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Quad/Graphics to close St. Cloud printing plant; 280 workers affected

  • Associated Press
  • June 18, 2014 - 5:44 PM

ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Printing giant Quad/Graphics will close its commercial printing operation in St. Cloud in late August, affecting about 280 workers, the company said Wednesday.

The exact last day of production at the 237,000-square-foot plant will be determined later, Quad/Graphics spokeswoman Claire Ho told the St. Cloud Times (http://bit.ly/1piOX1Q ).

The closing stems from Quad/Graphics' recent $100 million acquisition of Brown Printing Co. of Waseca. Many of the plants in the Quad/Graphics network are equipped to do the special interest or short-run publications done in St. Cloud, Ho said.

"We are moving forward quickly with integration plans following our recent acquisition of Brown Printing Company," Ho said.

Ho said a similar announcement was made Wednesday at a plant in Woodstock, Illinois. All full-time employees with Quad/Graphics will be eligible for separation packages, she said.

Job opportunities will be available at other Quad/Graphics plants, Ho said. The company, based in Sussex, Wisconsin, also has Minnesota plants in Shakopee and Waseca. In addition to its headquarters, Quad/Graphics has 10 locations in Wisconsin.

"It is not a reflection on the employees," Ho said. "It's a straight-forward business decision. Ultimately, it comes down to how we believe we can achieve the greatest manufacturing and distribution efficiencies with the strongest, most competitive platform for our clients into the future. The team at St. Cloud is very talented."

Quad/Graphics took over the St. Cloud plant in 2010 following the acquisition of World Color, formerly Quebecor World Inc.

President Patti Gartland of the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation said her organization will try to find out if anything could have been done to retain Quad/Graphics in St. Cloud.

"Losing a workforce of that size is alarming," Gartland said.

Wednesday's announcement was the second in as many months about companies moving large operations out of state from just outside the St. Cloud city limits. In May, the parent company of DPMS Panther Arms said it was relocating the gun maker to Alabama, a decision that will siphon away 68 jobs.

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