Associated Hygienic Products on Monday announced it’s closing its Vancouver plant and moving a portion of its 101 employees to factories in Texas and Ohio, according to a federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification.

AHP, a subsidiary of Disposable Soft Goods International, manufactures disposable baby diapers and training pants at 801 S.E. Assembly Ave. in Vancouver. Its products are sold in private-label or store brands in most big-box grocery and drug stores nationwide, according to the company.

“Due to market demands, product changes, facility constraints and growing logistical issues, the high capital investment needed to maintain operations in Washington state is not economically feasible,” according to the notice.

AHP managers didn’t return calls seeking comment.

Workers received layoff notices last week that the plant will close Nov. 27. They could face schedule changes and reduced hours to meet the company’s production needs, according to AHP. With some exceptions, employees won’t receive severance pay. But the company will offer some employees with technical experience the opportunity to relocate.

Disposable Soft Goods bought AHP, then known as Drypers Corp., out of bankruptcy in 2006. At the time, 200 people worked at the Vancouver office, which housed the international division of Houston, Texas-based Drypers. The company was founded in Vancouver in 1984 as VMG Products.