About 400 local workers will lose their jobs by year's end when Quad/Graphics closes its George Urban Boulevard plant in Depew.
The printer of magazines, catalogs, paperback books and other graphic media announced Monday that it plans to shut down plant operations in the fourth quarter of 2011, less than a year after acquiring the plant from its former owner, Worldcolor Press.
According to Quad/Graphics officials, the company plans to invest more than $15 million in its Martinsburg, W.Va., plant to strengthen the company's book manufacturing operations there. It also is boosting book manufacturing operations at its Leominster, Mass., plant and has announced multimillion-dollar capital investments in digital press technology at its book manufacturing facilities in Fairfield, Pa., and Dubuque, Iowa.
In August, Quad/Graphics executives said its acquisition of Worldcolor Press was going to benefit the company by offering a more diversified product line. A union representative at that time said he believed the George Urban Boulevard location offered a unique strength to Quad/Graphics, with its mass-market paperback production and the fact that the plant maintained a strong relationship with a major customer right next door: Harlequin, publisher of romance novels.
When the acquisition by Quad/Graphics was announced last summer, the Depew plant was not among the four locations that Quad/Graphics said it was planning to close by the end of 2010 along with the acceleration of a Worldcolor plant closing that was originally slated for 2011. Those five closings represented the elimination of 2,200 jobs.
Joel Quadracci, chairman of Quad/Graphics and also president and chief executive officer, said in an Aug. 12, 2010, article in The Buffalo News that the company would "continue to make difficult decisions that are necessary as [the company moved] further through the integration process."
Quad/Graphics on Monday said it planned to "proactively assist" its laid-off employees in finding new jobs, including positions that might be available at other Quad/Graphics plants.
The Depew plant was part of J.W. Clement when Arcata Graphics acquired the Clement company in 1965. In 1993, Quebecor World acquired Arcata Graphics. Quebecor World filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2008 and emerged from bankruptcy as Worldcolor Press.